Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause serious health problems with frequent or high levels of exposure. Whether you’re moving into a new home or you’ve never tested your current home for radon, it’s a good idea to ensure the air you’re breathing is safe.
The Best Radon Gas Detectors in 2020
Comparing radon gas detectors
Corentium Home Radon Detector review: Best radon detector
Corentum Home Radon Detector pros and cons
- Extremely reliable short-term radon testing
- Multiple averages to balance out anomalies
- Immediate readings
- No continuous monitoring
Why we recommend Corentium Home Radon detector
If you don’t want continuous radon detection monitoring––like if you’re a new homeowner wanting to do a preliminary radon test, or landlord wanting to check radon levels before new tenants move in––the Corentium can give you instant and highly accurate readings. Radon levels change with air pressure, so you’ll want to use the Corentium in a number of different weather conditions to get a real idea of what radon levels might exist in your home. The Corentium balances out multiple averages to give you a more realistic reading of radon levels.
If you don’t feel like you need continuous radon monitoring like the Safety Siren Pro, the Corentium is as reliable as it gets for on-the-spot tests. And while they say you should check your radon levels twice a year, we recommend doing so a little more often. The Corentium makes that simple for homeowners, renters, and landlords alike.
ASecurelife's Recommendation: The Corentium gives instant and highly accurate radon detection readings, making it easy to check your home for radon a couple times a year.
Safety Siren Pro review: Best long-term radon detector
Safety Siren Pro pros and cons
- Accurate long-term radon testing
- Built-in alarm sounds to threats
- Easy use and installation
- Subtle alarm even at more dangerous radon levels
Why we recommend Safety Siren Pro
The Safety Siren Pro is a device you can mount to your wall and forget about while it passively and continuously monitors your home for radon exposure. The continuous monitoring feature is useful for families, pet owners, and homeowners renting out their space. The continuous monitoring will catch higher-than-normal radon levels sooner than those using single use kits or a device like the Corentium.
It reads the air every 24 hours, which should be enough to catch any radon before it reaches dangerous levels in the home. It also comes with a built-in alarm to warn you of unsafe air. Some have noted that the alarm is quiet, which could be a problem if you miss an alert indicating unsafe radon levels.
ASecureLife's recommendation: We recommend the Safety Siren Pro to families with kids, property managers renting out homes, or anyone else who wants an alarm built into their continuously monitored radon detector.
Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector review: Best smart radon detector
Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector pros and cons
- Continuous radon monitoring
- Air quality data provided in app
- Color changes based on air quality
- Battery powered
Why we recommend Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector
If you think a smart radon detector sounds like a gimmick, the Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector proves its worth by sending comprehensive air quality monitoring data straight to your phone. The device syncs with a mobile app and pings a steady stream of info about things like radon levels, air temperature, and humidity.
That gives you a more comprehensive overview of not just your home’s radon levels but also the overall air quality in your home.
ASecureLife's recommendation: We recommend the Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector for homeowners who want more comprehensive air quality monitoring in their home. That could mean people who live in areas with high levels of radon, or aging adults and young children who are more sensitive to radon.
First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit review: Best cheap radon test
First Alert RD1 pros and cons
- Highly affordable price
- Accurate lab-tested results
- Mail-in test required
- One-time use
- Five- to seven-day lab results
Why we recommend First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit
A radon test kit is an affordable alternative to more expensive detectors. You can only use them once, but that makes them ideal for anyone buying or moving into a new house. The results are processed in an EPA-certified lab, so they’re certain to be accurate—but you do have to mail in the test kit and wait for the lab to send back your results.
ASecureLife's recommendation: The First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit is perfect for anyone buying or moving into a new house.
What you need to know about radon detectors
Types of radon detectors
You have a couple options for radon testing: single-use test kits and continuous monitors. The single-use kits are cheaper but less accurate, while continuous monitors cost more but give you better readings.
One-time radon test kits
If you don’t want to spend more than $100 on a radon gas detector, you can opt for cheaper one-time test kits. You’ll need to send your kit to a professional lab by mail and await results, but companies like First Alert will send you an action plan in addition to radon levels.
The downside to these kits is that radon levels change based on air pressure, so your one-time test might not be totally accurate if there’s a storm or something else that could affect your home’s air pressure when you run the test.
Continuous radon testing
If you want more accuracy, checking for radon shouldn’t be a one-and-done test. Radon levels can change over time, and a continuous monitoring device is your best defense against radon exposure in the home.
How to test for radon gas
Under normal circumstances, you should test for radon gas twice a year. You should also test for radon when you buy or rent a new house––especially homes with basements.
How you test for radon in your home largely depends on the type of detector you buy. But there are some general standards to keep in mind to make sure you get the most accurate readings, regardless of your kit or detector. Follow these steps to make your radon test more accurate:
- Close all your windows for a day leading up to your radon test. This ensures that fresh air won’t dilute the radon levels in your home.
- Test for radon at the lowest place in your home. Radon will always settle to the lowest point of your home, so your ground level or basement will have the highest concentration of the gas.
- Extreme weather can alter the results of your radon test, so wait until a mild weather day to perform your test.
- Make sure your test kit or detector is set up at least two feet off the ground in a place that’s out of the way from kids, pets, or wind draft.
Health risks of radon exposure
The EPA has done a lot of research on radon exposure and its connection to lung cancer in both smokers and nonsmokers. Radon is right up there with smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke as a leading cause of lung cancer—so even if you’re a nonsmoker, it’s critical to ensure your in-home radon levels are safe.
Whether you opt for a one-time testing kit or a continuous radon monitoring device, you should check the radon levels in your home at least twice a year. If you’re not sure what kind of radon kit to buy, take a look at our recommendations below.
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