Which radon test kits are best?
Radon gas, like carbon monoxide, is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is frequently found in homes and can cause life-threatening health conditions like cancer. It’s created when radioactive materials present in the soil and building materials break down. The good news is that radon test kits are very affordable and easy to use. The best radon test kit is the AccuStar Radon Test Kit. This kit is easy to use, accurate and includes quick-arriving results.
What to know before you buy a radon test kit
Short-term vs. long-term test kits
Radon test kits come in one of two varieties: short-term and long-term. Each has its benefits.
Short-term: The main benefit of short-term kits is their quick turnaround between starting the test and getting your results. Some radon test kits only need 24 hours of exposure before they need to be sent to a lab while others need up to one week.
Long-term: Long-term radon test kits can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to process. The trade-off is a much more accurate reading. If you use a short-term test and it comes back with any amount of radon, it can be wise to follow it up with a long-term kit.
Whether you use a short- or long-term radon test kit, the time it takes for a lab to process and send you your results is mostly unaffected. The average time among most radon test kits is roughly three days, but the time frame varies by kit.
What to look for in a quality radon test kit
Number of kits
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), properly testing your home for radon requires you to use two separate tests back-to-back to obtain an averaged result. Knowing this, a handful of radon test kits include two separate tests in a package but most come in individual packages so you’ll need to buy a second. It’s up to you if you want to use two of the same radon test kits or if you want to use two different radon test kits.
There are two areas of concern for ease-of-use with radon test kits: setup and extra fees.
Setup: Most radon test kits should be easy to set up; they simply need to be opened and placed in a suitable location. A good radon test kit should include easy to understand instructions to ensure this process is easy.
Extra fees: The real ease-of-use radon test kits include return envelopes with postage that has already been paid for as well as covered lab testing fees, otherwise you’ll incur an extra cost. Make sure you check the product listing and user reviews to ensure that a particular radon test kit has no extra fees.
How much you can expect to spend on a radon test kit
Most radon test kits tend to cost within the same narrow range of pricing, typically between $10-$20, though long-term kits might cost more. Also bear in mind that certain states have additional fees for radon test kits.
Radon test kit FAQ
How often do I need to test my home for radon?
There are two time frames to consider when testing your home for radon. The first is the EPA’s recommendation that you use two tests, one right after the other, to generate an average reading. The second is the EPA’s recommendation to test your home at least once every other year, though once a year is preferred if your tests come back with any amount of radon.
Where should I place the radon test kit in my home?
The EPA recommends that all radon testing be performed in the lowest possible level of your home. This means the basement if you have one or the first floor. The EPA also suggests that, should there be a history of radon or a test comes back with any amount of radon for the first time, you should test each level of your home from the second floor down.
What should I do if my radon test kit detects radon?
If your kit comes back positive for any amount of radon you should look for and hire a radon mitigation contractor immediately. If the results are low you shouldn’t need to vacate your home but if they’re high then you might need to consider staying somewhere else while the radon mitigation contractor does their job.
What’s the best radon test kit to buy?
Top radon test kit
What you need to know: This is one of the easiest radon test kits to use with one of the quickest available results.
What you’ll love: The shipping and lab testing fees are included in the package and are fast enough that results can be available as soon as three days after just shipping the test; user reviews also frequently cite the high quality of this brand’s customer service reps if there are any issues or delays.
What you should consider: The results can be a little finicky if the temperature of the room it tests is too far above or below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top radon test kit for the money
What you need to know: This test is an excellent option for those who want to save a little money.
What you’ll love: Though the cost is cheap, this kit includes everything you need to properly test your home for radon including all lab testing and shipping fees, plus your results are emailed from the lab within three days of receiving the radon test kit.
What you should consider: Extra costs sneak into this kit’s package, as you’ll need to pay a return shipping fee.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you’d prefer a long-term kit, then this AirChek is a great option.
What you’ll love: Instructions are included and the kit is easy enough to place out of the way that you can quickly forget about it, plus all shipping and lab fees are part of the package so there’s no hidden fees.
What you should consider: Environmental effects like high levels of moisture can alter the accuracy of this kit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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