Is Radon on Your Radar? Find Out How to Test Your Home for Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring invisible gas that can cause lung cancer. A lot of people think radon is only a problem in older, single-family homes, but radon can affect everything from small houses to public housing projects. Learn how to test levels, monitor and reduce indoor radon.


Kitty Gifford

Jan 26, 2023 • Updated Feb 1, 2023 • 4 min read
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Radon is a naturally occurring invisible gas that can cause lung cancer. A lot of people think radon is only a problem in older, single-family homes. In fact, radon can affect everything from small houses to public housing projects. Learn how to test levels, monitor and reduce indoor radon.

Here are highly-rated products for both single-use testing and long-term monitoring in your home:

Single-use Testing

  • First Alert Radon Test Kit
  • Health Metric Radon Test Kit

Single-Use Long-Term Tests

  • RSSI Long-Term Alpha Track Radon Detector Kit
  • Long-Term (AT) Radon Test Kit
  • PRO-LAB Long-Term Radon Test Kit
  • Radonova Radtrak³

Long-term Monitoring

  • Radon Eye RD200
  • AirThings Corentium Home
  • AirThings Wave Radon

Overview#

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that can get trapped in your home. Radon gas comes from the soil, rocks and water under your home. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and is responsible for 21,000 deaths a year, according to government data. EPA estimates that nearly one in 15 U.S. homes have elevated radon levels (4 pCi/L or more). Check your county’s average indoor radon levels here.

In some homes, radon levels are high enough to increase lung cancer risk for their occupants over their lifetimes. The lungs become contaminated with radon decay products after an individual breathes them in. Radon exposure is thought to increase linearly with increasing radon concentration, so the higher the average radon level in a house and the longer the exposure period, the greater the risk.

How to test your home for radon, when should you test or how often to retest for radon?#
  • If your living patterns change and you start to use a lower level in your home more frequently.
  • If you are buying or selling a home.
  • If you are making changes to your home: Test before and after making changes such as replacing windows, adding insulation, or changing your home heating and cooling system.
  • If you add a radon mitigation system, retest to make sure it is working properly.
  • If a natural event such as a flood or earthquake disturbs soils or bedrock beneath your home.
  • If you are a smoker, be particularly alert to the potential for radon as the combination can be deadly.

Day-to-day and season-to-season radon levels can vary. Wet weather, for instance, tends to make radon worse. Getting a comprehensive understanding of your exposure will require more than one test. Repeated testing is essential if the AreaHub radon score indicates you live in an area with higher risk. According to a study of 12,000 residential buildings in North America, it is increasing everywhere.

Note that winter readings are typically higher than those taken in summer. This is because a house is more likely to accumulate radon during winter due to the greater differential between outdoor and indoor pressure. Additionally, your home may be less ventilated in the winter. EPA recommends testing in the winter.

When should I fix (mitigate) my home?#

According to the EPA you should take steps to mitigate radon in your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. Since no level of exposure is risk-free, the EPA recommends that people take action at 2 pCi/L or higher.

Who can test my home for radon?#

You can test your home yourself by purchasing a radon monitoring kit or device, which is likely sufficient for most people. However, the most accurate way to measure radon is through a professional radon service. The EPA requires all state recipients of indoor radon grants to maintain and provide the public with a list of only those radon service providers who are credentialed either through:

  • A state's regulatory requirements for credentialing radon service providers (e.g., state license). Please check the EPA website to find your state radon contact and detailed information.
  • Or, hiring a professional certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
What are the different types of radon monitors?#

Since the cost of professional services can be a factor, we have selected two types of consumer products to highlight: single-use radon test kits and long-term electronic residential radon monitors.

How We Chose#

To help you select the best product to check your home, work, or other spaces for dangerous radon gas we chose the following highly rated products based on important consumer concerns about accuracy, usability, and ease of installation. These products have 4+ star reviews on Amazon, and where indicated also include top-performing ratings from housefresh, safewise, and bobvila.

Pricing Guide

  • $ under $35
  • $$ $36-60
  • $$$ over $120

The 9 Highly Rated Home Radon Test Kits and Monitors#

Single-Use Short-Term Tests#

This test monitors your radon levels for 2-7 days and is the most common type of test. If a single short-term test reveals levels of 4 pCi/L or more, conduct the test again and average the results for a more accurate estimate of radon levels. For this reason, short-term kits provide a good indicator of whether additional testing is warranted.

First Alert Radon Test Kit

  • Price: $
  • Testing period: 2-4 days
  • Also recommended by: safewise, bobvilla [keep links for internal purposes, don’t link on site]
  • Results: Mail to NRPP-certified lab for results within 3-5 days
Test Kits
Check Pricing
First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit

Health Metric Radon Test Kit

  • Price: $
  • Testing period: 2 days
  • Results: Mail to NRPP-certified US lab for results within 3-5 days

Single-Use Long-Term Tests #

A long-term test of 3-12 months is more likely to tell your average exposure over time, which is important since radon levels fluctuate daily and by season. The US EPA defines long term as 91 days or longer.

RSSI Long-Term Alpha Track Radon Detector Kit

  • Price: $

  • Testing period: One month to a year

  • RSSI is NRPP and C-NRPP certified and state licensed

    • Also recognized by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  • Results: Available by email or mail, and also available online

Detectors


Long-Term (AT) Radon Test Kit

  • Price: $

  • Cited on their website: “Rated #1 by a leading National Consumer Advocacy Group. The U.S. EPA has verified this product for accurate radon measurement”

  • Testing period: 3 months to 1 year

  • Results: Available online within 4 weeks after the lab receives your kit

PRO-LAB Long-Term Radon Test Kit

  • Price:

  • Testing period: 3 months to 1 year

  • Results: Available within two weeks after mailing in test by mail and also by phone app

Radonova Radtrak³ 

  • Price: $$

  • Testing period: 90-365 days

  • Results: Mail to NRPP-certified lab for results within 3-5 days via email


Long-term Monitoring Devices#

These radon monitors electronically check radon levels on a continuous, daily or weekly basis. 

AirThings Corentium Home

  • Price: $$$

  • Rated Top-performing by: housefresh, safewise, bobvilla

  • Results: Real-time radon display on unit, no phone app

EcoSense Radon Eye RD200

  • Price: $$$

  • Rated Top-performing by: housefresh, safewise, bobvilla

  • Results: Real-time radon display and view results via Bluetooth-connected smartphone

Wave Radon

  • Price: $$$

  • Rated Top-performing by: housefresh, safewise, bobvilla

  • Results: Real-time via phone app, color changes on unit

What Else Can You Do About Radon?#

Learn more about radon and visit our in-depth radon article to learn about what you can doEPA generally recommends these two methods that prevent the entry of radon and/or remove it:

  • Create barriers to entry by sealing cracks and gaps or openings in the basement or below the slab of the home or building.

  • Remove radon once it is inside by installing active ventilation or water filters.

Contact a qualified radon mitigation contractor to lower your home's radon levels. While some techniques prevent radon from entering your home, others reduce its levels once it has entered. 

Disclaimer: These products are not endorsed by AreaHub. AreaHub will not be liable for using the product if you purchase it.  If you buy something through any of these links, AreaHub will be compensated by the seller or the product platform.

Find information for climate, natural, and environmental hazards in the United States with AreaHub in seconds. With a free AreaHub report, access data about 18 potential dangers in your zipcode, like wildfires, extreme weather, hurricanes, and radon. With a Premium AreaHub report, access 27 potential dangers near your home, like heatwaves, solid waste landfills, and facilities in the toxics release inventory and more, and monitor your area for severe weather alerts and pollution incidents.

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