I recently did a home radon test for the first time since I bought my house. If you’re a homeowner, and bought an older home with a basement, you may have had it tested for radon as part of your home inspection. If you didn’t and you live in an area with high radon levels, it is recommended. Here is what it took to do the test and my experience.
- Buy a home radon test kit that includes the lab analysis. I bought 2 kits from First Alert on Amazon. With my Prime membership they were about $11.00 each.
- Follow the directions and set it up in the basement. The First Alert kit was very clear on how to set it up, where to place it, and how long to do the test. I placed them on opposite sides of the basement.
- This kit I stated to leave it out for 2-4 days. I split the difference and went with 3-days.
- Don’t move it during the testing period. Don’t open windows in the basement during testing to allow in fresh air. You can open doors and use the basement as you normally would.
- Complete the paperwork, seal up the radon kit, and ship it out.
- The First Alert kit stated that 1 in 20 kits shipped by regular First Class mail don’t make it to the lab in time. I shipped my via UPS.
- Wait for the results to show up in your inbox. I got an email from the lab with the results after 9 days of shipping them.
The only way to find out the radon levels in your house is to do sample the air. The EPA recommends taking action to lower radon levels if your house, or facility, if the air measures above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). For more information about radon, the EPA is a good starting point. Check out their, A Citizens Guide to Radon.
The results in my basement, thankfully, were 1.2 and 1.4 pCi/L. This is the average indoor radon level and is safely below EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L. I’m happy to know I don’t have high levels in my home. I’ll probably do another home radon test in a few years. It’s easy, inexpensive, and good knowledge to have about my home.
Here is the EPA’s map of Radon Zones. The darker the red, the higher the potential for radon.