Quick Tips

How to Measure Your Own Radon Levels

high radon reading

Back in 2016, I wrote an article on the process of constructing your own DIY Radon Mitigation system. Since then, I’ve had a number of friends and relatives ask me not how they would go about mitigating their radon, but rather how I measured it. Considering the success of my article on mitigating the radon, I thought I’d write a more basic how-to on measuring your radon level by yourself (without hiring a professional). Of course, this comes along with the usual disclaimer that I am not a radon mitigation professional, so any advice provided in the article should be taken as opinion-based. There are three ways to test the radon levels in your home:

  1. Hire a Professional
  2. Mail-in Radon Test Kit
  3. Radon Gas Detector

Hire a Professional

If you’d feel most comfortable having a professional take care of this process start to finish, hiring a Certified Radon Tester is the way to go. You can find a Certified Radon Professional by starting at the EPA’s Radon website, choosing your state, then following the links from there. Expect to pay around $150 for a Certified Radon Pro to come to your home, perform the test and provide results.

Order a Mail-in Radon Test Kit

You can save a few bucks by ordering a Radon Gas Test Kit¬†for around $15. It typically takes two to four days for the test to complete. Once the test is complete, you’ll mail in the kit and can expect results to be emailed to you within two or three days. Keep in mind that with both methods above, a 3rd party now has additional “data” related to your home. This may bother you, it may not. But it’s worth noting.

Purchase Your Own Radon Gas Detector

There are a few reasons to have a radon gas detector at your disposal:

  1. You’d like to monitor your radon levels over time
  2. You can measure radon levels for your friends and relatives (or perhaps split the cost of the detector)
  3. You’re not comfortable with a 3rd party having information about your home
  4. Labs make human errors

My personal reason was that I decided to build my own radon mitigation system and I wanted to be able to test multiple areas of my home, before and after the install. Whatever the reason, I think you’ll find the cost isn’t that prohibitive. I purchased the Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Radon Detector on Amazon for about $130. There are a couple different products out there, but this one was the lowest price I could find and it returns a reading in 48 hours. It will also continually monitor your short- and long-term radon levels for you.

high radon reading

My radon reading: pCi/L. Yikes!

Setting it up was extremely easy. They recommend placing the detector at least a foot away from any walls, in a spot that doesn’t have any air flow. I personally hung the detector from the ceiling, by its power cord. Whether you’re considering Radon mitigation or not, it’s still a good idea to at least have the facts about your home’s radon levels, especially if you’re in a high-radon area.

UPDATE: Since this post was written, it seems that the radon detector I purchased on Amazon years ago is no longer fulfilled by Amazon. The price has gone up as well. While I have not tested this model, it seems to be very highly rated among buyers: