Every home has some amount of radon in it. It is a gas created by the breakdown of uranium in the soil. However, just because it is found in many homes doesn’t mean it is something you want to live with. Radon exposure can cause serious health issues over time and living in a home with elevated radon levels can be dangerous. This is why it is crucial to have a radon test done when buying a new home or if you have never had your home tested.
While a home can be tested for radon as is, and your inspection agency will give you specific directions, to get the most accurate reading, there are some ways you can prepare. If you are considering a radon test, or already have one scheduled, this is what you should be doing in your home.
Keep all windows and exterior doors closed for 12 hours before the test, except for regular entry and exiting.
Keep the thermostat at between 67 and 77 degrees
Keep whole house fans and ceiling fans off
The test is likely to be set up in lowest livable area, like a basement bedroom, so clear adequate space and ensure the equipment will not be touched by residents or pets.
The radon test will usually run for 48 hours in that area to measure average radon levels, keep the home sealed up as much as possible during this time. Factors like temperature and humidity do affect the test.
If the home already has an active radon mitigation system, be sure it has been running for 24 hours prior to the test.
As always, if you are unsure about something before or during a radon test, you can also talk to your inspector to find out if it will affect the test. Ideally, they want to test levels in your house and don’t want it affected by outside influences, so they will try to mitigate that as much as possible.