How often should you test for radon?
Don't let radon sneak up on you and your family unnoticed. This tasteless, odorless, colorless gas is present in unsafe levels in one out of every 15 homes in the US, according to the American Lung Association. It's easy to test for radon with our home kits, but it's not enough to test once. If you're wondering how often you should test for radon, here are the facts.
To provide peace of mind, 2the EPA recommends testing your home after any lifestyle changes, renovations and every two years as part of routine home maintenance. If you've already installed a radon mitigation system due to the previously elevated levels, completing a radon test is the only way to verify that the radon mitigation system is working properly. Testing more frequently (once per year) may be advised.
Radon levels change from season to season as the soil around your home grows drier or wetter. If your last test was clear, try taking the next scheduled radon test during a different season. Instead of waiting a full two years to test again in the spring, try testing a few months early so you can measure radon levels in the winter.
Moving to a lower floor
Any time you plan to move onto an unoccupied floor of your home, especially basements and partially buried ground floors, you'll want to run a new radon test on the occupied space. Complete your radon tests before moving into a basement area, even if that means delaying your use of the space for a few months.
Major renovations of your home, especially if they involve structural changes or foundation repairs, can trigger the release of radon. Painting the walls or changing carpet above the second floor may not matter, but finishing your basement or adjustments to your HVAC system should definitely require a fresh radon test.
Buying a new home
Before moving into a newly built or new-to-you home, invest in radon testing along with any standard inspections. A short-term radon test at least gives you a snapshot of the home's current air quality. When possible, get permission to run longer radon tests that take a month or more if the sale will take some time so you can install a mitigation system before moving in if necessary. Ask these questions about radon before moving into a new home.
How to test for radon
Testing your own home for radon doesn't require any special training or knowledge. All you need to do after ordering is follow the provided instructions and then mail them for analysis after a certain number of days. You'll know if you're under the 34 pCi/L safety limit within a few days of sending off your samples for lab analysis.
Radon is estimated to 4cause over 20,000 cases of lung cancer a year in the US, so it's always a good time to check on your indoor air quality. Finding out your home has a high radon level is easily fixed with a mitigation system, but you won't know there's a need for any equipment unless you test for radon.
- Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Mar. 2018, www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/hmbuygud.pdf.
- A Citizen’s Guide to Radon The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon. United States Environmental Protection Agency , Dec. 2016, www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-12/documents/2016_a_citizens_guide_to_radon.pdf.
- “Protect Yourself and Your Family from Radon.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Jan. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/radon/index.html
- “Radon and Cancer.” National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/radon/radon-fact-sheet
Short Term Radon Test Kit
10-90 Radon Test Kit
The Rapidos is a short-term radon test that will monitor between 10 to 90 days. This extremely accurate test will take into account all of the daily fluctuations in radon and provide an average concentration.
Long Term Radon Test Kit
90-365 Radon Test Kit
The Radtrak³ is a long-term test that will monitor between 90 days and 1 full year. This extremely accurate test will take into account all of the daily fluctuations in radon levels.