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EMF Field Guides: The Beginner’s Guide to

 

23 Common EMF Sources Found Throughout Homes

In this EMF field guide, we’ll show you 23 common sources of EMFs found in homes.

Some of these you’ll have heard of, but we bet several are going to be new to you.

Being aware of these is a big first step in lowering your EMF exposure today.

Let’s get started:

23 man-made EMF sources commonly found in homes

The following are some of the more commonplace, man-made EMF sources people come into contact with within their homes.

Thankfully, the exposure levels of many of these can be reduced or eliminated by simple lifestyle changes and without much effort.

To read this material off-line, PDFs and eReader (Kindle, etc…) versions of this EMF Field Guide and The Beginner’s Guide to EMFs are available, as well.

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Wi-fi Systems and Components

These are the products that produce and amplify your wireless internet.

We’ve also included security systems, as a great deal of homes have these products and have them operational 24/7.

01

Wi-Fi Routers

We mentioned wireless routers in the Top 20 list already, but wanted to reiterate the significance of wi-fi as 24/7 source of radio frequency radiation.

At a minimum, if there isn’t a medical or security necessity, try and turn these off at night when everyone is sleeping.

In the situations where this isn’t possible (wireless security systems, for example), and it’s safe to do so, there are ways to lower the output of the wireless routers through shielding devices.

A Low EMF Solution

Here are some options for turning your wi-fi off at night or when not in use:

A – Some internet providers that have a wireless router bundled with their service modem have apps that you can use to remotely turn the wireless router on and off.

B – Put your wireless router on a mechanical timer that you plug into your electrical outlet. This will turn it off every day at a selected time.

C – Utilize a remote IR kill switch. Right before you go to bed, you can turn off your wireless router with the click of a button and then turn it back on when you wake up.

02

Wi-Fi Hotspots

Some internet providers (Comcast is one) have some router models that allow the routers to be used as a “Public Wi-fi hotspot.”

What this means is that anyone in the area that subscribes to their service can connect to the internet through your router. You may have substantially higher RF exposure as a result.

We recommend researching your provider and router model to make sure this isn’t the case. If it is, search for how to turn this functionality off.

A Low EMF Solution

Turn this option off to reduce your EMF exposure.

03

Wi-fi Extenders and Boosters

Just a reminder that these produce radio frequency radiation similar to wi-fi routers.

And, as with wi-fi routers, it’s best to get rid of them entirely if you want a low EMF home. Hardwire your internet instead.

A Low EMF Solution

Our guide on how to hardwire your internet is coming soon.

Heaters

Heaters of all sorts can produce elevated magnetic fields. Some examples of these:

– Ceiling Heaters
– In-Floor Heating
– Baseboard Heaters
– Radiators

You can read more about these below.

04

Ceiling and In-Floor Heaters

Ceiling and floor heaters can be especially problematic as there often isn’t an easy way to achieve distance from these heating sources.

This is something to be aware of when choosing a condo or apartment complex that utilizes this type of heating. If you’re in a unit that’s above a ceiling heater, you may be subjected to elevated magnetic fields from it.

A Low EMF Solution

When selecting a home or apartment, keep these types of heaters in mind.

Use a gaussmeter to survey for the AC magnetic fields or call an EMF consultant.

05

Radiators & Baseboard Heaters

These are often on one end of the room which provides the opportunity to place beds and couches a greater distance away.

Distance your beds, couches, desks and other frequented furniture from these sources of heat.

A Low EMF Solution

Use a gaussmeter to determine appropriate distances from these sources of AC magnetic fields or call an EMF consultant.

06

Portable Heaters

The portability of these heaters makes creating space from the magnetic fields easier. Using a guassmeter, you can move it back far enough to safely reduce the field exposure.

A Low EMF Solution

Use a gaussmeter to determine the correct distance EMF consultant.

07

Breaker Boxes

Breaker Boxes are common sources of elevated magnetic fields. If these are adjacent to bedrooms and living areas, it’s a good idea to increase the distance from beds and sitting areas.

These can also be shielded with some degree of success. Our guide on AC magnetic field shielding will be coming soon.

A Low EMF Solution

The best solutions is to just increase the distance of beds and couches from the breaker boxes.

Shielding is also an option.

08

Wiring Errors

Wiring errors due to improperly conjoined electrical circuits can produce sizeable magnetic fields.

Thankfully, these can be discovered with a good gaussmeter (visit our EMF Meter Reviews page) and then corrected by a certified electrician.

A Low EMF Solution

Have your home surveyed by an EMF Specialist or purchase a guassmeter that and do a DIY EMF survey.

Read our page, “The Best EMF Meters of 2020” to learn more about our recommended gaussmeters.

Location of Appliances & HVAC Systems

Any appliance or HVAC system component that has a motor, fan or condenser will have magnetic fields.

There are home, apartment and condo layouts where these appliances are directly on the other side of the wall from bedrooms and living areas. This can mean that beds, couches and desks are surrounded by elevated magnetic fields.

It’s worth testing the areas around the following appliances and making sure your family or pets aren’t spending significant time in these fields.

09

Refrigerator Location

In many home and apartment layouts, the refrigerator backs up against a shared wall with a bedroom or living area.

The sides and rear of some refrigerator models can have extremely elevated magnetic fields. Test the adjacent areas with a gaussmeter or make sure your bed or couch isn’t directly on the other side of the wall from these models.

A Low EMF Solution

Most refrigerators can’t be moved to another location in the kitchen, so you’ll most likely need to move the bed or furniture in the adjacent room.

10

Furnace Location

Similarly to refrigerators, be aware of the location of your furnace or neighbor’s furnaces in relation to your home’s frequented areas.

A Low EMF Solution

Furnaces likely can’t be moved to another location in a mechanical room, so you’ll most likely need to move the affected bed or furniture.

11

Washer & Dryer Location

In apartments or condos, these can be tucked into closets adjacent to bedrooms. Just be aware of where these are.

A Low EMF Solution

Washer and dryers are likely in a permanent place, so adjust adjacent living areas accordingly.

12

Electric Water Heaters

These can also be placed in odd areas that are adjacent to bedrooms. Be aware of where these are, too.

A Low EMF Solution

As with the others, these are likely in a permanent place, so adjust adjacent living areas accordingly.

13

Air Conditioners

The placement of these is quite a bit more obvious.

The models that are secured into walls and window openings can often be right next to beds, so be aware.

A Low EMF Solution

Depending on which models and where these are placed, you may have some leeway on moving these. Try and keep a good distance, if possible.

Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is all the rage these days. It feels like companies are throwing radio frequency chips into most everything and it’s something to be on the look out for.

Below are some examples of smart home technology and some ideas of where the technology is headed.

14

Smart Thermostats with Wi-fi

Nest, Ecobee and other smart thermostats were some of the first entrants into the smart home technology arena.

The ease of use and novelty of these devices is obvious, but all are RF emitting devices and need wi-fi to operate with the phone applications and controls.

A Low EMF Solution

Our recommendations for a low EMF household would be to use traditional thermostats instead.

15

Smart Air Conditioners

Manufacturers are starting to push these smart air conditioners, so users can control them with their smart phones.

It will put more RF radiation in your home environment and necessitates having your wi-fi on.

A Low EMF Solution

We recommend using standard, dumb air conditioners.

16

Wireless Security Systems

Wireless security systems use radio frequency waves to communicate with the base system and the monitoring company. Why not get rid of this wi-fi and cellular wavelength exposure?

Our guide on how to have a hardwired security alarm system installed will be available soon.

A Low EMF Solution

Many of the alarm monitoring companies still do hardwired installations. Go this route.

17

Smart Door locks

These have novel features similar to the doorbells and thermostats, but are also dependent on wi-fi and should be avoided by RF sensitive people and others striving for Low EMF environments.

These are also becoming more commonplace in travel accommodations such as hotels, AirBnB and VRBO locales. Unfortunately, it makes it more difficult for visitors to turn off the wi-fi, due to the smart locks reliance on it.

A Low EMF Solution

In your own home or apartment, we recommend using normal locks.

18

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells were another early entrant on the smart home technology scene and have become increasingly popular due to their remote video and audio capabilities.

Ring, Arlo, and MyQ are some of the more prominent brands in this technology space.

As with other smart technology most of these devices will have RF transmitters and need to be hooked up to wi-fi to operate properly.

There are some models, such as the Ring Video Doorbell Elite, that can use ethernet cable to connect to the internet. This removes the need for wi-fi, but the RF chip may still be transmitting.

Contacting the manufacturer of these should help you ascertain whether the wi-fi capability can be completely turned off.

A Low EMF Solution

Go with a normal doorbell and a wired video security system that doesn’t use wi-fi or cellular networks at all.

19

Smart Light Bulbs & Floodlights

Smart bulbs use wi-fi and/or bluetooth to connect with smart hubs which then connect the smart phone apps used to control the bulbs.

With these you’ll effectively have an RF chip in every bulb in your home.

Many of these bulbs are LED, as well, which may contribute to extra dirty electricity on your electrical circuits, too.

A Low EMF Solution

We recommend going with old-school incandescent bulbs. This one has a vintage vibe.

20

Smart Lighting & Switches

Smart switches are used to eliminate the need to use individual smart bulbs.

While it’s better than having every bulb emitting RF fields, a Low EMF home is better off without these.

A Low EMF Solution

Instead of remotely turning the lighting on and off, we recommend doing what our parents did and your children to get up off the couch and do it.

21

Smart Garage Openers

Smart garage door openers are another smart home application used with smart phones and wi-fi.

A Low EMF Solution

As you may have guessed by now, we recommend going with old remote-control models that either don’t have wi-fi or where it can be turned off.

22

Smart Kitchen Appliances

These are also becoming increasingly popular and can also be found in garages, bedrooms and dorm rooms.

Please see our chapter on Common EMFs in Kitchens to learn more.

A Low EMF Solution

Go with dumb appliances.

23

Smart Laundry Appliances

Unlike some of the smart home technology, I’m not really sure why smart washing machines and dryers are desirable.

Regardless, be aware these models will have RF chips within them and wi-fi will be needed to operate the “smart” capabilities.

A Low EMF Solution

As mentioned in most of the descriptions above, all of these utilize bluetooth or wi-fi. It will come as no surprise that the low EMF solution is most often to get rid of or don’t purchase SMART home accessories.

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