Is My Radon Detection System Working?

Updated April 24, 2019

Is My Radon Detection System Working?

Your home is your refuge when the outside world has been cruel and unforgiving. It is your place of solitude where you can rest peacefully and be with your family. Of course, you would do anything to keep your home a safe haven, and you will fight whoever will try to break in. You install double, and even triple locks to your doors, and you have a security system installed to keep burglars and bad people out. You turn on bright lights surrounding your house to discourage thieves from entering, and you may even have a firearm hidden in your drawer. You may think you have everything figured out as for the security of your family, but you one you have missed is the potential risk to your family’s health by a silent enemy called radon.

What is radon?

Radon is a health hazard that you must avoid in order keep your family safe and healthy.  It is a radioactive gas that you can never detect with your senses because it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Radon is known to be the primary source of lung cancer, for those people who are not even smokers. Because radon cannot be detected on your own, you need to use devices in order to find out if your family is in danger of inhaling this harmful gas.

Radon testing

Radon testing can be done in two processes. One is the short-term detection test, and the other is the long-term detection test. There are so many radon detector devices in the market today, and so it is imperative that you choose the best brand that is highly recommended by homeowners and radon experts. Don’t choose a radon detector that is quite cheap, but invest in a reasonably priced device in order to know that your radon detection test is successfully and efficiently done. Make it a point to ask for the opinions of people in the radon prevention industry, and choose to purchase a radon detector that is the best. Never settle for anything less, especially when you are testing your home for radon so your family can be safe from this gas.

Utilizing short-term and long-term radon detection devices

To properly use the radon detection devices, choose a room in your house that is less likely to be used. Choose a room that is only occupied around 8 to 15 hours a week, and leave the radon detection device inside for the duration of the instruction provided. It is better if this particular room has specific structures that are typically the channel where radon enters. These structures include cracks in solid floors, construction joint, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and water supply. Leaving the radon detection device in these areas, especially the long-term radon detector is the best method of really knowing the accurate radon level in your home.

Short-term detection

Short-tern radon detection is preferred if you are in a hurry to get the result. If cannot wait for months to a year to know if your family is being slowly poisoned by this gas, you can opt for a short-term radon detection first, then follow-up another short-term detection after you have submitted the first test to the radon laboratory for the result. Or, your second radon testing can be the long-term radon detection to ensure that you will know the full extent of the gas existence in your home.

It will take 2 days to 3 months before you can receive the answer regarding the level of radon in your home for the short-term radon testing. This process is done by using a short-term radon detector that utilizes charcoal to absorb the radon gas, and after a few hours or day, you need to seal the detector and send it to the lab for the evaluation.

The short-term kits typically cost $10-$30 per kit, but these kits are unreliable, but work enough to know that there is indeed a high or low level of radon in your home. And then you can take the nest steep of either conducting another test, or install a radon mitigating system in your home to reduce or eliminate radon entirely from your home.

Long-term detection

The long-term radon detection device uses containers that contain small sheets that are made with materials from plastic in order to efficiently detect radon radiation in your home. It works by trapping the alpha particles from the gas on the plastic sheets, and these sheets are used for the lab evaluation. Depending on the kind of product you purchased, the process for detection may take 3 months to a year. This long-term process is definitely the most ideal method of knowing if your home has high levels of radon or not, but you just need to be very patient because this way is quite long.

Digitalized radon testing

Due to the innovation of technology, radon testing now has a digitalized method where one radon detection device is used for both short-term and long-term radon detection. This method is quite convenient and easy for you, though there are still those who argue that the old school methods work best. This new digitized radon detection test offers flexibility, consistency, longer lifespan, high accuracy, quick response time, continuous testing, and can both be used for short-term and long-term. However, the downside for this new technology is the price, since this digitalized radon detection device is definitely costly.

But if you think about it, the expensive new detector offers more compared to the short-term radon detector that is only good because it is low cost, easy to use, and faster results than long-term radon detector, while the long-term radon detector is beneficial only because it has a relatively low cost, measures average levels, and slight more accurate than short-term radon detector. But both the short and long-term radon detectors are for one time use only, compared to the digitalized radon detector that offers continuous service.