Radon levels in a home can fluctuate significantly over time, and are dependant not only on the location within the home, but also on the season. Highest levels of radon are typically found on the lowest levels, such as the basements, and during coldest months, that’s why a long term measurement period will give you a much better indication of your radon exposure.
A typical radon detector should be placed in the lowest lived-in area of your home, where it will not be disturbed, and should be at least 8 inches (20cm) below the ceiling, and 20 inches (50cm) above the floor.
It should not be placed in a tight, or enclosed area such as a closet, or bathrooms close to an outside wall, floor drain, or sump; near vents, windows, doors, or sources of heat, such as stoves, fireplaces, or direct sunlight.
There are several types of Radon Detectors/Test kits available on the market.
Charcoal radon detector is typically used for short term radon testing. They come in many forms and size, but often consist of a container filled with charcoal, covered with a filter. It is left exposed to air for a period of 2 t o 7 days, depending on the test kit, after which it is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
These detectors are used for a long term radon test, and are considered to be a better indicator of the actual radon exposure. Passive Alpha track detectors are exposed to the air in your home for 3 months to a year. Just like the charcoal detector, they also have to be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The Safety Siren Pro 3 is really the only EPA approved radon detector that I am aware of that you can use for your home on a continuous base, that will give you a result without the hassle of having to send your results into a lab, and that is relatively affordable.
The Safety Siren Pro 3 is not something you would find in a store, and I had to get one online from the States. If you live in the US, I’d recommend getting them from Radon Zone as they give you a good price and free shipping. If you live in Canada, I find it cheaper to get it from the States anyway, specially with the current exchange rate, and a good store is National Safety Products. You can also find it on Amazon for about the same price … see below.
The Safety Siren Pro 3 gives you both a short term readout (averages the last 7 days), and a long term, cumulative average readout from the time it was first plugged in. There is also an alarm(which can be turned off) when the long –term measurement reaches 4.0 pci/L, and a reset option, in case you want to move it to a new location.
If you are unsure whether or not you need this type of a detector, I would recommend getting 1 or 2 short term radon kits (they are pretty cheap), and if your results indicate that you have a radon problem, then I’d strongly suggest getting the Safety Siren Pro 3. I think it’ll save you money and time in the long run, as it is a good idea to test more areas of your home. Also, if you do decide to go ahead with some of the radon mitigation techniques, you can monitor their effectiveness without much hassle.
RADON Water Test Kits
Radon is water soluble, meaning it can and does dissolve in groundwater, and is released into your home through activities such as bathing and showering. If you suspect your water to be contaminated by radon, such as water from a well, you can purchase a radon water test kit.
If you’d like more information on the above radon test kits and radon detectors, or are interested in purchasing one, you can check out some of the suppliers below:
Radon Zone – They deal strictly with EPA approved radon testing kits and radon detectors, such as the Safety Siren Pro 3. These guys are offering free shipping, and good prices, quantity discounts, and pleasant customer service. Unfortunately they only ship to the States (sorry Canadian customers). Their kit prices include the Laboratory analysis fees, and a pre-paid return mailer is included.
National Safety Products – These guys don’t offer free shipping but they do ship to Canada, and have a large selection of radon products, ranging from radon test kits to radon fans, and other radon mitigation accessories. They also offer discounts if you plan on purchasing more than one item, and their test kits also include the Laboratory analysis fees in their price.