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Radon Testing and EPA Recommendations

Determining whether you need a radon mitigating system requires a test. As radon cannot be seen or smelled, you need special equipment to detect it.

Depending on the devices used, radon tests come in two types – passing and active.

Passive Testing

There is no need for power to work with passive radon testing devices. Examples of these devices are charcoal canisters, alpha track and electret ion chamber detectors and charcoal liquid scintillators. Passive radon devices are generally cheap in cost, whether they are meant for short-term or long-term use.

Active Testing

As opposed to passive testing, devices used for active testing testing devices, which provide hourly as as well as full test readings, need power to run. These devices include continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors, both of which make active testing more expensive.

What Exactly Is Radon Testing?

Approach a state or local official to help you understand the differences between radon devices, and to get recommendations as to which are best for your needs and anticipated testing conditions. The radon testing device you use must be obtained from a qualified laboratory. Radon exposure can increase a person’s risk of getting lung cancer. Therefore, by hiring a radon-certified contractor to install a radon mitigation system in your home, you are saving your family’s life.

Radon amounts in the air are often measured in picocuries of radon per liter of air (pCi/L). Sometimes, the results of a radon test can be expressed in Working Levels (WL) rather than pCi/L. In a typical house, 0.016 WL is equal to around 4 pCi/L.

A radon abatement system should be in order at such a level. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal of keeping indoor radon levels lower than outdoor levels. Around pCi/L is generally found in outdoor air. EPA recommends mitigation measures if you get a result of 4 pCi/L (0.016 WL) after one long-term test or as an average of two short-term tests.

With current technology, most homes’ radon level can be lowered to 2 pCi/L or less. For a 2-4 pCi/L radon level reading, you may consider radon mitigation as well. A short-term radon test stays in your home for 2-90 days, while a long-term test can be in your home beyond three months. Radon tests must be taken for no shorter than 48 hours. Quicker results can be expected from shorter-term tests; longer term tests, on the other hand, give you a better understanding the average radon level of your home throughout an entire year, and tells you whether a radon abatement system is necessary.

EPA Radon Testing Recommendations

Two radon testing categories are recommended by the EPA. One is for homeowners whose house is not for sale, and the other is for radon testing and reduction in real estate deals. One is for radon testing and reduction in real estate deals, and the other is for homeowners with no intention to sell their houses.

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