You may do testing yourself or hire a firm or individual to do the testing. If a firm is hired we recommend they be in the National Environmental Health Association National Radon Proficiency Program. If you do the testing yourself, purchase a radon measurement device listed by EPA's Radon Measurement Proficiency Program and follow the directions to the letter. Passive testing for radon is very easy and simple. Contact us if you have any questions on sampling. If you hire someone to test, the following checklist may be useful:
Follow this checklist carefully so that you get the most accurate radon test results. Radon testing is not a complicated process, but must be done properly. Otherwise, the test results may not be accurate and more testing may have to be done. Disturbing or interfering with the test device or closed-house conditions will invalidate the test results. The seller, or a NEHA NRPP or state certified tester, should be able to confirm that all the items in this checklist have been followed. If the tester cannot confirm this, another test should be taken.
Before the radon test:
- Notify occupants of the importance of proper testing conditions. Give occupants written instructions or this document and explain the directions carefully.
- If you conduct the test yourself, use a radon measurement device listed by EPA's Radon Measurement Proficiency (RMP) Program or certified by your state and follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the device.
- If you use a testing professional, only hire a NEHA or state certified individual and ask to see his or her photo identification. The contractor's identification number should be clearly visible on the test report.
- The test should include method(s) to prevent or detect interference with testing conditions or with the testing device itself.
- Conduct the radon test for a minimum of 48 hours. Certain devices must be exposed for more than the 48-hour minimum.
- Check to see if an active radon reduction system is in the house. Before taking a short-term test lasting less than 4 days, make sure the fan, if any, is operating at least 24 hours before the beginning of the test.
- EPA recommends that short-term radon testing, which lasts for no more than a week in length, be done under closed-house conditions. Closed-house conditions means keeping all windows closed, keeping doors closed except for normal entry and exit, and not operating fans or other machines which bring in air from outside. Note that fans that are part of a radon reduction system, or small exhaust fans operating for only short periods of time, may run during the test.
- When doing short-term testing lasting less than 4 days, it is important to maintain closed-house conditions for at least 12 hours before the beginning of the test and for the entire test period. Do not operate fans or other machines which bring in air from the outside.
During the radon test:
- Maintain closed-house conditions during the entire time of a short-term test, especially for tests shorter than one week in length.
- Operate the home's heating and cooling systems normally during the test. For tests lasting less than one week, only operate air conditioning units that recirculate interior air.
- Do not disturb the test device at any time during the test.
- If a radon reduction system is in place, make sure the system is working properly and will be in operation during the entire radon test.
After the radon test:
- If a high radon level is found, fix the home. See the EPA's "Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction" for recommendations for steps such as contacting a qualified radon reduction contractor to lower the home's radon level.
- Be sure that you or the professional radon tester can demonstrate or provide information to ensure that the testing conditions were not violated during the testing period.