19 Feb 2019

Since radon is invisible and does not have any smell or taste, the only way to measure its levels is by using a Radon home test kit. High levels of radon in the home can be hazardous for occupants over the long term. We know that radon is harmful and is even linked to lung cancer when breathed in over a long period of time in an enclosed space.

There are a variety of home test kits available for radon. Hardware stores in Ottawa sell them and they are also available from Ottawa Public Health. There are also some certified companies that can perform radon testing in your home. For a list of the companies that are certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP), follow the link here.

For testing radon yourself, Health Canada’s official recommendation is to use a long-term radon gas test kit that works over at least 3 months in the home. The good news is that these kits are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. In this series of posts, we will walk through the steps of actually using a long-term radon gas home test kit and follow the testing period to observe the results.

Purchase and Lab Testing Fees

For this test, we purchased a Long-Term Radon Gas Test Kit from a hardware store in Ottawa for around $32.00 plus tax. Keep in mind that once the test is complete, it must be sent to a lab and there is a $40.00 standard lab analysis fee that is charged as well. In total, the whole process will be less than $100.00 and it provides peace of mind for your home or even for analyzing a home during a real estate purchase.

One item to keep in mind is that these home test kits have an expiry date. Be sure to check this date when you purchase the kit to make sure that it is not yet expired, but also to make sure you use the kit with three months to spare and not leave it to the last minute before it expires.

Setting up a Radon Home Test Kit

Opening the test kid, you will find a postage paid envelope for mailing the detector back to the lab, and for including your payment form.

Setting up the test kit is as easy as opening the sealed bag the detector is in and placing it somewhere in the basement or lowest level of your home. The instructions stipulate that the detector should be placed away from doors, windows, drafts and vents. Do not place the detector in a kitchen, bathroom, crawl space, furnace room, closet or laundry room, or near direct sunlight or heat source.

Be sure to record the proper serial number of the detector onto the provided data card and to save this information for 3 months minimum until the test has ended.

Once the detector is in place, your work is done! Let it sit for at least 3 months and then it will be ready to be mailed to the lab for results. Check back here on the blog for more information once the test is done and for the results we obtained.