If you’re looking for advice on whole-home EMF shielding, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to take a look at what whole-home EMF shielding is and the options for implementing it. But first, the question you need to ask is: do you need to shield your entire home from EMF?
EMF Safety Starts With You
Ask any EMF expert about the best way to protect yourself from EMF, and invariably they will tell you to reduce your use of EMF-emitting devices. This is sound advice.
I can’t tell you how often I get calls from people on their cell phone asking me how to shield their house from the cell tower a mile away. While I’m glad they’re seeking solutions to protect their family, they’re missing the forest for the trees.
They should first get off that cell phone they’re using, and reduce all the items inside their home. Only then should they consider what’s coming in from outside.
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There is no sense in worrying about your neighbor’s devices, or the 5G antenna down the block, if you haven’t addressed all the items inside your home first.
This is important, as your proximity to EMF devices will dramatically increase your exposure.
So while the cell tower nearby is emitting much more power than your phone, you don’t keep that cell tower in your pocket all day.
In contrast, many people DO put a cell phone against their skull for many hours a day. And most people I know have Wi-Fi on in their homes, 24/7.
So if you’re serious about reducing your exposure, you must first address the items inside your home. And remember, it’s not just your phone and Wi-Fi, it’s the electric fields emanating from your walls, the magnetic fields from wiring errors and appliances, and the dirty electricity from variable speed motors and energy-saving appliances. All of these must be dealt with to truly create a safe space for your family.
If all of that is overwhelming to you (and how wouldn’t it be?) then it’s best to hire a professional to help you. You can search for a building biologist in your area or book time with one of our consultants here at SYB.
Making your home as clean as possible is the best way to reduce your overall exposure. But once you’ve done that, you may find that you are getting unacceptable levels from things outside your home, or outside of your control. In that case, you may want to consider whole-home shielding.
Most professionals I know use shielding devices as an absolute last resort. I agree with this. Shielding your home comes with many challenges and considerations. It must be done appropriately, or you can make your situation much worse. With today’s ever-increasing exposure to EMF-creating devices, however, it becomes increasingly necessary to employ such tactics.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the various ways you can shield your home, the advantages and disadvantages of each method, the approximate cost involved, and other considerations to keep in mind. Let’s jump right in.
When Should I Shield My Home?
After you have mitigated all the excess EMF’s inside your home, and you find you have high radio frequency levels from the outside, then it may be time to consider shielding. Notice that I am specifically talking about radio frequency exposure from the outside, and not electric fields, magnetic fields or dirty electricity. The reason for this is because these fields need to be addressed inside the home.
Your exposure to electric fields primarily comes from the wires in your walls. The best way to reduce your exposure to these fields is to create distance from your walls, move power cords as far from the body as possible, ground your computers and other appliances, and de-energize your circuits for bedtime.
Occasionally I will find circumstances where electric fields are coming into the house from the outside, but this is rare and usually requires expert guidance and creative techniques to mitigate. There is a lot involved with these methods, and that topic is outside the scope of this post. If you need help with your electric fields, hire a building biologist to do an assessment on your home, or book a consultation time with me so I can direct you to the appropriate steps.
If you have high magnetic fields inside the home, then you must hunt down the source. This could be from current on your water pipe or cable line, wiring errors, appliances, or power lines (overhead or underground).
All of these sources can be fixed with the exception of power lines. If you have a high magnetic field inside your home from the power lines, there is (almost) nothing you can do about it. I say almost, because if the circumstances are just right you can attempt what’s called ‘Active Magnetic Shielding’. This is a highly complex approach that must be done by a professional. It is expensive, technical, and is not guaranteed to eliminate the fields. You must also have enough space around your home to install the system. These considerations make the technique prohibitive for most. So in general, magnetic fields from power lines are deal-breakers.
If you have elevated levels of dirty electricity, then you must also hunt down the source inside your home, and get rid of the source. There are filters you can use for dirty electricity, but they are not without issues. You absolutely should not use them without taking measurements of your home first. If you have elevated magnetic fields, for example, using these filters will make the situation worse. You need to know what’s going on inside your home before using them. Some very sensitive people actually feel worse with the filters. Some people feel much better. Again, hiring a professional to help you is the best strategy here.
And this brings us to radio frequency (RF). Remember that radio frequency comes from our wireless communication devices.
Let’s say you’ve already eliminated these devices from inside your home, but you’re still getting high levels from the outside. This is the situation where whole-home shielding can help you.
In most cases, the RF is coming from cell towers. These can be down the block, or even a few miles away. The more items you have in between you and the tower (houses, buildings, trees, hills, etc.) the less your exposure. But if you have a direct line of sight between your home and the tower, even if it’s several miles away, you can get an exposure high enough to warrant shielding your home.
Other sources might include radio towers, airport radar, or even a neighbor’s devices if you live in very close quarters like town-houses, apartments, or very dense urban areas.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, and you have reliably verified a high level of exposure, then it may be time to shield.
Who Shouldn’t Shield?
Now before you get started, you need to be aware of the mandatory behavior changes that must happen inside a shielded home. This is absolutely crucial to understand and to accept.
If you apply shielding to all the walls of your home, you will essentially create a faraday cage. This is like living in a metal box.
When you think about how radio waves act, you will understand that the waves will bounce off the metal and deflect back. The waves will essentially bounce all over the place and have no way to leave the metal box. If you are inside of this box, and you decide to turn on your Wi-Fi, you have just exponentially increased your RF exposure. This is obviously not good.
So if you decide to shield your home, there must be a ‘No EMF Devices’ policy for everyone inside.
This means you can not use a cell phone inside, you can’t have WiFi, no smart speakers, smart appliances, Bluetooth, fitness trackers, wireless baby monitors, cordless phones, etc. Using any of these RF devices inside a faraday cage completely defeats the purpose and exposes you to much higher levels of RF. So, you need to be honest with yourself and evaluate whether or not this would be possible for you and anyone that lives in (or visits) your home.
For many people, this is not feasible. If this isn’t a problem for you however, then let’s discuss the different options.
What Materials Should I Use and How Do I Do It?
There are a number of ways to apply EMF shielding, though the underlying principle of how they work is the same (to get a better understanding, check out our post about EMF shielding materials which explains the science in more detail).
As for which ones you can use to make your home an EMF-free space, here are the most viable options.
EMF Shielding Paint
The most common way to shield your home from RF is to use paint. Most paints are either carbon-based or copper. Both work very well when applied properly – which is the key. To apply it properly means you need a minimum of two coats, preferably three; it must be continuous (no gaps), and it should be properly grounded.
A liter of one of the most common paints costs $65. One liter will cover 5 square meters with two coats (54 square feet).
Let’s say your home is 1,500 square feet. If you’re going to paint the entire house, it would cost you a minimum of $1,805 dollars for the paint, not including shipping. Then you also need to factor in either your time or the cost for the painters, plus a few topcoats unless you want black walls. The cost of this can add up rapidly.
The advantage of using paint to shield your home is that it is highly effective at blocking RF, even up to the 5G millimeter range. I have several clients that have painted their homes and noticed significant improvements in their EHS symptoms.
The disadvantages are the expense, the labor, and the fact that it is semi-permanent. Once the paint is applied, the only way to remove it is to remove the drywall or to whatever surface it’s applied to. If you decide you don’t like it, or you move out, that’s a big job to remove all that paint.
Another very important point is that some people don’t feel well with the paint applied. This usually has something to do with other fields being present. For example, if you have high dirty electricity and you ground the paint to your outlets, as the directions advise, then you can bring contact current onto all the walls of your home. I know many EHS people that cannot be in painted rooms for this reason. So if you decide that you want to paint your home, I strongly suggest you hire a building biologist to guide you. You really need to make sure your home is a good candidate for painting prior to doing so.
Another method of shielding your home from EMF is to apply some kind of metal siding to the outside – usually aluminum. Aluminum does a pretty good job of shielding RF. If you’re building a new home, the cost will actually be cheaper than vinyl or wood. Aluminum siding is roughly $3-$6 per square foot installed. So if you’re home is 1,500 square feet, you’re looking at a total cost of approximately $4,000-$9,000. If you need to replace existing siding that you already have, you should add about $1-$3 per square foot for labor, so an additional $1,500 to $4,500.
It’s worth noting that when you shield the inside of your home with paint or foil (see below), you will also shield the electric fields from the wires running through your walls. Consider this an added bonus. If you shield the outside of the home however with metal siding, you will not achieve this same effect.
If you are fortunate enough to be building new, another highly effective method of shielding is to use aluminum foil to line the walls prior to putting up the drywall. This allows excellent coverage and allows you to have whatever finishes you desire.
The advantages of aluminum siding and foil are that they are relatively inexpensive products when used on a new build. They are easy to apply, and readily available.
The disadvantages are that they may not be feasible in an already existing home. Replacing existing siding for aluminum is not difficult, but may be cost-prohibitive. Adding aluminum foil to cavities behind drywall is highly intrusive and expensive, and not very practical. Note that you do want to ground the siding and foil, so this must be taken into consideration if you are hiring someone to apply them for you. The contractor and laborers must know what they’re doing, and be supervised if needed.
You can, however, achieve similar results to the foil and the paint by using RF-blocking wallpaper. I personally have not measured wallpaper before to verify its effectiveness, but manufacturers claim a very high attenuation rate. There are various brands on the market, but an approximate estimate is that one roll will cover approximately 60 square feet. I have seen cost estimates of $70 to $255 per roll. For a 1,500 square foot home that would cost you $1,750 to $6,375, not including shipping and labor.
The benefits of using wallpaper include the fact that it can more easily be removed if you decide you don’t like it, or you are moving out and the new occupants don’t want to live in a faraday cage. It can also be applied during a new build, or anytime after as it simply gets applied over the existing walls.
The disadvantages include availability (it’s often sold out), and the touch up required if it does need to be removed. You will also need to find a laborer who knows how to hang wallpaper. They will likely need to be trained on how to hang it correctly so the pieces are in contact with each other to maintain a solid connection throughout the living space. It is also recommended to ground the wallpaper.
What About Windows, Doors and Roofs?
With each of the options listed above, you may have noticed that none of them provide a complete enclosure. All of our homes have big holes in them in the form of windows and doors. And since the point of shielding your home is to provide a complete enclosure, then what do we do about this? No matter which option that you choose, you will also have to shield these openings.
For windows, you have a few choices.
Metal Window Screens
My preferred method is to use aluminum or stainless steel window screens on the outside of all windows. This metal mesh is highly effective at blocking RF, and it allows you to still open your windows and screen out the bugs! If your 1,500 square foot home has 10 ‘average-sized’ windows, you’re going to need 2-3 rolls, which will cost about $60 before shipping and labor.
Keep in mind you need to have custom screens made to cover your window dimensions, which will add some cost. Remember you need to shield windows that open, and windows that don’t open. All glass will need protection, as this is the most easily penetrated part of the home.
Another option for the windows is window cling. Window cling can be a good option, as it’s clear and therefore unnoticeable, and it won’t obstruct your view. It’s also highly effective at blocking RF. The major downside with window cling is that if you open your window, you have just made a big hole in your faraday cage for RF radiation to come through. So this is best applied to windows that don’t open.
So if you’re applying this film to those same 10 windows I discussed above, you’re looking at roughly $450 to cover all your windows, give or take. Keep in mind you will need to hire someone that has experience in applying window cling.
EMF Shielding Curtains
Finally, you could use shielding fabric hung as curtains to shield your windows. I do not recommend this as your only solution for covering windows as you lose the ability to draw the curtains and open windows to any degree. Used in conjunction with the window cling or window screen, however, it can add extra protection. There are numerous different types of fabrics that you can choose from, and how much you need will vary widely depending on the design, floor length, and type of material chosen.
Options For Doors & Roofs
Finally, you need to shield your doors. The most practical option here is to purchase a high quality steel door for any exterior doors. They come in decorative designs that look nice and are not reminiscent of ‘safe rooms’! Just be sure to shield any glass (windows) that may be within the door itself.
If a steel door doesn’t fit your style, you can also attach an exterior screen door that you can outfit with a metal screen, or window film if it’s glass or plastic. That option will allow you to keep your doors open during warmer months if desired.
Oh, and don’t forget the roof! There’s no sense in shielding all your walls if your roof supplies a huge entry point for RF. The best solution here is to have a metal roof installed. If that is not an option, then lining the underside of the roof with the metal mesh would be your next best option. Remember, you want your roof to breathe so be careful not to cover up vents too tightly or use any type of plastic in the attic.
Whole-Home EMF Shielding: Final Considerations
As you can see, shielding your entire home can be very labor-intensive, quite complicated and fairly expensive.
Due to all the technical factors involved, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an EMF professional to identify the ideal solution for you. You really want to test your home and find out where the RF is coming from. You want to know the direction, the source, the frequency, and the strength. This will help your EMF professional guide you as to which shielding options will be best.
It’s also important to note that some EHS people react very badly to a shielding home that is grounded.
If you are grounding your shielding material to the outlet in your home, you can energize all the walls in the house with electric fields and dirty electricity. This is going to cause major problems for some people. This is another reason why it’s so important to consult with a Building Biologist prior to shielding. You may need help in identifying which method of grounding will be best for you, or if you should ground the materials at all.
It’s also critical that you test your home before shielding as well as afterward, so you can gauge the effectiveness of what you have done. You should never assume that your methods were successful without testing first. This is very important!
With all of these factors to consider, you can see why most EMF professionals choose to shield an entire home as a last resort only. If done properly, however, it can be life changing for people debilitated by outside exposure sources. Just be sure to do your homework, know exactly what you’re getting into, and consult an expert to make sure it’s done right!
And if all this is way too overwhelming, then consider investing in a bed canopy first. This will provide you with the same type of complete enclosure protection, but on a much smaller scale.
A canopy is often a good place to start to see how you react to being in a faraday cage, without the commitment and cost of whole-home shielding. SYB canopies have been extremely popular with great reviews from customers. I generally suggest this as the first step to make sure you respond well, and to get immediate relief for your sleeping area. Remember, it’s your bedroom where we want to concentrate most of our efforts. If we create a sleep sanctuary and therefore sleep well, we can often handle more EMF exposure during the day.
If you have more questions about this content, then don’t forget about our EMF consulting service. You can book a session with me here so that I can answer all of the questions you may have. I’d love to help you achieve the safest home possible!