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Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It also causes cancer. The second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

The U.S. EPA estimates that one of every fifteen homes has an elevated radon level. Is yours one of them?

Think about it. You install smoke detectors and CO2 monitors. You childproof your staircases and dangerous cabinets or rooms. You read the labels on food items and personal care products to select the healthiest option, and take care in using pesticides around your home. Why would you not conduct a test for this dangerous gas that can be fatal?

There is only one way to find out if your home has high levels of radon gas, and that is by conducting a radon test.

There are two kinds of tests. A short term radon test takes anywhere from 2 to 90 days, and is intended as a quick “snapshot” of your home’s radon levels.

The long term radon test takes more than 90 days and is much more accurate, measuring the radon levels throughout the variations that occur over a three-month time frame. A separate test can be arranged to test water, as radon is soluble in water and can be ingested as a result, but is not nearly as common as air contamination.

Both short term and long term tests can be run simultaneously, to obtain both quick results for peace of mind, and to gain more accurate results as well.

If you’ve been working on your house to make it air tight and energy efficient, bravo. After completing your renovation and installation, make sure to test your home for radon, even if it has been previously tested with good results. Areas that once had sufficient ventilation could present a different reading after tightening up the doors and windows.

If you’re buying, or renting a new home or apartment, it is wise, and in many cases required, to make sure the home does not have radon levels exceeding the EPA limits. If you move or travel frequently, or if you have several homes, an easy-to-use, hand held, mobile radon detector like the Home by Airthings is a brilliant solution that gives on-demand results anywhere you’d like to test. Never wonder and worry again whether the radon levels in your home are damaging the health of your family.