You can test the concentration of radon in your home by deploying an Evict Radon test kit for at least 90 days (or six months during times of seasonal change.) Where you place the device is important if you want accurate results that reflect your true risk.
Radon levels are typically highest closest to its source. As a result, basements usually have the highest concentration of radon in a home; however, that may not be the best place for you to place your testing device. To get an accurate read of the air you most often breathe, devices should be placed on the lowest level you spend four or more hours per day. If you only go to your basement for brief periods of time (to do laundry or check your furnace, for example) you may consider placing your testing device on your main floor. There is one exception to this guideline: if you exercise in your basement, you may wish to place your device there as the higher your respiration rate, the greater your risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer (over a prolonged period of time).
Evict Radon testing devices have a loop for hanging the device with string from the ceiling or a light fixture. Suspending the device from your ceiling will help to keep it safe and unharmed during the testing period. (It’s important to note that devices should not be placed close to the ceiling.) Bedside tables are another great location to place your device given the amount of time we spend in our bedrooms each day. Testing devices should not be placed on the floor or in a kitchen, bathroom, near an open window, or near other areas with fans or strong airflow. Unfrequented areas of your home such as crawl spaces or utility rooms are also not ideal locations for your testing device.
Curious about the difference in radon concentration as you move from below the ground up? In Canada, we have documented a 13 per cent decrease in radon concentration when you move up from the basement to the main floor, but then no further decrease beyond that. If your basement reading is 226 Bq/m3, the rest of your home will likely have a concentration of 200 Bq/m3. (Health Canada recommends remediating if your level is above 200 Bq/m3. If the radon concentration in your home is close to 200 Bq/m3 and you’re not sure if you should remediate, check out our last blog to find out.)