When it comes to radon testing, there are many radon test devices available to homeowners. It can be overwhelming trying to decide what’s best for you. We’re here to help you figure it out. Below, we discuss popular short-term radon test devices and compare radon test results across six devices. You can also check out the video.
Professional Radon Test with a Continuous Radon Monitor
Your first option is to have a measurement professional conduct a radon test using a continuous radon monitor, or CRM. CRMs are digital devices that go through calibration to ensure accurate readings. Professional tests are more expensive than other options, but they take the guesswork out of testing. A professional will determine what areas of your home to test and can answer any questions about test conditions. If you are testing as part of a real estate transaction, you may need to get a professional test.
DIY Charcoal Test Kit
If your home is not a part of a real estate transaction, you might opt for a DIY test. However, we recommend using an EPA-approved charcoal test such as the Air Chek short-term test kit for mitigation decisions. Charcoal tests are inexpensive and easy to set up. You expose the test to air for a few days, then mail it to a lab where they calculate your results. Long-term charcoal tests are also available to test what your radon average is throughout the year.
Consumer Digital Monitor
If you want to monitor your radon levels over time and don’t want to wait for results with a long-term test kit, you may want to consider a consumer-grade digital radon monitor. However, we do not recommend using a consumer monitor alone to make mitigation decisions. Because they are digital, consumer monitors are more prone to defects than charcoal test kits and do not go through the calibration process that professional monitors go through. However, consumer monitors are a great tool to see how radon levels fluctuate in real time.
One of the biggest concerns people have about radon tests is their accuracy. To see how different monitors perform, we decided to conduct a test of our own. We set up seven monitors about four inches apart for four days. We used two different professional monitors, three different consumer monitors, and two short-term test kits. Below are the results.
RadonEye Pro: 0.64 pCi/L
Airthings Pro: 0.6 pCi/L
Airthings Home: 0.86 pCi/L
EcoQube: 0.9 pCi/L
EcoTracker: 0.77 pCi/L
Air Chek Test Kits
Test 1: 0.5 ± 0.3 pCi/L
Test 2: <0.3 ± 0.3 pCi/L
Assuming the professional monitors are the most accurate at about 0.6 pCi/L, the consumer monitors skewed slightly higher but only by a few tenths of a picocurie. The Air Cheks were slightly lower, but again, results were within a few tenths of a picocurie from the CRMs. A small margin of error is normal, and it is harder to measure lower radon levels. Nevertheless, these results were within acceptable ranges, making all of these devices great tools for monitoring your radon levels.
If you’re interested in purchasing a charcoal test kit or digital monitor, visit our Radon Shop.
Contact us to schedule a professional test or an estimate for radon mitigation.