Radon fans are already some of the most energy-efficient air movers in the marketplace. However, a radon fan runs constantly, 24/7/365. Even the most efficient motors are going to use a lot of energy over their lifetime, so it’s in your best interest to choose an energy-efficient radon fan.
The first and most important way to get an energy efficient radon fan is to have it sized properly. If you read my post on CFM and PFE, you’ll know that the marketplace drives radon pros to “poke and hope” in order to keep upfront costs low. “Poking and hoping” may fix a radon problem, but it’s often going to do it with an oversized radon fan. We’re talking 100+ watts versus 20-60. Over the lifespan of the fan (5~15 years) that can mean hundreds of dollars in energy usage.
The next thing that an oversized radon fan can do is exhaust conditioned air from the home. That’s air you paid for!! Radon fans are going to pull from the path of least resistance, and sometimes that means pulling from a tear in your crawl space barrier; or a hairline crack in a slab; or an expansion joint; or a poorly sealed sump; and so on, and so on. When a large radon fan is moving 100+ cubic feet of air per minute and half of that is coming from inside your home, what do you think that does to your energy bill? Your HVAC system has to replace that air and condition it to hospitable temperatures. This is where the real energy costs come into play.
Case studies from leading radon professionals and educators show that merely sealing hairline cracks in a foundation on an average-sized single family home can save over $1,000 over the life of the radon fan. If you choose a licensed radon mitigator that performs proper PFE testing and radon fan sizing you can’t go wrong. The upfront cost of using an educated pro will be made up 10X over with the efficiency in your system.
Leading fan manufacturer, Fantech, has also introduced EC motors to the radon marketplace. EC stands for electrically-communicated. These motors operate more similarly to DC motors than AC. They have built-in speed controls and run about 20% more efficiently than AC motors with similar fan curves. With the speed control, you can also “dial in” the fan to exactly what your home needs. A radon professional in Minnesota recently used an EC fan to depressurize a home using less than 5 watts of electricity! EC radon fans can be twice the price of AC fans, however, over the lifespan of the fan you recoup this costs and then some.
For the most energy-efficient radon system possible: use a radon professional that specializes in PFE testing, proper system design, and sealing; and also uses Fantech’s EC fans. Be sure to sign up for a professional maintenance plan or follow my guide to maintaining your system to keep it running efficiently for decades.