It’s hard to argue with the statistics: Radon gas is odorless and invisible — completely undetectable — but highly toxic and responsible for over 21,000 deaths in the US each year. It is the byproduct of the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock found under many of the homes we live in. Years ago, the only way to discover the presence of radon was to conduct a time-consuming test that included sending samples away to a lab for results. These days, it’s not especially hard to test for: There are a number of affordable handheld detectors (ranging in price from about $100 to well over $200) that can give fast results. Right now, you can get the Airthings Corentium Home Radon Detector for $100. That’s 40% off the usual price of $168, and the lowest price we’ve seen for this model.
The Corentium Home Radon Detector is sort of like a Star Trek tricorder, except it actually does something practical. It’s a handheld, battery-operated device with a simple digital display and can perform both individual readings as well as long-term monitoring (radon levels fluctuate randomly over time, so long term observations are needed to give you an accurate picture of your risk). The device takes about 12 hours to generate a reading.
This is a relatively inexpensive radon detector — as radon detectors go — so don’t expect a lot of frills. It has no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, for example, so it can’t upload your data to a phone or to the cloud. But if you have never had your basement tested for radon, this is an affordable way to get peace of mind for you and your family.