In the US, at least 21 000 recorded cases of deaths per year are attributed to radon gas. There are tell-tale signs that can possibly point to the presence of radon in a location e.g. your home. Some of them are difficulties breathing, coughs, chest pains or swallowing problems. Thus it is very important to have a radon detector for your home. A radon detector can also be referred to as a radon test kit. This is a buying guide and review of the best radon detectors for your home.
Go through this radon detector buying guide, and select the best radon detector that suits your requirements and preferences. After reading this guide, you will know the best radon detectors of 2020, and the cheapest radon detectors.
Alternatively, just skip to the best radon detector on Amazon.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Radon Detectors Comparison Chart
- 2 Reviews of The Best Radon Detectors
- 2.1 1. Corentium Home Radon Detector
- 2.2 2. Safety Siren Pro Series Radon Gas Detector
- 2.3 3. Radon Eye RD200 Ecosense Radon Detector
- 2.4 4. Long Term Alpha Track Radon Detector Kit
- 2.5 5. First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit
- 2.6 6. Airthings Wave 1st Generation Smart Radon Detector
- 2.7 7. Kidde Radon Gas Detection Test Kit
- 3 The Cheapest Radon Detectors
- 4 Fastest Radon Detector
- 5 Overall Best Radon Detector of 2020
- 6 Best Radon Detectors Brands
- 7 What is Radon
- 8 Where Does Radon Gas Come From?
- 9 Why You Need A Radon Detector
- 10 Uses Of A Radon Detector
- 11 How Radon Detectors Work
- 12 The Different Types of Radon Detectors
- 13 Prices Of Radon Detectors
- 14 What To Consider When Buying Radon Detectors
- 15 How To Install A Radon Detector
- 16 What To Do After Detecting High Levels Of Radon
Best Radon Detectors Comparison Chart
|Best Radon Detector||Fastest Radon Detector||Best Radon Detector with Alarm||Cheapest Radon Gas Test Kit|
|Corentium Home Radon Detector||Radon Eye RD200 Ecosense Radon Detector||Safety Siren Pro Series Radon Gas Detector||First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit|
|Airthings Wave 1st Generation Smart Radon Detector||Long Term Alpha Track Radon Detector Kit||Kidde Radon Gas Detection Test Kit|
Reviews of The Best Radon Detectors
1. Corentium Home Radon Detector
This radon gas detector is made by the brand called Airthings. This is famed for being the first ever digital radon detector that runs on batteries. It runs on 3 standard AAA batteries – included when it comes. You can easily get to monitor your house without the need for an outlet. This radon gas detector is for the long haul i.e. long term monitoring. This is a great attribute because radon levels are known to fluctuate over and time and as such it becomes necessary to monitor them over time.
It’s easily one of the best radon gas detectors on the market. This radon detector makes it easy to generate a radon report by yourself. You can get to know your home’s radon levels within just a day at no additional cost – something you would not enjoy with passive types of radon detectors. There is display so you can see long term or short term results with ease. If you want to monitor a different room or space you can just reset the detector. Batteries last as long as 2 years. The detector weighs 3.52 ounces and measures 5.9 by 1.6 by 4 inches in size. It’s one of the most accurate radon detectors.
We are rating this home radon detector 4.6 out of 5. It’s the best home radon detector you can get. It is quite accurate, easy to use and also easy to install; it is portable too. Given that this is an active type of radon detector it makes it sought after. Continuous monitoring of radon levels is most advisable and this detector delivers that convenience. This is the best radon detector for 2020.
2. Safety Siren Pro Series Radon Gas Detector
This radon gas detector is a product of the Pro Series brand. This is for continuous radon gas monitoring and has a built-in alarm. The alarm sounds in the event that harmful radon levels are detected. The detector has an easily readable digital display which shows both short term and long term readings for radon levels in your home. It gives you your first radon reading after 2 days of radon gas sampling. The short term readings are 7 day long radon level averages and long term readings are averages for periods up to 5 years. There is a failsafe self-test every 24 hours where an error code is displayed if the test fails. The detector weighs 11 ounces and measures 8.5 by 3.4 by 2.4 inches in size. 3 AAA batteries are required for its operation. It’s one of the best home radon detectors.
We give this one a 4.1 out of 5 rating. It is accurate, easy to use and also easy to install. This again is a good pick with most users because it delivers continuous radon monitoring. The other attribute that makes this a great pick is that it is reasonably priced. The giving of averages readings for the short or long term are also very convenient features. This is the best radon detector with alarm.
3. Radon Eye RD200 Ecosense Radon Detector
This is a product of Radon Eye and is famed for being the fastest and most reliable radon detector for your home. It comes with a free app, has Bluetooth and delivers real-time radon gas monitoring. The reason why it is labelled as the fastest radon detector is because it displays its first reading in just 10 minutes. It also provides reliable results within one hour for general consumer use. This is the industry’s first radon consumer device counting 30 times of radon level per hour (30 cph/pCi/L). The real time monitoring comes in form of radon level updates every 10 minutes.
The technology this radon gas detector works on is patented and that speaks a lot about its efficacy. There is an alarm that sounds when the radon levels detected exceed the recommended levels i.e. 4pCi/L. This is a plug in and use type of radon detector. The display is sleek and has the Bluetooth indicator, vibration indicator, radon concentration value and LED indicator. This detector is said to be 20 times more sensitive than other players in the industry. It weighs 8.5 ounces and measures 3.1 by 3.1 by 4.7 inches in size. It runs using a DC power source – it does not run on batteries.
This radon detector is getting a 4.1 out of 5 rating from us. Three of some of its outstanding features are accuracy, ease of use and value for money. The fact that you can download radon levels data through the phone app makes this radon detector conveniently unique. The fast response is also a standout feature of this detector. Though this radon detector comes with so many great features you must take note of one key operational issue. It is important to know that the detector must be placed in a place that falls within a temperature range of 10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius. This is the fastest radon detector on the market.
4. Long Term Alpha Track Radon Detector Kit
This a radon gas detector made by RSSI. It provides test periods spanning from 8 days to a full year. Given that a long term radon detector is anything delivering test periods of at least 90 days this makes it a long term detector. This is among the best radon gas test kits on the market. This radon detector weighs 2.2 pounds and measures 2.9 by 2.9 by 2.4 inches in size. This is an alpha track type of detector.
We are giving this home radon detector a rating of 4.3 out of 5. It has a simple design and is very small – making very portable. The other great thing about this radon detector is that is very affordable. The fact that you can do short term tests or long term test makes it very ideal. It’s one of the best radon gas test kits.
5. First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit
Considered to provide the simplest and safest way to test for radon. It is even listed under the EPA radon gas measurement proficiency program which speaks to its potency. The use of this radon gas test kits entails sending samples to the lab for testing. The results can then be emailed back to you within 3 days. It is mainly recommended for use within the borders of the US. This is a charcoal-based radon test kit . It’s one of the best radon test kit you can get.
Using this radon detector only takes a few minutes. You just have to place radon sampler in the lower most parts of your home for roughly 2 to 4 days. Once you are done you then sent the test to the lab. It weighs just 4 ounces and measures 1.5 by 6.5 by 8.4 inches in size. Basically the radon test kit features a tray of a charcoal-like substance which is the one you place at the spot where you want to run the test. This radon detector can effectively test an area of around 2000 square feet.
We rate this radon gas test kit 4.0 out of 5. This is a simple radon test kit which makes it very easy to use. There is also high accuracy. Some people can purchase this radon gas test kit to act a supplementary test to other test kits or types of detectors for comparison of results. This is so because this test kit is very cheap. This is a short term radon detector that is passive – can only be used once. This means for you to effectively cover all the area you want to cover you will have to get several of these and do several tests. It’s among the best radon gas test kits on the market.
6. Airthings Wave 1st Generation Smart Radon Detector
This radon detector comes with a free app and runs on batteries. The reason why there is a ‘wave’ in the name is because you can wave in front of your device to get a visual indication of your air. It works using a color-coded system which gives an indication of the radon levels in the air. If the light ring glows green it means the air is healthy. If it glows yellow it means that is a warning sign and then red (when radon level exceeds 4 pCi/L) signifies dangerous air quality levels.
This is one of the best digital radon detector. It can deliver prompt results to your mobile phone with monitoring schedule measurements of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly readings. It runs on batteries (2 AA batteries) so there is no need to use electricity. The great thing about this radon detector is that it also has humidity sensors and temperature sensors. You can also get detailed analytics through the free app. It also has a smart home integration feature whereby you can create custom alerts. This radon detector weighs 7.7 ounces and measures 4.6 by 1.3 by 4.6 inches in size. It’s undoubtedly one of the best radon detector for your home.
We are giving this home radon detector a rating of 4.0 out of 5. The presence of an app, Bluetooth connectivity are some of the outstanding features. It’s one of the best radon gas detectors. It is quite to install and also easy to use. Running on batteries means there is no need for electricity and as such unavailability of power is not a factor. This radon detector gives a very comprehensive analysis of results of your readings. You can get graphic trends or summaries of radon levels in your air thus making it easy for you to figure out the best mitigatory approaches. It’s one of the best digital radon detector for your home.
7. Kidde Radon Gas Detection Test Kit
The radon gas test kit comes with an enclosed radon sampler bag. That bag is the one that is placed in the desired location for 2 to 3 days. Once that is done you then send the sampler bag to the lab for analysis. The radon test kit weighs just 3.2 ounces and measures 7 by 1 by 8 inches. There are no batteries or electricity required. This is one of the best radon gas test kit you can get for your home.
We are rating this home radon detector test kit 4.0 out of 5. It is accurate and easy to use. The kit normally comes with a set of instructions so it is easy to understand and use. It is ideal for those wishing to conduct short term radon tests. It’s among the best radon gas test kits on the market.
The Cheapest Radon Detectors
From our list of 7 radon detectors the cheapest one is the First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit.
Fastest Radon Detector
So which is the fastest radon detector from our list of 7? It is the Radon Eye RD200 Ecosense Radon Detector. The fact that this radon detector gives its first reading in just 10 minutes is remarkable. No wonder it is the fastest and most reliable radon detector in the industry. It is also the industry’s first radon consumer device counting 30 times of radon level per hour (30 cph/pCi/L). This is yet another feature of this radon detector that makes it stand out. There is also a free app and there is Bluetooth connectivity – this provides the much-needed continuous monitoring. Not forgetting that there is an alarm system that sounds when radon levels are unsafe. In terms of sensitivity, this radon detector stands out tall over other players. The price tag is also reasonable given that this is an active type of radon gas detector.
Overall Best Radon Detector of 2020
Our best pick from our list is the Corentium Home Radon Detector. This is the overall best radon gas detector of 2020. It’s a battery-operated, digital radon detector. This radon detector is for the long haul i.e. long term monitoring. This is a great attribute because radon levels are known to fluctuate over and time and as such it becomes necessary to monitor them over time. This radon detector makes it easy to generate a radon report by yourself. You can get to know your home’s radon levels within just a day at no additional cost – something you would not enjoy with passive types of radon detectors. There is display so you can see long term or short term results with ease. It is very accurate, easy to use and also easy to install; it is portable too.
Best Radon Detectors Brands
Some of the best radon detector brands are Airthings, Radon Eye, Accustar and Saftey Siren.
What is Radon
In case you have never heard of radon then this will be a very useful article for you. Radon is a radioactive gas and is usually found in indoor locations. Curious to know where it comes from? Well, there is uranium in the earth (or ground if you will) and it gets broken down to produce radon. The breakdown process can occur in soil, rocks or water. That radon gas then seeps through any openings in the foundation of your house. It is a naturally occurring gas but it is carcinogenic i.e. can lead to cancer (lung cancer in particular).
Where Does Radon Gas Come From?
As earlier highlighted, radon is a radioactive gas which is naturally occurring. It is commonly present in indoor locations, examples are homes, offices and schools amongst others. The uranium in the earth undergoes a process that is called radioactive decay – this process produces radon. Radon gas can also be produced from the radioactive decay of thorium. These elements, as in, uranium and thorium are usually found in rocks, soil or water. There are 2 radon radioisotopes which are Radon-222 and Radon-220. The former is formed from the radioactive decay of Uranium-238 whereas the latter is produced from the radioactive decay of Thorium-232. Radon-220 is not common though.
Why You Need A Radon Detector
At the beginning we highlighted how that radon can lead to cancer (lung cancer particularly). The other thing you must also know is that those who smoke are at a much higher risk of developing lung cancer due to radon. This forms a key basis for why you should test for the levels of radon in your home. If you cannot detect to ascertain whether or not radon is there (i.e. radon levels) you might never know. The characteristics of radon make it literally impossible to manually detect the presence of radon gas. Radon has 3 characteristics which make it undetectable without a special device namely, they are odourless, tasteless and colourless. Just to buttress all these aspects you must know that radon stands at number 2 when it comes to carcinogens i.e. things that are cancer-causing – at number 1 is smoking. Thus it is very important that you get the best radon gas detector for your home.
Uses Of A Radon Detector
The primary use of a radon detector is to assess the radon gas levels in your home. If you find the levels to be too high then you can best find ways to address the issue. In terms of how radon detectors are used there are 2 core methods – active and passive. The passive method entails the use of kits that are sent for expert analysis. The active method entails getting results there and there. All in all, the use of a radon detector is to see how the radon levels are in your home and then appropriate action is taken if needs be.
How Radon Detectors Work
The way a radon gas detector works depends on the type of detector in question. For instance, when using charcoal canister (a passive radon detector), the canister absorbs the radon. The charcoal is then sent to the lab for testing and the radon level will be determined. This will be done by the use of what is referred to as a sodium iodide counter or other means. As for the alpha track ones, there is a plastic film that reacts to alpha particles hitting it. It is then sent to the lab and the plastic film is treated in such a way that makes it possible to count number of alpha tracks on it. We have just briefly explained two types of passive radon detectors with respect to how they work. The point we are driving at here is that how radon detectors work varies from type to type.
The Different Types of Radon Detectors
We somewhat hinted on the different types of radon detectors in the preceding passage. It is just 2 broad types of radon detectors namely, passive radon detectors and active radon detectors. The passive ones can further be classified into either short term ones or long terms ones. A short term can be a period of anything from 2 to 90 days and a long term can be anything over 90 days.
It is normally recommended to conduct the long term one when using a passive detectors. This is most likely going to produce more accurate and representative results. Active radon detectors are generally continuous detectors. Examples of passive radon detectors are alpha track and charcoal canisters amongst others. The active radon detectors give immediate readings (e.g. per hour). It is obviously clear why active radon detectors would be more costly – it is mainly due to getting results faster. Active radon detectors are more sophisticated and that usually demands the need for electricity to use them. Active detectors are usually the best radon detectors for your home.
Prices Of Radon Detectors
We somehow covered this aspect vaguely earlier. Remember we said the two broad categories of radon detectors are active detectors and passive detectors. Active radon detectors are generally more expensive than passive radon detectors. This is obviously because active radon detectors tend to have more features plus they provide continuous monitoring. Passive radon detectors do not necessarily provide continuous monitoring and results tend to take time to be produced. Overall, the prices of radon detectors span from around US$15 to anything around US$200 or more. At the lower end you will definitely find that it will be passive radon detectors. At the upper end that is where you find the active radon detectors – usually the digital ones. The active digital radon detectors are the best to buy for your home.
What To Consider When Buying Radon Detectors
Whenever you want to buy anything there are always considerations one must make. These considerations go a long way in informing one’s buying decision. Here we will just discuss 4 considerations to make though more of them are somehow implied in our touching on these 4. You have to consider these factors as you choose a good radon detector for your home.
Type Of Radon Detector
We have covered an appreciable amount of details on the basic types of radon detectors out there. How they operate is something one must be abreast with in order to make the right decision. Whether you want an active detector or passive detector is a consideration to be made. One of the reasons that can matter is the price tag – active detectors tend to be more expensive than passive detectors. However active detectors tend to be the best radon gas detectors.
Duration Before Results (Or Testing Period)
How sooner or later do you need the results of the detection process? We get to mention again about passive or active detectors. Active detectors provide continuous results whereas passive detectors can be provide results in the short term or long term – something we pointed out earlier. So this will be an important consideration to make.
Any detection process must produce accurate results because the results will inform decisions that have to be taken later. Imagine getting inaccurate results indicating that radon levels are good. That can have disastrous outcomes because the exposure will continue and the possibility of developing lung cancer will be immense. Thus a good radon detector should have a high precision.
The Need For Power Or Not
This is yet another important consideration to make when buying a radon detector. Does it operate using batteries or using electricity? Depending on issues like power bill or even availability of electricity you might end up choosing an electricity powered one or a battery powered on. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages of each given the varying contexts people operate in. So, how a radon detector is powered will definitely be an important consideration to make.
How To Install A Radon Detector
Radon detectors are typically small in size and not that complex to set up really. Some radon detectors work using batteries whilst work using electricity. It is usually advisable to install radon detectors in pairs or even more to ensure you widen to spectrum so as to detect. Just by installing one detector it might coincidentally be in a place where there actually is no significantly high levels of radon and it might be concentrated somewhere else. In the event that your house has a basement then that would be the perfect place to install one.
If there is not, the trick is to install detectors at the lowest levels of your house. Essentially we are referring to parts of your house that are directly in contact with the earth i.e. your house’s footprint. The spot you pick must be totally free from anything that can affect the detectors in such a way that it gives false readings. Some of those things are high humidity or temperatures. You must take note that you should install the detector in parts of the house that are actually lived in e.g. bedrooms.
What To Do After Detecting High Levels Of Radon
Once you have detected high levels of radon in your home there are several ways you can use to reduce those levels. There are ways you can do by yourself but we highly recommend that you get expert help in effective ways you should employ. We will look at some of them here:
These are the most common and the effective ways of reducing radon levels. There are about 4 different types namely, subslab, drain-tile, sump-hole and block-wall. Of those 4 the subslab is said to the most effective. The basic operational framework involves installing suction pipes into or underneath the floor slab directly into earth. Some of the methods e.g. drain-tile can involve channelling away water from your home’s foundation. The overall crux is to use suction to channel away gases or water away from the home.
Installing A Heat Recovery Ventilator
To make the use of this ventilator most potent you must only install it in the lower levels of your home e.g. basements. What this ventilator does is that it draws in air from outside and then it regulates it. That process culminates in radon levels reduction. Some of the downsides of this method is that it can be costly in terms of power consumption.
Any Form Of Sealing Method
If there are openings or cracks in the foundation of your house you can try to seal them. That simple process of sealing them can actually reduce the seepage of radon from the earth. However simple and cheap this sounds it is not the most effective way. It only helps to a certain a degree but it is not that significant. In essence, it cannot be your sole method to reduce radon in your home. It is at most speculative and guess work really since the places you close may not be the ones really letting radon in.
This method involves blowing air into a room(s) from outdoors or upper levels of your house. This obviously entails using a fan to blow the air. The trick here is to create a scenario where there is high pressure at parts of your house close to the foundation. This will end up barring the radon from entering your home. This methods works well given that certain conditions are being met. For instance, any doors or windows at the lower levels ought to virtually be closed at all times. Then there are other home design and setup characteristics that can foil the effectiveness of this method. Overall, this method should only ever be used as a sort of last resort if other methods have proved ineffective.