Continuous Radon Monitors vs. Charcoal Canisters. Here is the difference.

This content is a guest post by Laura Armul, Sales and Marketing Director, SunRADON.

The sale of a home can be contingent upon the result of a radon test.  Getting immediate results to the home buyer, home seller and real estate agent is absolutely necessary to close the deal.  While charcoal canisters and other passive detectors are inexpensive, using a Continuous Radon Monitor will provide tamper resistant features such as movement detection, power failure notifications and an hourly log of the radon fluctuations that passive detection systems cannot provide.

Advanced Continuous Radon Monitors will provide additional environmental conditions to help monitor the home from tampering.  Temperature, Humidity and Barometric pressure can determine if doors and windows were left open long enough to invalidate a test.  This becomes more costly as a second test would be required at the homeowner’s expense.

Charcoal tests are based on an absorption method.  Decay from radon is absorbed by charcoal granules inside the canister.  After the exposure period, the canister is sealed and shipped to a laboratory for analysis.  Charcoal allows continuous absorption and desorption of radon; therefore, this method does not give a true integrated measurement over the exposure time.  

A diffusion barrier is needed to cover the charcoal reducing the effects of drafts and high humidity.  Laboratory errors can also occur after testing.  Canisters can become lost during shipping, temporarily misplaced, or even mislabeled causing lost time, more money and retesting.  If testing is carried out by an inexperienced homeowner, exposure times and re-packaging can be mishandled, potentially voiding results.  

Continuous Radon Monitor test reports are generated from the firmware program embedded in the device and printed by you, a certified inspector, immediately following a short term 48-hour test.  You, as a certified inspector can verify results and immediately point out any test discrepancies.  Certified inspectors are required to follow strict quality assurance guidelines ensuring proper use of the device.  Calibration information can also be provided to prove accurate results of each device. 

SunRADON recommends Continuous Radon Monitors for the reasons listed above. To learn more, visit SunRADON’s Resources Section and the SunRADON YouTube Channel.

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