Can I open a window during my radon test?

By
Home Inspector with US Inspect

As beautiful weather sweeps across the nation, many of us are opening the windows to let the fresh air in. But if you, your buyers, or the sellers of your prospective home are conducting a radon test this week, it's not the time to let in a breeze. Did you know that opening windows, even for a short period time, can not only impact the test results, but render the test invalid?

Be Sure Everyone Knows The Facts About Radon Testing Closed-House Requirements

OTHER FREE RESOURCES ON THIS TOPIC: Click Here For More Tips for Surving Radon Testing During Warm Weather Warm Weather Radon Testing Customizeable Handout .

If you are conducting a short term test (less than 4 days), which is typical for a real estate transaction:

  • Close all of your windows on every level and all outside doors at least 12 hours before beginning the test.
  • Throughout the test, "closed house conditions" must be maintained. This means keeping all windows closed for the duration of the test.
  • Keep outside doors closed except for normal momentary entry and exit.
  • Do not operate fans or other machines that bring in air from outside. 
  • Fans that are part of a radon-reduction system or small exhaust fans such as kitchen and bathroom fans operating for only short periods of time may run during the test.
  • Central heating and air conditioning systems are permitted, but wall/window air conditioning units that are set to exchange air are not.
  • Use air conditioning (central/window units on recirculate modes only) and fans to keep cool (excluding whole house fans). Be sure fans are not directed at the test device. Some test devices are very sensitive to air flow.

 

So the short answer to the above question in the title of this post is, "No." But if proper procedures are followed, your test will be brief and you'll be back to enjoying the weather in no time!

Posted By: U.S. Inspect Blog

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 06/02/2013 05:35 PM
Topic:
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
892,444
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Chrissy, I always thought you just needed to keep the area where the Radon canister is placed closed off during the test. Learned something new today. Thanks.

June 02, 2013 07:03 AM #23
Ambassador
1,010,202
Harry F. D'Elia
Precision Real Estate Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, CSSN, Radio Coach, REOs, ABR

These are great tips for the public to read and implement into their home if needed in that part of America.

June 02, 2013 07:04 AM #24
Rainmaker
530,760
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
Arizona Agents
good morning: This is some great Info for all, keep up the good work and goos luck with your business, E
June 02, 2013 07:23 AM #25
Rainmaker
147,608
Chrissy Doremus ~ US Inspect ~
US Inspect - Chantilly, VA
Residential & Commercial Property Inspections

That's what I'm here for Michael! Pass it along!

June 02, 2013 08:37 AM #26
Rainmaker
783,788
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Great advice, Chrissy.  I've seen many a test skewed by ignoring your advice.  Congratulations on the feature.  Well deserved.

June 02, 2013 09:18 AM #27
Rainmaker
645,176
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

This closed house condition creates a real problem sometimes.  The Radon test is so important and all of the rules should be followed to get an accurate result.

Betty

June 02, 2013 11:22 AM #28
Rainer
63,655
Rob Lyszczarz
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited - Westfield, NJ

Chrissy, thanks for sharing , and I hope unscrupulous sellers dont try to take advantage of this information.

June 02, 2013 12:48 PM #29
Rainmaker
354,306
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive Realty/Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Area Realtor

I can't tell you how often I've had sellers who got stuck paying for a second radon test because they didn't follow all of the rules during the one paid for by the buyers.

June 02, 2013 01:51 PM #30
Rainmaker
147,608
Chrissy Doremus ~ US Inspect ~
US Inspect - Chantilly, VA
Residential & Commercial Property Inspections

Rob-- Well the interesting thing is that tampering with the testing doesn't necessarily mean your results will go down!!! The opposite happens as well and a seller could shoot themselves in the foot by messing around.

Nina--all the more reason as an agent to share this post, or the accompanying handout (branded with your name :)) with clients! Please forgive my shameless plug :)

June 02, 2013 02:46 PM #31
Rainmaker
225,826
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad
I believe the same holds true for mold inspections.
June 02, 2013 03:22 PM #32
Rainer
24,823
Bill McNally
Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - Acton, ON

Thanks for the advise Chrissy, good blog.

June 02, 2013 03:40 PM #33
Rainer
149,371
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Chrissy, thank you so much for this information which we can share with our clients. I wasn't aware of all of this.

June 02, 2013 04:35 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,159,208
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
From my reblog.....Here is a very good summary of radon test Seller Protocol. There is always confusion over the open dour policy. This post brings up some more tips to remember such as about fans and windows. The tests are expensive so be careful to not do anything that renders the test invalid.
June 02, 2013 05:35 PM #35
Rainmaker
147,608
Chrissy Doremus ~ US Inspect ~
US Inspect - Chantilly, VA
Residential & Commercial Property Inspections

Thanks for the re-blog, Cheryl!

June 02, 2013 05:54 PM #36
Rainmaker
893,421
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate
Hi Chrissy great list of tips. Thanks for sharing
June 02, 2013 05:57 PM #37
Ambassador
800,581
Fred Griffin Licensed Real Estate Broker
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Florida. Call 850-339-4861

Good advice.  Many people want to skew the tests.  Follow the instructions and do it right!

June 02, 2013 07:30 PM #38
Rainmaker
190,739
John F Muscarella
RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC - Plymouth, MA
Broker/Owner, Plymouth County / Cape Cod, MA

It is rather obvious to most people that you need to do a valid and complete test and you should not disturb the area.  But I have had some real winners over the years.   Nice post

June 03, 2013 02:54 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,069,441
Ginny Gorman
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Chrissy, some homeowners think they can fake the tests but the 'machines' always know...good advice for summer testing & always wondered about central air.

June 03, 2013 03:52 AM #40
Rainer
166,133
Michael Gendreau
Edina Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
Edina Realty

greta advice , we don't do a lot of radon testing in Minnesota just for some relocation deals

June 03, 2013 04:18 AM #41
Rainmaker
1,130,885
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Excellent informational tips about radon testing, Chrissy! I know there are areas around the nation were radon testing happens more frequently.

June 15, 2013 05:47 PM #42
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