Testing your home for radon is important for protecting your family's health. Brand new homes and older homes alike can have excessive levels of radon since radon is in the soil below a house. Testing is the only way to know if your home is built on land that has a high amount of radon. Here's what you should know about radon home testing.

Choose A Long-Term Test

The most accurate results come from long-term testing. The radon levels in your house might fluctuate with the seasons, so a short-term test could show low radon levels when the levels are much higher in the winter or summer when your house is sealed up from the outdoor weather.

The reason radon is such a problem in homes is that it wafts up through the soil and up through the crawlspace or basement floor, where it collects in your home and concentrates if it can't escape. If you keep your windows open in the spring and fall or have ventilation to the outside, your radon levels will be lower since the radon can escape.

During the summer and winter, you may keep your home sealed tight for your comfort when running your HVAC. If radon can't get outside, the levels in your house are elevated. A long-term test that measures radon over a period of months is a more accurate way to know your true exposure to radon. That's why you should consider hiring a radon home testing company to do a long-term test rather than rely solely on a short-term DIY test kit.

The Results Determine Your Next Steps

Radon is a worrisome issue since it can lead to cancer after long-term exposure. If your home has a high radon reading, you probably want to take steps to lower radon in your home. Moving isn't necessarily the right solution since your new home could have a radon problem too.

A contractor can install a vent system that pulls the radon up a pipe to be vented to the outside through your roof. This system relies on alarms to let you know if the vent fan stops working. A vent system keeps radon moving out of your house rather than getting stuck and accumulating.

If your radon level isn't excessive, but you're concerned about fluctuating levels during different seasons, consider installing an electronic radon measuring alarm. Some can send a reading to your smartphone so you know what the daily reading is, and you can tell if the level of radon starts to trend upward.

Radon home testing involves collecting samples over a period of months and then sending the samples to a lab to be analyzed. Even if you start with an inexpensive DIY short-term test, it's probably a good idea to have testing done by a professional so you know your true level of exposure over time.

Contact a professional to learn more about radon home testing