Do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Also Detect Radon?


Many of us have heard about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. We are told that we need to check our furnaces, water heaters, and other gas-using appliances on a regular basis and that we need to have carbon monoxide detectors in nearly every room of the house. In fact, in many states, carbon monoxide detectors are mandatory by law when buying, selling, or renting a home.

Because CO detectors are so prevalent, it would be nice if they also picked up on other harmful gases in the home. Over the years, we’ve had a handful of clients ask us, “do carbon monoxide detectors also detect radon?” While the question isn’t absurd, we want to make sure to dispel the notion that CO detectors are able of detecting radon gas.

Colorless and Odorless Doesn’t Mean Equal


It’s true that both carbon monoxide and radon gas are colorless and odorless – but that’s about all they have in common. CO is detectable by CO detectors – radon requires a different test entirely. Carbon monoxide poisoning results in more immediate reactions:

·       Headaches

·       Weakness

·       Nausea

·       Difficulty breathing

·       Confusion

·       Blurred vision

·       Loss of consciousness

·       Death

Radon poisoning, however, results in more long term health effects:

·       Coughing

·       Chest pains

·       Recurring respiratory infections

·       Hoarseness

·       Wheezing

·       Difficulty breathing

·       Lung cancer

·       Death

While carbon monoxide poisoning is highly dangerous, it results in around 500 deaths per year in the United States. Radon, however, is estimated to be responsible for 21,000 deaths every year via lung cancer. For this reason, we believe that radon gas poisoning deserves just as much if not more attention than CO poisoning.

Radon Testing is the Only Foolproof Way to Detect Radon

So, to answer the question of whether or not carbon monoxide detectors also detect radon, the answer is no. CO detectors are made to do just what the name implies: detect carbon monoxide gas. Radon gas can only be detected by a radon test kit, which is a one time use kit. The kits are easy touse, and many companies offer free radon testing and lab results. Every time you wish to test for radon, you do need to use a brand new radon testing kit.

Get Your Free Radon Testing Kit

Call American Radon LLC today and ask about our free radon testing services. We also offer free lab work services, meaning you’ll get the results of your test at no cost to you. If your home tests for dangerously high levels of radon, we’ll assist you in getting the proper mitigation equipment installed. Even though your CO detector doesn’t test for radon, you’re not out of luck – our technicians are here every day to help you with your radon mitigation and removal needs.