So you have finally decided to get your home tested for radon this summer – great start! Did you know, however, that many factors, such as open windows and doors, air conditioning units, and fans can alter the results of your test results? Before scheduling your summer radon test, keep in mind the following:
1. Keep a closed house.
With the blistering summer temperatures, many of us choose not to leave the windows and doors open anyway, but it is important to note that you must shut all windows and doors at least 12 hours before the test begins and keep them shut throughout the test. You can still use your doors to enter and leave your house, of course, but otherwise keep them closed.
2. Use central air conditioning.
Feel free to use central air conditioning to keep your house cool during radon testing. Be careful, though, when using window and wall air conditioning units, as no air from the outside should enter the house. If you are able, switch the setting so the units are simply recirculating the air inside the house, rather than bringing in additional outside air.
3. Control indoor fans.
Keeping cool in the summer can be a chore, and although it can be tempting to run fans on full blast throughout the house, control the ones that are near the radon testing unit, by redirecting the airflow or simply turning the fan nearest to the testing unit on low. These units can be extremely sensitive and constant blowing air can throw off the test results.
4. Plan ahead – take a vacation.
For some families, summer is the best option for radon testing, as one or more parent may be home from work. However, children entering and leaving the house can make for faulty test results. To avoid the heavy traffic, consider planning a vacation during your radon testing week. Your family will enjoy the time away and your radon technician will be able to conduct the test efficiently and effectively.
Since radon is an odorless and colorless gas, many people who have it in their homes may not realize it. Radon is extremely harmful, and it is suggested by the US Environmental Protection Agency as well as the US Surgeon General that every home in America be tested for radon, below the third level.
Short Term & Long Term Tests
The quickest and easiest way to test your home for radon is through a short term test. Some of the most common tests are called: Charcoal canisters, alpha tracks, electret ion chambers, continuous monitors, and charcoal liquid scintillation detectors. The only downside of short-term tests is that you cannot accurately detect the average radon level in your home throughout the year, but it works well if you need fast results to get an idea of whether your home may have a radon problem or not.
While short-term tests usually last a few days to a couple of months, long-term tests will take more than three months to complete. Alpha tracks and electret ion chambers are the most frequently used long-term tests. It is recommended by the EPA to first take a short-term radon test, and follow up with a long-term test if radon levels showed to be high.
In preparation for a radon test, you should keep your exterior doors and windows closed twelve hours beforehand. Choose a room to conduct the test in, one that is regularly used by you and your household, but not the bathroom or the kitchen. Find a place about 20 inches above the ground where you can keep the radon test kit for the instructed period of time without it being moved or disturbed. When the allotted time is over, seal your radon kit and send it to the lab. You can expect your results to return to you in a couple of weeks.
To learn how Ameriserv can help you test your home for radon, click here.
What Consumers in Iowa Should Know Prior to Radon Testing
Here are some important facts about radon testing that it is good for every consumer to know prior to having radon testing performed in their Iowa home.
If you choose to perform a short term test (which would be a 2-4 day test) it is important for the home to remain closed for 12 hours prior to the start of testing and for the whole time the test is being performed.
If you choose to perform the long term test (which would be about 4-7 days of testing) it is also important to have the same closed house conditions.
If you are hiring someone to do testing, make sure they are qualified to perform the radon testing you need, like AmeriServ Radon Mitigation. Testing companies should be able to provide you with information to prove they are qualified.
The test should include a method or methods to prevent or detect any interference with testing conditions or with the radon testing device itself.
Do no interfere with the radon testing devices during the time of testing as it will likely affect the outcome of your test, and a correct result is critical.
When your test is being performed, make sure that you run your heat or cooling the way you normal would for the weather conditions during the time of the test.
If you have a test that is positive for high levels of radon, you want to have this dealt with with high priority. Iowa is known for very high levels of radon. The EPA recommends that you mitigate for radon in the home when the radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
Mitigation is Critical for High Levels of Radon in Your Iowa Home
If you test for high levels of radon, AmeriServ Radon Mitigation highly recommends not waiting to have mitigation performed. We can find the right solution for your home, have a radon mitigation system setup quickly, which is critical for the safety of your family. Radon is a cancer causing agent that you cannot see, smell, or taste, so proper testing followed by radon mitigation by a professional with a lot of experience is so important to the health of your family. AmeriServ cares for Iowa families, and wants to help protect you.
Remember that your Iowa business or school could also be at risk for high levels of radon. We can also perform testing for businesses and schools to keep the occupants safe from the dangers of radon gas. So don’t wait. Ask about radon testing, and then setup your test. Know the dangers of radon, and then partner with the radon testing and mitigation specialists at AmeriServ Radon Mitigation today. Call us anytime if you want to learn more.