Radon is a major health issue. Hence, having the best radon detector could make a huge difference. And there are so many radon detectors at present that you can buy. But the thing is how to make an informed decision?
We are here to answer that question. We brought 14 radon detection systems and tested them for various different parameters for 112 hours. And we also interviewed 9 experts on radon.
On the basis of the tests and interviews, we created a list of top radon detectors that you can buy today. In addition, we have created a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you understand various factors that affect your decision.In order to understand our testing process, you can navigate to a section describing our test procedure.
Best Radon Detector
|Radon Eye RD200||Electronic||Yes||WiFi||Check Price|
|Airthings Wave Smart||Electronic||No||Bluetooth||Check Price|
|Corentium Home||Electronic||Yes||NA||Check Price|
|Safety Siren Pro Series3||Electronic||Yes||NA||Check Price|
|First Alert RD1||Short-term||No||NA||Check Price|
1.Radon Eye RD200 Smart Radon Monitor Detector- Best Electronic Radon Detector
You can say it is the most advanced radon detector. We have not seen many good wireless radon detectors. While we were working on the Radon Eye RD200 review, we had so many good things to say about it. We hardly found anything negative to say.
You might think it will take some work while installing? No, it is easy. It needs a power source and smartphone to connect via Bluetooth.
In addition to smartphone, the detector also comes with a small LED screen that shows the basic numbers. So, if you don’t have your phone nearby, you can see the radon level on it.
We also examined the app, it doesn’t have any fancy features. Probably, that’s a good thing because you want to know the basic details and get an idea about how much your house has been affected by radon.
The basic version support only Bluetooth connectivity. However, if you are more comfortable with Wi-Fi, get the RD200 plus which is Wi-Fi radon detector.
2.Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector- Best Smart Radon Detector
- Airthings will donate $1 for each Airthings Wave sold on Amazon.com through January 31, 2019, to the American Lung...
- The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device or service.
- Continuous monitoring of radon, temperature and humidity
We were really impressed by the way Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector work. The big reason being it connects with your smartphone via an Airthings app. The app works as your monitor.
However, the connection is via Bluetooth which we think is little primitive. A Wi-Fi support could have been better. But still it is wireless, so we don’t think many users would complain.
As for the accuracy, we tested the detector under different conditions, and it was close to the real numbers. And when we increased the radon level in the room it notified us by changing colors. We think it is a creative way to alert.
As it uses smartphone as a monitor, we examined the app thoroughly. The app shows a detail picture on the radon level in the room. You can see the average radon level for the year, month, week or day. There are number of ways to examine the data. In addition, if the radon level crosses the danger mark, you receive an alert on your phone.
The Airthings Smart Radon is the one product that really impressed us. It is perfect for the user who loves every information on the phone.
3. Corentium Home Radon Detector- Best Budget-Friendly Radon Detector
- Airthings will donate $1 for each Corentium Home sold on Amazon.com through January 31, 2019, to the American Lung...
- The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device or service.
- Battery operated with a 2-year battery life
The Corentium Home Radon Detector by Airthings 223 according to us is the best radon detector in the market. There are several reasons for this conclusion.
The first being, it is complete as a package. You get a monitor which is simple to understand. You can see the average of 1 day, 7 days or some other long duration. As far as the data is concerned, it is accurate than most of the radon detectors.
It runs on three AAA batteries that have higher life when compared to other batteries. However, we advise you to keep a track of the date when batteries were installed. And change before it is fully discharges. We observed that when batteries were low on charge, the detector was less accurate.
As far as the installation is concerned, you can easily fix it into your basement. However, if you want to keep the track of radon in all the rooms, you can easily shift it to different rooms.
We don’t advise shifting its position too much if you want to keep a track of radon level in past few days. Because shifting its position will disturb the readings.
If you don’t trust carbon-based radon detectors, you can go for the Airthings Corentium radon detector.
4. Safety Siren Pro Series3 Radon Gas Detector- Best Long-Term Radon Detector
- Meets US EPA performance criteria
- Has a numeric LED display screen
- Short-term and long-term readings
We included this radon detector in our list just because we wanted to offer users a long-term option that requires least amount of attention. Most of the detectors need to be attended. Mostly to change the batteries.
As for the accuracy, it is on par with the best radon detector. In addition, its small screen can show you an average data of day, month, week or years. It is just like any other modern detector.
If you don’t plan to move the radon detector from one room to other, this model is a pretty good option. It also very inexpensive. Hence, you can fix one in each room if you want.
5. First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit- Best Short Term Radon Detector
- The simple and safe way to test for radon
- Listed under the EPA Radon Gas Measurement Proficiency Program
- Includes test materials and lab fees, excluding NJ state fees
First Alert is one of the oldest companies when it comes to home safety. We also wanted to give something to those users who are looking for short-term radon detectors. You will learn more about the short term radon detectors in our Buyer’s guide. For now, just understand it takes few days to give you the results after the first sample is taken.
It is a kit that includes radon sampler, envelope and instruction manual. We suggest reading the manual before using the kit.
We did the exactly the same thing, but we exposed the sampler for only two days. We wanted to see how effective the sampler is. Then we sent the sample back to the First Alert lab. We received the results on our mail after 54 hours.
It was accurate enough but it was not as close as the top radon detection system. We also found that sample may get affected by the humidity and temperature in the house. We don’t think that sample will give the most accurate results under such conditions.
If you are looking to test the radon level of any structure only once, you can go for the kit. But if not, just get the more long-term solution.
Buyer’s Guide- What to consider while buying the best radon detector?
As you can see there are so many different radon detectors at present, it often confuses the buyer. Before we discuss the factors that are necessary to understand while buying the best radon detector, you have to understand what radon is?
What is radon?
Radon is a noble gas which means it is nonreactive, colorless and odorless. However, it is in gaseous form and has a half-life of 3.8 days. Though it is nonreactive, it is radioactive. If inhaled, it could pose some serious health issues.
Radon is generated by the decay of highly radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium. These elements have a half-life of several billions of years. Even though the radon’s half-life is short, the elements that produce it have billions of years of half-life. Hence, it is generated continuously.
As for the nature of radon gas, it is one of the densest gases on the earth. As a result, it stays near the ground. Or in case of homes, it is mostly found in basement or ground floor.
Fortunately, it depends on the geology and chemistry of the terrain you reside in. But it is the trace amount of uranium and thorium that makes radon. So over the period, it could really get accumulated in the surroundings.
That is why it is necessary to keep a radon detector in-house. It may not pose an immediate danger but keeping an eye on the radon level will help you stay prepared when the gas hits the danger mark.
Type of Detectors
Most people do not have a good understanding of radon detector. So, buying the best radon detector for home without any confusion, require a clear picture of it.
The first thing to understand is how many types of detectors are there. Generally, there three type of radon detectors:
These are available in form of a testing kit. And as the name suggests, it is used to measure the radon gas for a very short time. Usually, it is once. It gives the most current figure on radon gas. However, usually, the waiting time for the result is more than two days.
Usually, it depends on the needs. People who are looking to move into a new house or any kind of building, use it to test the radon gas. These kits are fairly cheap and accurate but can be used only to measure a current level of radon. The best example of a short-term kit is First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit.
Unlike short-term kit, the long-term kit can be used for measuring radon for more than a year. Usually, the radon level may vary depending on the seasons, or temperatures. Hence, using these type of kits you can have much better information on the radon gas level in your house.
The important thing to know is for both short-term kit and long-term kit, you require lab verification. Kit doesn’t have any monitor to show the numbers like electronic detectors.
These are more sort of a permanent solution. Once you move into a new home or building, you install the detector. Unlike short-term and long-term kits, results are available right away once it is calibrated. You may be able to see the results on your phone or the monitor. It completely depends on the type of electronic detector you are using.
Factors To Look For In A Radon Detector
There are several factors that you need to understand in order to make an informed decision on your purchase.
Accuracy is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a radon detector. Because it is all about knowing the level of radon in your home. Radon as gas is odorless and colorless. Hence, there is no any other way to know the change in the gas level.
If the detector doesn’t provide you accurate results, you are inviting major health issue. Yes of course, the detectors can be off by few percents but make sure the detector you buy allows the error of only up to 10 percent. Radon Eye RD200 Smart Radon Monitor Detector is one of the most accurate radon detectors.
Generally, we associate connectivity with home security systems but as the technology has progressed, the radon detectors have evolved. The detectors have become smarter. They can now connect to your phone or any other device that support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
If you want to keep an eye on radon level on daily basis and don’t want to bend your back trying to read the numbers on the detector monitor, smart detectors are perfect. The smart detectors will send you the results right to your phone. So wherever you may be, you can see the current radon level on your phone. If you want to buy a WiFi radon detector go for Radon Eye RD200 Smart Radon Monitor Detector Plus.
One limitation every radon detector has that it can measure the radon gas only in the single room. In order to measure the gas in the other rooms, you need to move the detector. All the device can be fixed on the wall or to a ceiling. But have the easy option of moving like Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector which uses only one screw to fix on to a wall. Hence, it can be easily removed.
4. Ease of Use
For any device, it is the most important factor. If you don’t know how to operate or do not understand the numbers it shows, there is no use of buying such device. A radon detector’s job is to show the radon gas level and alert if it crosses the critical limit.
Even if you don’t know what the numbers mean, but if it shows some kind of visual representation of the data like Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector does, makes it much easier to understand for an average user. The Airthings smart detector shows the color code to show you the current level of gas. Most of the smart devices show data on phone and sends notification if the gas level goes beyond the danger.
All the reputed manufacturers of the best radon detectors offer a warranty. It may be 1 year or two years. Always check with the seller or manufacturer.Warranty is important because you want a detector working at its optimum level. If something goes wrong, you should be able to fix quickly and efficiently. But the best way to fix it is through the manufacturer. Some are known to replace malfunctioning device if the device is still in warranty.
Some detectors use AA or AAA batteries as a power source. Good thing about batteries as power source is it allows mobility of the detector. Most of the battery operated detectors last up to 1 to 2 years. After that, a fresh set of batteries are required.
Make sure when you buying, see how long the batteries last for the device. The main reason being you will have to change them before they die down. In addition, even with low power, the device may seem operational but it may not show accurate results. Detectors work better only with full power.
1.How to use the Radon Properly?
The most basic thing to remember while you use a radon detector is that radon gas is accumulated near the soil. So make sure the radon is placed at lowest elevation of the house. You can keep it in a basement. If you are placing the detector in any of the other rooms, place it near the foundation. In addition, keep the windows and doors closed to get the most accurate reading.
In addition, the humidity affects detector’s reading, so avoid moist places like kitchen, or bathrooms. Also avoid the place which receives direct sunlight or heat of any other form. Best thing to do is get an electronic radon detector. They are not so much affected by heat or humidity as the radon kits does.
2.Which is better radon detector kits or electronic detectors?
Both provide good results. All depends on your need. If you are moving to a new place but before you move in you want to check the radon levels. In such situation, use the kits as they are cheaper. But if you require a radon detector for your home were you plan to settle down for long period, get electronic radon detectors. They offer you permanent solution.
How We Conducted the Tests?
When we were seeking out for the top performing radon detectors we went through 14 different detectors. The testing and evaluation process took use 112 hours. We tested the products based on the parameters like accuracy, ease of use, battery, mobility and connectivity.
To help us in evaluation, we consulted 9 experts on radon detectors. Their experts helped us not only to understand how radon detectors work but also helped us to understand how we review and test the products.
We also reached out to the users who have experience with the models we were testing. So that we know the hands-on experience with the product. In addition, we scarped through several review sites to see what the users think about the detectors.
After considering all the test results, reviews and hands-on experience we created the list of best radon detectors that can suit the needs of the most people.
Here are the test results for the above mentioned detectors:
|Product Name||Accuracy||Test Life||Ease of Use||Overall||Price|
|Radon Eye RD200||98.2||97.6||97.4||97.73||Check Price|
|Airthings Wave Smart||98.1||96.2||97.6||97.30||Check Price|
|Corentium Home||97.6||95.4||97.8||96.93||Check Price|
|Safety Siren Pro Series3||96.8||97.2||94.8||96.27||Check Price|
|First Alert RD1||94.3||94.6||94.3||94.40||Check Price|
There are several types of radon detectors that fulfill different purposes or needs. You have to know your needs. Whether you want to use radon detector for once or you want to make sure your home is safe to live for long duration? Where do you want to place it? Or do you require a detector for one room or more? Only after you are sure about the needs, you can check out the detectors. Yes, there are detectors for every budget, so look out for the one that fits your budget. And now you have our comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.