Best Radon Detector Reviews in 2018

Radon can be a menace to your health, and in many areas it’s a good idea to make sure that you know how to test for levels in the home. If you’re looking into getting a radon detector in order to ensure that your home is safe from this nefarious gas then you know it can be hard to make an informed choice for your home.

We’ll show you how to pick out the best radon detector for your home and help you ensure that your family stays safe.

Victoria, Homethods Author
Victoria

Best Overall !

This is a great investment for the home, particularly in areas where radon concentrations are naturally high. If you can afford it, you’ll be pleased with it’s performance.


NameType 
First Alert RD1
(EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Short Term Test
Safety Siren Pro Series3Electronic
Accustar Alpha Track Test KitLong Term Test
AccuStar CharcoalShort Term Test
Corentium Home by AirthingsElectronic

 

First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit

First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit

This is an accurate, basic short term test kit that most people will find gives them some level of peace of mind.

Included in the price is the lab fee, but you will have to pay postage when you send your kit into the lab. It’s a fairly small fee, requiring five first class stamps. You can also pay an additional $10 to rush your results, but most people won’t find this necessary.

One additional thing to keep in mind is that the test kit has to reach the lab within ten days in order for you to receive your results. This means that you may want to pay for priority mailing.

Most people found it to be with 5-10% of a professional’s readings, which makes it ideal for those who want to conduct a preliminary test before they have a professional take a look around.

As a basic, easy to use kit this one is recommended. It’ll give you a quick reading of the radon levels in your home over a couple of days.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Accurate
Cons
  • Have to pay shipping

Safety Siren Pro Series3 Radon Gas Detector

Safety Siren Pro Series3

This is a wall mounted electronic unit which most people find quite easy to use. It’s especially recommended for those who want to keep track of fluctuations throughout the year when they’re trying to decide whether it’s time to get a mitigation system installed.

It will take readings once every 24 hours, so keep that in mind since it’s not a real-time detection system. It also raises an alarm every hour if the level rises above 4.0, which is the cut-off point for safe levels. Since it will take some time to correct the problem, this can be somewhat irritating.

It is highly accurate, most people finding it to be comparable to lab tests. Make sure you consult a professional before you invest in a mitigation system, however, but this alarm can give you a good heads up.

For year round protection in a simple to use format without bothering with sending tests into the lab, this is a great detector to invest in.

Pros
  • Accurate readings year round
  • Easy to install and use
Cons
  • Alarm beeps on the hour at high levels of detection

Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit AT 100

Two-Pack- Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit

The Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit is a long term detection kit which is meant to be used for three months to a year and can give you a better overall picture of the levels of radon found in your home.

Unlike short term tests, these aren’t quite as time sensitive when it comes down to it but they are great for giving the bigger picture. This is important if you live in an area where radon is a frequent issue, considering the varying levels around the year.

The lab which handles the test kit is professional and usually quite quick to give you the results as well.

They’re easy to use, just remove them from the packaging and lay them out. Send them in when the time is up and you’ll know pretty quickly whether to call in a professional for testing.

For a high-quality, long term test this kit is fantastic.

Pros
  • Simple to use
  • Comes with two kits
Cons
  • Only comes with one form for the tests

Radon Gas Test Kit AccuStar Charcoal Short Term

Radon Gas Test Kit AccuStar

Similar to pretty much any other short term test kit and a little bit more expensive it can be easy to pass these up if you don’t look into them well before hand.

The value here comes in a high-quality construction of the kit and the included return shipping, so you won’t be pressed to buy stamps when the time is up.

This kit provides a snapshot over the course of a couple of days. Like other short term tests, it’s time sensitive so leave a reminder on your calendar to take care of things when you’re done.

This is an accurate, low-hassle kit and the price difference is made up for with included shipping and a high-quality tin that the test is contained in.

Pros
  • Accurate picture for short term use
  • Return shipping included
Cons
  • A little bit expensive

Corentium Home Radon Detector

Corentium Home by Airthings

While expensive, the Corentium Home Radon Detector is a highly accurate, easy to use electronic device which will give you an accurate picture of both short and long term radon concentrations within your home.

It has a long battery life as well, which is crucial since you’ll need to keep it on to receive accurate readings. You can get the averages for a single day, seven days, or over the course of a full year with this detector.

Unlike most electronic detectors you also don’t have to wait a couple of days to begin receiving your readings.

Pros
  • Accurate readings with multiple averages
  • Begins giving readings immediately
Cons
  • Expensive

What is Radon?

Radon is a nearly undetectable noble gas. This means that while it’s unreactive with almost everything out there, it still poses a danger to humans due to its radioactivity.

While the gas itself has a short half-life, roughly 3.8 days or so, it is continuously generated through the radioactive decay process. It generates from radium decay, which is in turn generated by the decay of both uranium and thorium. This means that most of the material will come from trace amounts of these elements in the soil.

Since radon is one of the densest gasses, it has a tendency to pool in the lower levels of a home. This means that places such as basements are at the most risk for developing a high enough concentration of the gas to be potentially damaging.

The health risks of radon primarily come in the form of long term exposure to the gas increasing the risk for lung cancer. Radon is also the primary source of the radiation that most of us will be exposed to over a lifetime, making up for a significant portion of background radiation.

If you find out that your home is higher than the “actionable” levels of radon, then you may want to take mitigation measures but either way it’s a good thing to check for in order to increase your piece of mind.

While it can’t be eliminated from the home entirely due to its ubiquitous nature, measures can be taken to make sure that the radon in your home is not in a dangerous range. This is where radon detectors come in.

Best radon detectors must be accurate

What to Look for in a Radon Detector

Since there are so many different products on the market which can detect radon it’s important to make sure that you go with something good. If you’re not familiar with the products, and most people aren’t, it can be a bit confusing.

If you’re looking to check the levels of gas in your home, then you’ll need to decide on a kit and make sure it’s accurate as well.

Type of Detector

Radon detectors come in three main varieties.

Short term detection kits require a few days in order to give you a rough idea of the radon levels in your home at the current time. These are usually the first place people will go since they’re fairly cheap and you’ll have results within a few days.

Long term detection kits are made to measure the levels of radon in the home year round. This will let you know if the levels spike during different weather, temperatures, or seasons. Due to the nature of the gas it’s only natural that it will vary through the year and this can help you determine if you really do need to go with a long term solution.

Both of these varieties will require lab verification in almost all cases, so you’ll need to send them in after they’ve been used. Make sure that you don’t forget they’re there, many of these tests are only good for a limited amount of time after they’ve been placed.

Electronic radon detectors come in the form of a specialized tool which will allow you to get a quick reading of the ambient levels at the time you’re using them. They can be used for either short or long term use and you’ll find them to be the most versatile.

Accuracy

While it’s not an immediate risk to your health, you do want to make sure that you have a kit which is accurate. In this case long term radon detection kits tend to be the most accurate. Short term kits have a tendency to underreport the amount of gas.

User error will factor in as well, so make sure that you follow the instructions that come with your kit to the letter.

Top 5 radon detectors

How to Properly Use a Radon Detector

When you use your radon detector you’ll want to use it in the lowest area of the house. As stated above, radon is amazingly dense which means it will often sink to the floor in most places.

The placement of your kit matters quite a bit as well, most of them are recommended to be placed between 20 and 72 inches from the floor.

In a home with a basement, you’ll naturally want to head downstairs for your detection while a crawlspace will be best detected in the room directly over it. If you have a standard foundation, nearly any room will do as long as you follow some extra guidelines.

If you have multiple foundation types it may be a good idea to order more than one kit or invest in an electronic detector.

Once you’ve found the lowest area in the home, then you’ll also have some additional restrictions on where to place your kit. The main thing you want to avoid is humidity, so bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

You also want to avoid exposing the detector to any more heat than is strictly necessary since it can damage things and result in a botched reading.

Before placing, for most detection kits, you’ll also need to make sure that all doors and windows into the room are closed for at least twelve hours and for the duration of the test it’s important that you don’t expose the area to any extra wind flow above and beyond normal entry and exits.

Most detectors will come with instructions that will put you on the right path, but if you misplace the booklet or pamphlet then the above measures should be enough to guide you to an accurate reading as long as your detector is up to snuff.

Most detectors will include a lab fee and a couple of envelopes as well, allowing you to pay the fee just once and get the lab verified results within ten days or so of the kit arriving at the lab.

Conclusion

Fortunately, much of the risk that radon poses can be mitigated. To detect the gas, however, you’ll first need to know what the levels are in your home. We hope we’ve been able to guide you to a great detector that will serve your needs, and help you relax about the levels of radioactive gas potentially in your home.

References

  1. http://www.radon.com/instructions/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/
  4. http://takeactiononradon.illinois.edu/about_radon






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