Insights

How Much Does it Cost to Test for Radon at Home?

Erica Kahn
Erica Kahn26 Apr 2022

Radon testing kits range in price from as little as $10 to as much as $200 depending on the duration of the test and if it is for professional use. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon cannot be seen or smelled, so testing is the only way to know if you are being exposed to unhealthy levels of radon in your home. Luckily, testing is easy and affordable.   

Cost of At-Home Radon Tests

When purchasing a radon testing kit, the price will likely include the test as well as cover the cost to send the kit to the laboratory for analysis. Short-term kits are usually the cheapest ($10 - $20) followed by long-term kits ($25 - $40) and digital detectors are the most expensive ($90 - $200+). Professional radon testing ranges from $145 to upwards of $700 depending on the location, square footage, and age of your home.

When purchasing radon testing kits and detectors, check that there is a label saying it has been approved by the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or meets the required accuracy levels set by EPA. If you choose to test for radon yourself, it is important to read the instructions thoroughly to ensure accurate results. Disturbances such as leaving a window open or placing the device in the wrong location can affect results. 

The EPA recommends fixing your home with radon levels above 4 picocuries per liter and radon levels between 2 and 4 picocuries per liter. Below is a table of the cost of some radon testing kits and detectors: 

Price of Radon Tests

Testing Method & Name

Short or Long Term?

Cost

LABTECH Radon Detection Test Kit

Short (2 - 4 days)

$10

Pro-Lab Radon Gas Test Kit 1 pack

Short (2 - 4 days)

$13

First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit, RD1

Short (2 - 4 days)

$15

KSU National Radon Program Services Short Term Kit

Short (2 - 4 days)

$17

KSU National Radon Program Services Long Term Kit

Long (3 - 12 months)

$27

RSSI Long Term Radon Test Kit

Long (8 days to 12 months)

$40

Airthings Corentium Homes Radon Gas Detector 1 pack

Long & Short (2-year battery life)

$180

Which Radon Test to Buy

Radon can only be detected by testing the air inside your home. Various forms of radon testing exist with the most popular and affordable being at-home testing kits. There are both short and long-term test kits to test for radon at home. 

Digital detectors can also measure radon levels. Additionally, individuals may choose to hire a certified radon-testing professional to confirm alarming results from at-home test kits. In some cases, professional radon testing may be required for real estate professionals or in commercial property.                            

Short-Term Test Kits

Short-term testing kits are the least expensive form of testing and typically take 2 to 7 days to measure radon levels. In order to get accurate results, it is important to follow the instructions carefully as there are many factors that have to be accounted for, which can be a drawback of the kits. 

They should be hung in the lowest level of your home, away from windows, vents, and doors, and should be 2 to 6 feet above the floor. Many people hang their test kits from the ceiling or a ceiling fan using dental floss or string.

 After that, the test is mailed to a laboratory for analysis which will then notify you of the results in a few weeks. Short-term kits do not expire as long as the test kit has not been removed from the plastic and the backing of the kit is not punctured.  

Short-term test kits are a good option if you do not know your home’s radon levels and can indicate if further testing should be conducted. 

Long-Term Test Kits

Long-term testing kits tend to be more accurate than short-term radon testing kits, but are also more expensive. Long-term kits measure radon levels for a minimum of three months and can measure radon levels for up to one year. A longer measuring time, however, means that the period to find out the results will also be prolonged. Long-term test kits expire 5 years from the date of manufacture in their original packaging. 

Long-term test kits are a good option if you have recently done a short-term test or had to get your home fixed after having high levels of radon because they will provide more information. They can also indicate if any further radon removal processes are necessary. 

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Digital Detectors

Digital detectors can last for months to years and thus are more expensive than the kits. They are mounted to the wall and provide real-time levels of radon inside your home, providing both short-term and long-term results. If radon levels exceed EPA guidelines, the detector will alarm so homeowners become aware. 

Digital radon detectors are a good option if you would like to regularly monitor radon levels inside your home, especially if you live in a location where your home is more prone to radon. 

Professional Testing

Professional radon testing is the most expensive option to test for radon in the home. The price of professional testing depends on your location, the urgency of the test, services purchased, and square footage of your home with prices ranging from $145 to over $700 with most people paying between $200 and $400. 

With professional testing, you do not have to worry about human error like with at-home test kits. Licensed experts use more accurate devices to measure radon and can get the results back to you within a day.     

Where to Buy Radon Test Kits

Radon test kits are available online and can be found at home improvement stores. Test kits are also available from the National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University and the American Lung Association

Local or county health departments and state radon programs sometimes offer free test kits as well. To find out more information about radon testing prices and practices in your area, you can go to the EPA website page to find out more about regional, state, and tribal radon programs. 

Radon Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Below we answer some questions you may have about the health implications of radon and general information about when and where to use radon testing kits. 

How can radon affect my health?

Radon is a natural radioactive gas that is formed by the decay of uranium in soil, rocks, and water. Radon predominantly moves from the ground up into houses through drains, cracks, or other holes and can then get trapped inside. Long-term exposure to radon over many years can damage your lungs and increase your risk of lung cancer.

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What locations are prone to higher radon levels?

All buildings are recommended to test for radon. Because indoor radon usually comes from the soil, higher levels will mostly be found in the basement and below the third floor of an apartment building or home. 

How often should I test for radon?

The EPA recommends testing for radon every two years with elevated levels found in 1 in 15 homes. If you are unaware of your property’s current radon levels, you should test it immediately. 

What do I do if I have high levels of radon in my home?

You can always expect to have some levels of radon in your home as it is naturally found in the ground (if your test kit shows 0 then something likely went wrong with your test kit). If the results of the test are above the EPA recommended guideline of 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi / L) you should contact your state radon program and get the radon removed professionally. 

Lower levels of radon – about 2 pCi / L – radon can still pose a risk and can be reduced in many cases. Radon reductions systems can reduce very high levels of radon to acceptable and safe levels by up to 99 percent. Radon reduction systems range in cost depending on location and work required, ranging from $850 to upwards of $1,900.     

Bottom Line

Testing your home for radon is the best protection there is for preventing health implications from radon exposure. Everyone is recommended to test their homes for radon at least once every two years. At-home radon testing kits are widely available, easy to use, affordable, and can prevent adverse health outcomes. 

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