Home Intelligence Series—Part 3

Quiz Answers

1. What is the action level for doing radon mitigation?

ANSWER— a) 4 pCi

Radon levels above 4 pCi and higher are above the established safe level and are associated with increased risks of lung cancer.

2. How can I be sure my contractor will not spread lead paint dust when remodeling my pre 1978 home?

ANSWER— a) Your contractor is EPA-certified Lead-Safe

The EPA governs training and testing for lead safe practices and qualifying companies and issues certifications for qualified companies. Having a contractors license or belonging to an association does not necessarily mean you are Lead Safe Certified. You still have to take the training and get re-certified every few years.

3) How can I achieve a warm floor that will not trap allergens and contaminants?

ANSWER— b) Use hard surface flooring with in-floor radiant heat

Hard surface flooring includes hardwood, ceramic tile, laminate and vinyl among others and they all share the characteristic of having nonporous surfaces that will not harbor allergens. There are many different types of in-floor heating materials and systems both electric and hydronic that can accommodate almost any type of flooring finish

4) How can I maintain proper ventilation in my home and not waste energy?

ANSWER— b) Use a heat recovery ventilator

An heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that is preferably Energy Star rated, will exchange fresh air from outside your home with the stale air inside your home. These devices temper the air temperature by having the incoming air run though a core with small vent passages, that has the outgoing air passing through it in the opposite direction.

5) Select five appliances that, in combination, can reduce indoor air pressure and make indoor air unhealthy or unsafe.


b) Bath fan

c) Range hood

d) Clothes dryer

e) Central vacuum

d) Low-efficiency water heater or furnace

Any type of appliance or mechanical device that forces or blows air to the exterior of a home may reduce air pressure inside the home. All of these devices should be considered individually and corporately when determining the make-up air needs of a home to prevent back drafting of older appliances and unwanted entry of unregulated exterior air.

6) Why are joist and stud bays no longer permitted as HVAC return ducts?

ANSWER— a) Because they are leaky & hard to clean

Prior to 2009 code requirements it was normal to use joist and stud cavities as spaces to allow return air a path back to a forced air furnace. But studies have determined that this is not as efficient nor as safe as using approved ducting for the entire system.

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