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What happens to a radon test result if the windows were opened, the test device moved, or there was any other evidence of tampering during the test?
Saturday, June 16, 2018
It’s simple: the test is voided and must be run again. No exceptions. The parameters for a radon test are that it has be a minimum of 48-hours, the HVAC system remains on and thermostat set between 67º and 76º F, windows stay closed, and doors opened only briefly for entry and exit from the house. Even if the test runs longer than the minimum 48-hours and, for example, a window is opened after the first two days, the results are voided.
Tamper Detection Built-In
The type of radon test device used for most real estate transactions is a continuous electronic monitor. It reports hourly radon readings, signals any movement of the device, and notes temperature and humidity fluctuations, along with changes in interior pressure of the home that indicate any opening of doors or windows. So this type of radon testing device is good for being sure the results are “honest.”
Passive Devices Easier To Fool
Another group of radon testing devices are the “passive” type. These include the charcoal canisters that consumers can buy at hardware and home improvement stores, and electret ion chambers that utilize electrically-charged strips for testing. They are equal in accuracy to continuous electronic monitors, but do not have the tamper-resistant features. Some testing services use a tamper-resistant tape that secures the test canister in place, but any opening of windows or change in temperature or humidity of the testing area cannot be determined with a passive monitor.
Although the passive radon test devices are excellent for homeowners that want to check their own house and have no reason to try to change the test results, they are not as tamperproof for a real estate transaction. Also, see our blog post Can a radon test result be wrong?
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