EMF Surveys: What to Expect, Cost and Tips

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EMF Surveys

EMF surveys are done if you have a rising concern about your electrical equipment giving off high levels of EMF radiation. This survey will warn you of potential health problems by informing you of the exposure of electromagnetic radiation from your electric devices. You will learn some standard costs of the survey and tips for understanding EMF better.

What should I expect from an EMF survey? During an EMF survey, a surveyor will take measurements and map out levels of electromagnetic field radiation throughout your home. The surveyors use different meters to read your electrical equipment. The cost of an EMF survey, can range from $300 to $350 for a residential property.

If you choose not to hire an EMF consulting company, there are ways to conduct the EMF survey yourself. Most surveyors will measure the outside of your home and when they go to measure the inside, they are looking for identical numbers. There are more steps that you should expect during this survey.

What Happens During an EMF Survey?

EMFs are in our household because of the wireless devices we use every day. With the rise of smart home devices, more EMF levels will be added to your home. You cannot stop EMF from entering your home. These devices are devices we use all the time and include:

Even with these devices, you can keep your EMF levels low. The EMF surveyor will conduct a number of different EMF tests to determine the different EMF types in your property.

Low-frequency EMF exudes from electrical appliances like your dryer and washer and from your house’s wiring. While the electromagnetic frequency cycles 50 to 60 times a second, it is considered slow, which is why it is a low frequency.

Radio frequency EMF comes from radio communications like television and smartphones. Unlike low-frequency radiation, radio frequencies cycle faster than 1 billion times a second, which equals 1 Gigahertz.

EMF surveys are done for the following reason:

  • To inspect the house before buying/renting
  • Your property is near a substation
  • Identifying old wiring errors and wandering currents
  • Any EMF levels that may come up in the future
  • Health problems

Most EMF surveys will include what the surveyor identifies which is the source(s) of the high EMF levels. The identification of the source comes with looking at the:

  • Feeder imbalance
  • Neutral current diversion
  • Any other sources that they are able to find

Where Do Surveys Take Place?

When an EMF surveyor comes to your home, they will have to inspect the outside and inside of your home. It is best if there is someone at your place of residence to meet with the surveyor and walk them through the home.

Outside EMF Measurements

EMF surveyors will check the outside of your home first when they arrive. When they appear on the property, they will survey it first and then proceed to move towards the suspected source like a power line and measure the EMF there.

The surveyors can then move towards the electric meter, but they will measure it from 12 feet away just to make sure your equipment is working.

Measurements may also come from other electric devices, like transformers, around the outside of your property. Lastly, the surveyors will stand in front of the property that is more than 1000 meters from the power line that may be a source.

This is to check the constant level of EMF that should be between 0 to 0.5 mG. Should your house EMF levels read anything above 2mG, it would be best that you find somewhere else to live or try to reduce the levels immediately.

Indoor EMF Measurements

Should your EMF measurements from the outside be high in EMF, then the surveyors will be expecting the inside to be just the same.

When the EMF surveyors are in your property, they are going to be looking at certain parts of your home. The following are the main parts that they look at when doing these surveys:

  • Bedroom Walls: The surveyors will look into any sleep quarters that have electrical devices on the other side of their wall.
  • Bedroom: Any bedroom that is heated by electric radiant panels in the ceiling or floor. There may be improper wiring that are coming from the ceiling or floor.
  • Appliances: It is recommended that you turn any appliance off. The oven and radio are always in the on position. So, when they are on, they emit EMF. If they are near your bedroom, they really should be tested.
  • Small appliances: These appliances may or may not need to be measured depending on how you use them. If you use the coffee pot all the time, then you should let it be tested.
  • Floors: Beneath the floors, run the electrical cables. Some areas of the floor hold greater amounts of wiring in one place, that give off more EMF.

The EMF surveyor will then evaluate the electrical wiring and grounding systems inside your home. During this time, they analyze the different radio frequency’s power density levels. Those radio frequencies are:

  • Wireless Networks
  • FM and TV transmissions
  • Radar Emissions
  • Cellular Frequencies

EMF Test Results

emf meter

After these tests, the EMF surveyor will measure and map out the levels of EMF surrounding your property. The reason for these maps, is so you are able to see a detailed reading where EMF levels are high and low on your property.

The documents for your outdoor EMF measurements will include:

  • The distance from the center point of your building to the direct location below the power line.
  • Distance from the corners of your building to the same power line.
  • Date
  • Time
  • EMF measurements that were pulled from each location.

The EMF documents from the inside of your home, will give you will have the following information:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Weather conditions (Hot weather means the AC is running which generates more EMF).
  • Distance from measurement location to determine if the source of the EMF is an outside source.
  • Documentation of any medical reports that you believe has come from EMF.

With the tests the EMF surveyor will have to do, there are itemized costs that you can expect to occur. You will also learn the different factors that go into EMF pricing.

What Are the Inspection Costs?

For the inspection costs, you can receive a quote that is based on:

  • Square footage.
  • Number of rooms and floors.
  • Is it an apartment or a single-family home?
  • How much time it will take for testing, which is determined by how big of a job it is.
  • Gas, tolls and the IRS allowance per miles at $0.58/mile. The time it takes to travel to your home could range from $90 to $120 an hour.

The cost will change depending on the tests that the EMF surveyor runs. Those tests include:

  • Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) Testing: Most cell phone manufacturers use this test as well. This is to make sure the cell phones do not give off more radiation than the guidelines forbid.
  • EMF Emissions Tests: This test will tell the surveyor how much a device gives off EMF.
  • EMF Attenuation Tests: Attenuation tests tell how much EMF was blocked by a product to shield you against the EMF radiation.

Now that you know what to expect from the survey and the costs, you need to know how to choose the right EMF testing company.

Choosing the Right EMF Testing Company

When looking for a professional to help with your EMF problem, know what you they are specialized in doing and what services they can offer you. Check their website to look at their customer service reviews and see what their ratings are.

There are three things that you should consider when hiring a professional:

  1. What services will they provide.
  2. Know that your surveyor is knowledgeable
  3. Make sure the surveyor is a certified EMRS

1. What Services Will the Surveyor Provide

There are many services that the EMF surveyor should know how to perform. These tests include checking the following:

  • Wiring Errors
  • Stray Currents
  • Skin Voltage
  • Electromagnetic Interference
  • AC Magnetic
  • AC Electric Fields
  • Radio Frequency Fields

You can ask for the make and model of the testing equipment that they use and how long the survey will last.

2. Know That Your Surveyor Is Knowledgeable

An actionable EMF safety limit is the level that an EMF surveyor would suggest the need to make choices to stop the spread of EMF. If your surveyor does not feel as though long exposure to EMF levels can cause a health problem, you will want to find another surveyor.

You do not have to rely on a surveyor for that information if you choose not to. Do your homework on safe EMF levels that are right for you.

3. Make Sure the Surveyor Is a Certified EMRS

An Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist (EMRS) is the best person for the job. This person knows all about electromagnetic fields in your home and ways to lower the EMF levels.

An EMRS should have glowing reviews when you look them up and their service list should cover all types of EMF readings. Their pricing may be on the more expensive side, but they are well worth it, to have accurate and thorough readings.

Know that you understand what comes with accepting professional help, there are EMF survey tips that you can follow to keep you ahead of the game.

Tips for Handling an EMF Survey

There are speculations when it comes to EMF. Most EMF radiation does not come from outside sources like power lines unless you live directly under them. These EMF frequencies come from electrical equipment inside your property.

There are several tips that will guide you in understanding and handling EMF surveys. Here are the following suggestions:

  1. Purchase an EMF meter
  2. Step away from wireless electrical equipment
  3. Know how EMF penetrates surfaces
  4. Distance yourself from EMF
  5. Do not keep your electric equipment on

1. Purchase an EMF Meter

Advanced GQ EMF- emf meter
There are EMF meters that you can purchase online to monitor your levels at home. This gives you the opportunity to stay on top of your electromagnetic field levels without waiting on a professional.

I recommend the Trifield TF2 (see it on Amazon) as it is capable of accurately measuring all types of EMF. Check out my review.

Radio frequency meters are harder to retrieve and more expensive than an EMF meter. Although, if you are offered a great deal on a reliable radio frequency meter, go ahead and purchase it.

These meters will help you to be more proactive in keeping your health from suffering from high levels of electromagnetic radiation.

These meters will let you see first-hand what the electromagnetic field levels will be with your electric appliances when you switch them on and off. Try to move your electric appliances if you can, to see if that conjures up a different reading on the meter.

2. Step Away from Wireless Electrical Equipment

If you switch your wireless devices to wired, you can stop the transmission of EMF. With wireless devices, they still have the possibility of transmitting EMF even if they powered down.

Wired phones are considered to be a blast from the past, but it will add to the lowering of EMF levels. Wireless routers will be hard to avoid, but there are wired routers to choose from. A wired router also will not get rid of EMF levels forever, but like wired phones, the levels can be lowered.

Wired connections are also less likely to be hacked and have a faster connection. So, this option may actually be better for you. Be careful of electric toothbrushes and razors, even though you must use them, be sure to unplug them when they are not being used.

3. Know-How EMF Penetrates Surfaces

Low frequency and radio frequency radiation have different penetration qualities. Low frequency does not have the ability to bounce off of the walls and the floors. It pushes all the way through instead. Low-frequency radiation goes through:

  • Brick
  • Metal
  • Concrete

Low frequency radiation has no trouble getting through any material your home is made out of. Radio frequency radiation is the opposite of low frequency radiation. Most materials can block radio frequency radiation, but so it is as harmful. Radio frequency is on the lower end of the energy spectrum, however, the energy is higher than low frequency radiation.

However, radio frequency radiation can bounce off of objects, since it can not push through it. For example, if you text a family member that is in another room, they will still get that text message. The only way that person would not be able to receive the text message is if you used a material like metal to block every possible pathway.

In knowing the different penetration qualities, you can determine what materials to use to limit EMF levels. You can also determine where you should sleep, in regard to low frequency radiation coming from electrical appliances.

4. Distance Yourself From EMF

EMF levels get weaker the further away they are. Low frequency EMF will become weaker more quickly with longer distances. This is why it is always best to keep EMF levels further away from your bedroom.

Radio frequency EMF will get weaker with distance, but it happens at a much slower pace. That is why if you are using radio devices to talk to someone, the further you get, you can still communicate but the signal goes in and out until there is just static.

Even though you are unable to unplug your electric stove (RELATED ARTICLE) or your dishwasher keep about 3 feet away from electric appliances when you can. While cooking, you should still keep a healthy distance away, until you need to check on your food.

These large appliances release the most EMF:

  • Ovens, Stoves, and Ranges
  • Electric Heater
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator

It will seem like you have to stay away from all of these appliances all the time, but it is okay if you come into contact with these appliances for a long period of time. Just try to do what you can by staying away when you can.

Do not put your cell phone in your pocket or your bra. When using your cell phone, try to use headphones with a microphone feature or the speakerphone option to keep it away from your ear. You may want to also rethink placing dimmers in your home, as you could accidentally leave them on even though you pulled it down to turn off the light.

5. Do Not Keep Your Electric Equipment On

Radio waves do not have to be high in EMFs to reach a bigger distance. A radio wave frequency can flow throughout your entire home. Radio waves come from:

  • Remote-controlled toys
  • Cell phones
  • Radio
  • Televisions
  • Remote controls
  • Alarm Clocks
  • Laptops

If you can, turn off your appliances and other electric devices at night when you go to bed or when you are not using them. This will stop the spread of EMF from filling your home unnecessarily.

SO, what are all of the reasons that the EMF levels in your home are so high?

Why Are My EMF Levels High?

There are reasons why some houses may have a higher electromagnetic field than others. One reason could be the simple fact that there are improper wiring and grounding connections in your home. The older a home is, the more likely the wires need to be re-wired.

When there is improper grounding in a home it can cause unbalanced currents that will lead to high electromagnetic field levels that cover a large portion of the house.

You can use the EMF meter when you turn on the lights that you would normally use daily. If the meter shows a constant high reading, you will need to turn off the main circuit breaker for the whole house. After you have done this, it will show whether or not the high reading comes from the house’s wiring.

A drop line is that visibly big cable that helps to bring power from the street to the electric meter on the side of your home. The drop line is how your home receives its electricity.

When you use the EMF meter, you will see high readings near:

  • Electrical Panels
  • Drop Line
  • Circuit Breakers
  • Electric Meters
  • Transformer Boxes

If you can help it, keep your bed away from places where the electromagnetic fields are high. The higher the field is, the easier it is for the field to move through the walls and floors.

Other than the drop line, there are other electrical cables that run through your home that give off currents large enough to produce high magnetic fields. EMF levels may be high in the following places:

  • Apartments
  • Offices
  • Dorms
  • Condos

With high levels of EMF being exposed to you and your family, it would be best to make an appointment for an EMF survey. If you continue without doing so, there are different health problems that will arise.

Over Exposure of EMF

Whether you live in an older home or your home is filled with smart home devices, EMF levels can present you with a health problem. Those who are more ill than others will be more susceptible to receiving more health problems while living with high levels of EMF.

Low frequency radiation and radio frequency radiation can cause health problems over a long period of time. Radio frequency radiation can cause:

  • Gliomas, which is a form of brain cancer
  • Male Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight Loss

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has stated that radio frequency radiation is a “possible carcinogenic to humans.” This is why the frequency levels can cause brain cancer. Wi-fi gives off radio frequency radiation. It will be harder to get around wi-fi as many places have it in place for guests to easily access the internet.

Low frequency radiation can cause health problems with your:

  • Cardiovascular System
  • Brain
  • Behavior
  • Hormonal System
  • Immune System
  • Leukemia

There is no way to completely rid your life of EMF. If you were able to do that the sun would no longer be apart of your life. Also, going to the Doctor’s office would be hard to avoid, because the machines they use emit EMFs.

EMFs use the volts per meter (V/m) measurement. When you use an EMF meter, the higher the number is the more lethal the EMF can get. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), has certain guidelines for EMF exposure.

During an EMF survey in your home, the items below are supposed to fall under a certain EMF level:

  • Television: 6 to 10 V/m
  • Radio transmitters: 6 V/m
  • Cell phone charging adapters: 6 V/m
  • Radars: 9 V/m
  • Computer screens: 10 V/m
  • Microwave ovens: 14 V/m

If you choose to purchase an EMF meter, just know that many of them are unable to read some of the higher frequencies. So, if you use your EMF and the reading is a bit higher than the ICNIRP’s guidelines, it is recommended that you move forward with a professional EMF survey.

With all of these health problems that could arise from over exposure of EMF, you will want to know what you should look for in an EMF testing equipment.

EMF Equipment You Can Use

When you are dealing with EMF, you will need different equipment for the four types of EMF. Doing your research and practicing with your tools will make you better at reading the EMF meters. The four EMF types use certain equipment and those are:

These are just some of the tools that will help you to measure the EMF levels in your home. Dirty electricity filters can help filter out a big portion of the high EMF level. There should be about two filters to every room. While these filters may remove most of the high levels of EMF, you should still consider more ways to lower the EMF levels.

While there are cheaper EMF meters that are good, you will want to see this as an investment.

Why Conduct An EMF Survey

While EMF testing is not usually on the minds of realtors, more potential homeowners are concerned about their health being impacted. So, it is not uncommon in the home buying process to request an EMF survey.

If you are wanting to sell your home, then it would be best that you do the EMF survey. Homes with high EMF levels have a hard time being sold and the value will continue to depreciate if the EMF problem is not fixed.

Other than the specific health problems that you may receive from radio frequency and low frequency radiation, there are some other symptoms that you can receive from high EMF exposure. Those symptoms are:

  • Insomnia
  • Skin Burning
  • Dizziness
  • Memory Changes
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Dysesthesia

When it comes to children, if you have a new family and want to purchase your first home, do the EMF survey first. High levels of EMF could cause complications with pregnancies.

Doing the survey first, will save you from having to spend more money later. The survey will let you know if you should keep looking for a better home to start your new family.

Sources:

https://inspectapedia.com/emf/EMF_Measurement_Procedure_Steps.php

https://www.electricalworksflorida.com/how-to-get-on-top-of-emf-electromagnetic-protection-in-your-home/

http://www.emfservices.com/surveys.htm

http://www.emfrf.com/testing-for-emf-in-real-estate-transactions-is-skyrocketing/

https://www.bsria.com/uk/consultancy/building-improvement/condition-monitoring/electromagnetic-field-surveys/

https://emwatch.com/emf-protection/

https://www.elexana.com/emf-testing-cost

https://emfcenter.com/our-consulting-fees/

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/electromagnetic-fields-or-emf

https://substation-health-risks.co.uk/emf-surveys/

https://michiganemf.com/why-should-i-have-an-emf-inspection/

https://www.thehouseshop.com/property-blog/here-are-10-reasons-to-conduct-an-emf-survey-before-buying-a-new-house/10294/

http://www.magneticsciences.com/EMF-health/

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/elfradiation/healtheffects.html

https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr208_E.pdf

If you choose to not go with a professional, then you should at least learn about the equipment you look into.

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