Personally, I've never really worried about radon gas that much, since the house I spent half of my life in was well ventilated and insulated about like a barn, it seems. Basically, the cool air from the air conditioners and the warm air from the heaters would seem to go out of the house about as quick as it went in. Yeah, the electric bills were always high, but hey, I always had fresh air; ha!
The last few years, though, I have lived in 3 different houses. All 3 were insulated well, had cheaper electric bills, but the air was more humid, stuffy, and less fresh. This is when I started thinking more about air pollution, radon, etc. So, I went online and found a map that showed the areas in the US that typically had the highest levels of radon gas. Sure, if the map showed my area was good for the most part, I would have skipped the testing process and most likely forgot about it. However, the map showed that my area was in the high zone so there I was, looking online for testing kits. Plus, I noticed when I broke up the ground for garden season this year at my new home, the ground was really rocky here and radon gas is well-known for being higher in rocky soil, etc.
But before we go any further, check out the Radon Map below:
After viewing that map, I must remind you that even if you live in Zone 3, which appears to be fairly safe, it doesn't mean you are automatically in the clear. For example, your neighbor could have low levels of radon gas in the home, while your levels are much higher, even though you live a few feet away. The way the house is built, the amount of time you spend in the house, how much airflow it has, what's going on inside the soil, etc., are all factors that vary from place to place. Now, they say that radon can be high in any home, whether it is drafty, well-insulated, etc., but common sense tells me that houses that breathe better are not going to trap as much of this gas.
Upon receiving negative results, some may ask: "What do I do? How do I reduce my levels inside my home? Well, don't panic if your test results come back bad, though, because radon mitigation systems are easy to install and are very effective. True, they are a bit pricey, but it is well worth it, I'd say, since your health is the most important thing. ...And another thing, Radon Gas is everywhere (but you can't taste or smell it) albeit the normal outside levels are less than 0.4 pCi/L. If you test your home and it is much over 4 pCi/L, then you may want to think about radon mitigation systems and/or making some changes to your home. People with levels of 10 to 20 pCi/L definitely need to think about fixing their radon problem, especially if you smoke in addition to living in a home with high levels of this radioactive gas.
If you'd like to read and learn more from an elaborate article entitled "A Citizen's Guide to Radon - The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon Gas," go here: http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html
Now, to get a quick idea about radon gas, the testing process, and what you can do if your levels are high in your home, I'll provide a video that is entitled "Breathing Easier: An Informational Radon Video," below:
Radon Gas Testing Kits
Below, I will provide an Amazon link that relates to Radon Gas Test Kits. You can buy the less expensive, one or two-time testing kits online or at some hardware stores, but personally, I went ahead and purchased the expensive one (the radon detector) that you plug in, for a couple reasons. The first reason was because I can plug in and out to test multiple homes for several years or however long the device keeps working. Secondly, I don't have to mail back my test results to get the radon readings in a few days. Plus, those little short-term kits really start to add up if you buy several, so why not go all the way and buy the long-term tasting device. Anyway, I'll provide a very helpful shopping link, below:
What to do if your level is high? Of course you can call a professional that specializes in this field, that is located within your area code. However, many people like to do things their self and there are many how-to pages and guides online. I know that many folks end up buying those radon mitigation fans, systems, etc., so I'll provide a basic shopping link below, to get you started. Hopefully, most people will not have to buy these, but if you have a dangerous level of this radioactive gas in your home, it might be a good idea.
Reduce Radon with Mitigation Systems:
Side Note: For those that get their water from an underground source such as a personal well and/or doesn't drink city or bottled water, you may also want to get your water tested. If radon is in your water, for example, it will also get into your house when you boil it, take hot showers, etc., via steam. Below, I'll provide a product link from Amazon.com, just in case you are interested in testing your water for this radioactive gas, as well.
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