We bought the top 35 radon detector gas test kits, tested them for several parameters for 112 hours, and interviewed nine experts to come to the best list. Based on the tests and interviews, we found that Radon Eye RD200 Smart Radon Detector is the best radon detector test kit in the market.
It is more accurate than other radon detector test kits, and you can see all the data on your phone. If you want to consider other options, we have created a list of five radon gas detectors that are accurate and easy to use. Besides, we have created a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you understand various factors that will help you buy the perfect radon detectors.
Best Radon Detector
1.Radon Eye RD200 – Editor’s Pick
You can say it is the most advanced radon gas test kit. We have not seen many good wireless radon detector test kits. While working on the Radon Eye RD200 review, we had so many good things to say about it. We hardly found anything negative to say.
Might you think radon detectors will take some work while install? No, it is easy. It needs a power source and smartphone to connect via Bluetooth. In addition to compatibility with smartphones, 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 current radon level on it.
We also examined the app; this radon detector has no fancy features. Probably, that’s a good thing because you want to know the necessary details and get an idea about how much your house has been affected by active Radon. It is the perfect radon detector for home inspectors who need more accurate numbers.
It is the basic radon detector version that supports only Bluetooth connectivity. However, if you are more comfortable with WiFi, get the RD200 plus, a WiFi radon gas detector that work as the best air quality monitor.
2.Airthings Wave Smart – Best For Accuracy
We were impressed by the way Airthings Wave Smart Radon Gas Detector work. The big reason is 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 a little primitive. WiFi support could have been better. But still, it is wireless, so we don’t think many users would complain.
As for the accuracy, we conducted the short term tests of 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.
There are several ways to examine the data of the radon detectors
As it uses a smartphone as a monitor, we examined the app thoroughly. The app shows a detailed picture of the radon level in the room. You can see the average radon level for the year, month, week, or day. Also, if the current radon level crosses the danger mark, you receive an alert on your phone from the air quality monitor device.
The Airthings Smart Radon is the one product that impressed us in the short term tests conducted. This radon detector is perfect for the user who loves every piece of information on the phone.
3. Corentium Home – Best For Budget Conscious
According to us, this radon detector by Airthings 223 is the best radon test kit 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 an average of 1 day, seven days, or other long duration. As far as the data is concerned, it provides more accurate than most radon gas test kits.
We observed that when batteries were low on charge, the detector was less accurate. It runs on three AAA batteries that have higher life when compared to other cells. However, we advise you to keep track of when batteries were installed. And change before it fully discharges.
As far as the installation is concerned, you can quickly fix it in your basement. However, if you want to keep track of Radon in all the rooms, you can quickly shift it to different places. We don’t advise changing its position too much if you want to keep track of radon level in the past few days, as shifting its position will disturb the readings.
If you don’t trust carbon-based radon test kits, you can go for the Airthings Corentium home radon detector.
4. Safety Siren Pro Series3 – Best For Long-Term Use
We included this radon test kit in our list because we wanted to offer users a long-term radon test option that requires the least attention. Most of the radon detectors need to be attended like changing the batteries.
As for the accuracy, it is on par with the top detector. In addition, its small screen can show you the average data of the day, month, week, or years. It is just like any other modern detector.
If you don’t plan to move the radon gas detector from one room to another, this model is a pretty good option. It is also very inexpensive. Hence, you can fix one in each room if you want.
5. First Alert RD1 Test Kit- Best Kit For Short Term Use
First Alert is one of the oldest companies in home safety. We also wanted to give some to those users looking for short-term radon test kits. You will learn more about the short-term radon test kits in our Buyer’s Guide. For now, just understand it takes at least seven days to give you the results after the first sample is taken. It is a radon gas test kit that includes a radon sampler, envelope, and instruction manual. We suggest reading the manual before using the radon test kit.
We did the same thing, but we exposed the sampler for only two days. We wanted to see how effective the sampler was. Then we sent the sample back to the First Alert lab. We received the results in 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 the sample may be affected by the house’s humidity and temperature. We don’t think the example 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 this radon gas test kit. But if not, just get the more long-term radon test kit.
6. Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit – Best Alpha Test Kit For Long Term
AT-100 is a long-term Alpha track radon from the leading lab AccuStar labs. It is a complete home radon gas test kit meant for long-term measurements. The radon measurement using this one can be anywhere between 90 days to one year.
The best part is that to measure the radon level; closed home conditions are not necessary. A long-term process not only saves money as the short ones are done by the expert’s radon mitigation team, and also, due to long-term radon gas exposure, it gives you the real accurate measures of Radon in your house.
What impressed us the most is the fact that in the Accustar labs, to check the radon levels, they use the electrochemical etching process and count the alpha track foils with the computer-aided image analysis tools. This is the most advanced and accurate method to get accurate radon levels in the industry.
Lastly, you get an alpha track radon test device, an instruction booklet, and a prepaid prostate envelope in the radon gas kit.
A radon test kit that gives you a clear picture of the radon level’s at your home. It is another professional radon detector which is suitable for home inspectors. It comes from a trusted lab, so it is an excellent option.
What To Consider?
As you can see, there are so many different radon test kits at present, and it often confuses the buyer. Before discussing the factors necessary to understand while buying the radon detector, you have to understand what Radon is?
Factors To Look For In A Standard Detector
You need to understand several factors to make an informed decision on your purchase.
Accuracy is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a radon gas test kit. Because it is all about knowing the level of Radon in your home. Radon as gas is odorless and colorless. Hence, there is no other way to see the change in the gas level. If the detector doesn’t provide you with accurate results, you are inviting a major health issue. Yes, of course, the radon detectors can be off by a few percent, 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 test kits. Accuracy is the key when you are a professional like a home inspector.
Generally, we associate connectivity with home security systems, but the home radon test kits have evolved as the technology has progressed. The radon detectors have become smarter. They can now connect to your phone or any other device that supports WiFi or Bluetooth. Smart detectors are perfect if you want to keep an eye on the radon level daily and don’t want to bend your back trying to read the numbers on the detector monitor. 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 test kit, go for Radon Eye RD200 Smart Radon Monitor Detector Plus.
One limitation of every radon gas detector is measuring the radon gas only in a single room. To measure the gas in other places, you need to move the detector. All the devices 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 crucial factor. If you don’t know how to operate or do not understand the numbers it shows, there is no use of buying such a device. A radon gas 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 Radon Detector does, it makes it much easier to understand for an average user. The Airthings smart detector shows the color code to show you the current gas level. Most smart devices show data on the phone and send a notification if the gas level goes beyond the danger.
All the reputed manufacturers offer a warranty. It may be one year or two years. Always check with the seller or manufacturer. Warranty is crucial because you want a detector working at its optimum level. If something goes wrong, you should be able to fix it quickly and efficiently. But the best way to fix it is through the manufacturer. Some are known to replace the malfunctioning device if the device is still in warranty.
Some detectors use AA or AAA batteries as a power source. The good thing about batteries as a power source is that it allows the detector’s mobility. Most the battery-operated radon detectors last up to 1 to 2 years. After that, a fresh set of batteries is required. When you are buying, make sure to see how long the batteries last for the device. The main reason being you will have to change them before they die down. Also, even with low power, the device may seem operational, but it may not show accurate results. Detectors work better only with full power.
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 the case of homes, it is mostly found in the 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 continuous Radon. So over the period, it could get accumulated in the surroundings. That is why it is necessary to keep the radon gas test kit 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 the radon test kit. The first thing to understand is how many types of radon detectors are there. Generally, there three types of radon test kits:
Why Should You Check Radon Levels In Your Home?
Radon is a radioactive gas that is formed by the decay of radioactive elements in the soil. The gas is generally released in the air from the cracks under a building or the bodies of underground water or surface water. The radon levels vary from one area to another. In general, Radon is typically present in the lower ground radon levels or neighborhoods like the basement, crawl space, sump pumps, rivers, lakes, and construction joints. In such areas, the ventilation is deficient, and the gas can reach higher radon levels much easier.
The National Institute of cancer says radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer, and second is cigarette smoking. Anyone who smokes regularly or in and around a high levels of Radon is at a higher risk of lung cancer. So, to stay away from such a deadly disease, it is always advisable to check the radon levels in your home and keep them to minimum or zero levels if required.
Despite being invisible, odourless, and tasteless, Radon is hazardous to health. As per the US EPA data, radon exposure is the most significant cause of lung cancer. People die more due to radon exposure than due to carbon monoxide poisoning, house fire, another disease, and drowning.
The Radon affects your health as the radioactive particles from the gas directly go into the lungs and release lot energy and thereby damaging the lung tissue and ultimately causing lung cancer. Nevertheless, you won’t get lung cancer if you are exposed to radiation for one day, or everybody exposed to radon levels will get lung cancer. As per the data, 4% of non-smokers get lung cancer due to radon exposure. So, for a better healthy life, it is advisable to check the radon levels in your home.
How We Conducted The Tests?
When we sought out the top-performing radon gas detectors, we went through 34 different indicators. We tested the products based on accuracy, ease of use, battery, mobility, and connectivity. The testing and evaluation process took 112 hours.
To help us in the evaluation, we consulted nine experts on radon test kits. Their experts helped us understand how radon test kits work and helped us understand how we review and test the products.
We also reached out to the users with experience with the models we were testing. So that we know the hands-on experience with the product. Also, 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 a list of radon detectors that can suit most people’s needs.
Here are the test results for the above-mentioned detectors:
|Product Name||Accuracy||Test Life||Ease of Use||Overall||Price|
|Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit||94||94||94||94||Check Price|
|First Alert RD1||94.3||94.6||94.3||94.40||Check Price|
|Safety Siren Pro Series3||96.8||97.2||94.8||96.27||Check Price|
|Corentium Home||97.6||95.4||97.8||96.93||Check Price|
|Airthings Wave Smart||98.1||96.2||97.6||97.30||Check Price|
|Radon Eye RD200||98.2||97.6||97.4||97.73||Check Price|
Installing a radon gas detector at the lowest level of your house where you spend time would be a good idea. For example, you can install it in you use your basement room as your workroom, prefer installing it there. It is because Radon disappears in the air after reaching three levels above the ground. So, if you install your radon gas detector at levels above two, you are most likely to get insignificant readings.
Next, after deciding on the installation place, move on to the instructions given in the radon detection kit. In addition to it, there are a few crucial tips and tricks to practice for the best results:
Always place the detector in a guarded location away from the doors and windows because outside air can hinder the accurate results.
Never place your detector in the kitchen, laundry, utility, or bathrooms. The humidity level in this area is more and can hamper your radon test kit.
Avoid locating in places near construction joints or pumps as they also hamper the accuracy of the test.
Always note down the start time and the end time of the test. This will give you a better understanding of when to perform the test next.
Analyze and interpret your obtained results. In general, the radon level in your home should always be less than two picocuries per liter (pCi/L). It is the year-round radon level.
If the reading in your home is between 2 pCi/L -4 pCi/L, you should take measures to reduce the radon levels in your home. And if the readings are above, you should go for a follow-up test and take adequate measures after the follow-up test to remove them.
From the products that we have listed above, you can quickly know the radon levels in your home and protect yourself from future health hazards. Once the test is done, take action as needed. If the radon levels are under control, you have a safe and healthier home.
1. Are home radon tests accurate?
This all depends on the type of detector you are buying. The top-quality radon detectors like Airthings, Safety siren, Radon eye, and Cornetium. These all give excellent results.
2. Is Radon that dangerous?
Radon is a dangerous gas. It is a carcinogen that can cause lung cancer. So, long-term radon gas exposure can be hazardous to health.
3. How long the radon detector kit works?
A radon gas detector kit typically lasts you around ten years. The lifetime of a radon gas detector is similar smoke detector and a carbon dioxide detector.
4. Are radon levels higher in the winter?
Yes, high levels of Radon are found in winter, especially indoors.
5. How bad is a radon level of 5?
Any level of Radon in the environment is dangerous for health. The global level outdoor is between 5-15 Bq/m. So, the lower the level, the better it is.
6. How bad is a radon level of 5?
Any level of Radon in the environment is dangerous for health. The global level outdoor is between 5-15 Bq/m. So, the lower the gas level, the better it is.
7. What states have the most Radon?
The most gas level of Radon is in Alaska, South Dakota, Pennsylvania., Ohio, Washington, Montana, Kentucky, and Idaho.
8. Does opening windows reduce Radon?
Opening windows improves air circulation and ventilation and thus helps Radon move out of the house.
9. How to use the Radon properly?
The essential thing to remember while using a radon gas detector is that radon gas accumulates near the soil. So make sure the Radon is placed at the lowest elevation of the house. Also, the humidity affects the detector’s reading, so avoid moist places like the kitchen or bathrooms. Also, avoid the place which receives direct sunlight or heat of any other form.
10. Which is better, radon gas detector kits or electronic detectors?
It all depends on your need. If you are moving to a new place for some time, buy a cheaper one. But if you require a radon gas detector for your home where you plan to settle down for an extended period, get electronic radon test kits. Both provide excellent results.
11. What should you do if the high levels of radon gas in your home?
Once the radon levels are higher than the recommended amount, the first step is to consult a person qualified in radon mitigation to assign a radon contractor for you. Generally, they start the preventive measure by sealing any cracks or crevices in your home. Next, they set up a mitigation ventilation system to help the air circulate in your room and alleviate your home’s radon levels.
12. Are the Radon Mitigation Services expensive?
Yes, of course, the radon mitigation service is a bit expensive. However, each mitigation service has a different price tag. Nevertheless, on a medium scale, the cost of essential mitigation services is around $500. The charge may go higher if the high radon levels are in your home.
13. What is the best place to put a radon gas detector?
Radon levels are increasing day by day. It is always advisable to do a radon test at your home for the healthiest home and family. We suggest you go for radon testing at least once every two years.
14. When should you do a radon test at your home?
The radon gas detector will tell the radon levels you are exposed to daily. So, we advise you to keep it at the lowest possible radon levels of the house. You can keep it in the basement. If you are placing the detector in any of the other rooms, place it near the foundation. Also, keep the windows and doors closed to get the most accurate reading. However, make sure you do not put the radon test kit above three-level from the ground as there you will get inaccurate results.
Several types of radon gas detectors fulfill different purposes or needs. You have to know your needs. Whether you want to use a radon gas detector for once or make sure your home is safe to live in for a long duration? Where do you want to place it? Or do you require a detector for one room or more? After you are sure about the needs, you can check out the detectors. Yes, there are radon 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.