General Radon Information

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

DOWNLOAD CENTER

SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

About Our Kits & Laboratory

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

DOWNLOAD CENTER

SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

Orders

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

DOWNLOAD CENTER

SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

Testing & Procedures

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

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SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

Mistakes & Problems

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

DOWNLOAD CENTER

SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

Information Sheet

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

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SHORT-TERM

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RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

Shipping Your Kit

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

DOWNLOAD CENTER

SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.

 

Results & Analysis

What is radon?
I lost my mailer envelope. What do I do?
  • You can substitute a ZipLock style double-seal bag for your envelope. Please be sure that the bag is well sealed and the kit is not exposed to outside air. Then, ship your kit as soon as possible to our address here:
                         2501 Mayes Road
                         Suite 100
                         Carrollton, TX 75006
Can I ship multiple kits together?
  • Yes, you can have multiple kits in one shipping package! Please be certain that each radon sampler is sealed in its own individual mailer to prevent cross contamination. If you are purchasing Lab Rush Service, please be sure to mark each mailer envelope as well. Please ship to our physical address:
                       2501 Mayes Road
                       Ste 100
                       Carrollton, TX 75006
What does the “<" on my report mean?

The “<” symbol indicates that the measured radon concentration in your sample was less than the detector’s Lower Limit of Detection (LLD). This is usually for one of two reasons:

    1. Your radon concentration was very low and is below the detector’s LLD for these test parameters.
      1.                                                      OR
    2. Your radon test kit took more than the recommended 10 days to arrive in our laboratory. The longer it takes to arrive in the laboratory, the higher the detector’s LLD is.

What do I do next?

  • If your test result was <2.0 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) or lower, you do not need to take any further action.
  • If your test result was <3.0 pCi/L (111 Bq/m3) ( or lower, you may want to consider retesting, since your results are close to the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3)
  • If your test result was <4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) or higher, you will want to retest. Your results may be at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3). To obtain a more precise measurement, ensure your retest arrives at the laboratory within 10 days.

More information on Lower Limit of Detection

For every test, the LLD is calculated. It primarily depends on the amount of time it takes for the test kit to arrive in our laboratory. Under ideal circumstances, our detectors are capable of measuring radon levels as low as 0.3 pCi/L (11 Bq/m3).

However, the longer the kit takes to arrive the more the radon in the test kit undergoes radioactive decay. This means that over time, radon and its daughter particles “disappear” from the test kit. As these particles decay, the LLD rises as there is now less radon in the test kit to measure. This decay of radon raises the Lower Limit of Detection.

Because we want to provide you with the most accurate test result possible, if the measured radon level is below the detector’s LLD, we report the test result as Less than the LLD value. We can know with a high degree of confidence that the radon level in your sample was below the LLD. However, due to statistical variation and radioactive decay, we cannot precisely pinpoint an exact radon level with a high degree of confidence.

For example, if the measured radon level in your test kit was 1.0 pCi/L and the LLD for your test was 2.0 pCi/L, we would report the result as “< 2 pCi/L”. In this example, it is equally likely that your radon level was 0.1 pCi/L or 0.5 pCi/L or 1.0 pCi.L or 1.9 pCi/L, or any other number below 2.0 pCi/L. Because the measured level was below the LLD (in this case, 2.0 pCi/L), any measured radon result below 2.0 pCi/L could be simply due to statistical variation. It is impossible to know the exact level with a high degree of confidence due to statistical variation.

We can know with a high degree of confidence that your radon level was below the indicated value. However, we will be unable to precisely state the exact radon level present. To ensure you have the most accurate results, we will report the test result as Less than the LLD Value. 

In the event that your test kit takes a long time to arrive in our laboratory, we will still do our best to calculate a valid radon result. However, when the test takes a long time the LLD value can rise substantially. For test kits that arrive in 10 or more days, the LLD value can become very high. This is the reason we recommend using expedited shipping to return the test kit to the lab, and the reason we must receive your test within 10 days for best results.

Why do radon levels fluctuate?
  • Radon levels are constantly changing! There are many different factors contributing to radon levels, but essentially, changes in the air pressure inside and outside your home affect the radon levels of your home.
  • Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found in the soil. As it is a gas, it is continually seeking a lower air pressure area; basically, moving from the soil to the air. Just like water always tries to find the easiest path downhill, radon tries to find the easiest path out of the soil and into the air. When water is running down a steep hill, it flows faster than on a gentle slope. Likewise, radon flows faster when there is a bigger difference in pressure between the high pressure soil and the low pressure air. This principle of pressure differences is the main driving force that causes radon to enter your home, and also causes radon levels to change.
    • For more information on what causes radon levels to fluctuate, click here!
Why do you need my test address/zip code?
  • The test address is necessary to correct for differences in time zones between your home and our laboratory. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates, times, and location info that you provide to locate the time zone your test was conducted in. We can then correct for time zone differences between where the test was conducted and where our lab is located!
Why do you need the exact dates and times of the test?
  • The exact dates and times of the test are necessary in order to calculate your radon levels. Radon undergoes radioactive decay over time, meaning that when we receive your radon sampler in the lab, there is less radon present than when you tested in your home. We use the dates and times of your test to correct for this difference and calculate the radon level at the time your test was completed.
  • For best results, dates and times should be as accurate as possible. Incorrect dates and times may lead to inaccurate test results.
How do I know if you’ve received my test kit?

The best way to know if we have received your kit is by checking whatever shipment tracking information you might have on your package. It takes a day or two for your kit to show up in our lab tracking system, but if it has been marked as delivered on your shipment tracking, then we should have it!

  • Because of our procedures to ensure information privacy, we are not able to know if we have received your specific test kit, as everything is sealed within your mailer. The mailer containing your radon sampler and information sheet stays sealed until after it has finished the first stage of testing to prevent cross-contamination. Only after this first stage do we open the mailer to complete our analysis. Normally it takes 3-5 business days upon arrival to complete testing, processing, and analyzing before sending out a result.
  • You can check our website here to see any lab tracking we might have on your kit! Updates are in real time, so once we have something on your kit, it should show up online pretty quickly!

Note: As stated, times are estimated. During times of high volume, processing times may increase. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results by the estimated time given unless you purchase our lab rush analysis service.

I forgot to include my information sheet. What do I do?

It is important that we get your information from you, since we will need it to complete our testing!

  • If you have sealed up but not shipped your kit yet, you can place both the sealed kit and the information sheet in a shipping envelope together and we will ensure that they stay together during testing!
  • If you have already shipped your kit to us, here’s how you can get us your information:
    • Enter your information online via our website here. If you enter your info in online, you don’t have to send us a copy of your info sheet (although it might not be a bad idea).
    • Email or fax a copy of your info sheet. Our email is radon@alphaenergylabs.com and our fax is (972) 242-8860. Make sure that your test kit serial is included in the information that you send to us!
    • Mail it to us. You are welcome to drop it in an envelope and send it to our labs, but we recommend using one of the other methods to make sure that you are able to get your results faster. Our address is:
      Alpha Energy Labs
      2501 Mayes Road
      Suite 100
      Carrollton, TX 75006
My order is marked as delivered, but I never received it. What now?

There are several steps to take in this situation:

  • Contact us so that we can have the shipping company initiate a trace on your package. Oftentimes they can locate it and will get it sent to you!
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Phone: (800) 324-5928
    • Be sure to have your order number when you contact us!
  • If your package has been stolen or cannot be located, we are able to replace your order! If this is the case for your package, we will send you an affidavit to fill out and sign for us. Once we receive the affidavit back from you, we will send your reorder to you.
    • Email: radon@alphaenergylabs.com
    • Fax: (972) 242-8860
Is it better to test the basement or another floor?

We recommend testing in the lowest livable level of your house (usually the basement), but it could be a bit up to your preference! Here’s why we recommend the basement:

  • Radon sits a little heavier than the air, so the highest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of the building. By testing in the basement area you are basically testing for the “worst case scenario” of your home’s radon levels. It’s very rare that a house with low radon levels in the basement has high radon levels in the above floors!
  • Radon naturally occurs in the soil, so by testing the lowest level you are also testing closer to the most likely entry point of radon gas.
  • Most real estate transactions require that the lowest livable level is tested. This includes a level that could be lived in or modified to live in, so even an unfinished basement. Tests done for legal transactions or other legal reasons usually require specific testing directions; make sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth for your particular situation. You can find some more info here.

Radon levels are usually different between levels of your house. If you don’t spend a significant amount of time in your basement or just want to know your levels for personal knowledge, you could test an area of the house that you spend more time in! This would give you results for what levels of radon you are encountering regularly. Again, even in this case, we still recommend the lowest level, so the first floor would be the best option if you aren’t testing the basement.

Do I need to do more than one test kit for a large area?

Usually, one test kit is sufficient! All our radon samplers (First Alert, LabTech, Kidde, and Alpha Energy) are good for levels up to 2,000 sq. ft. This does not refer to your entire house square footage; just the level or floor of your home that you are testing! If you are wanting to find out the radon levels for different floors of your home, then you will need more than one test kit. Each area you want to test needs its own radon sampler! 

 

I’ve already started my test, but now there’s some bad weather. What should I do?
  • Light weather events usually do not dramatically affect radon levels! Light rain, low winds, or a little snowfall will not cause much of a problem. You are welcome to continue testing and send it in to our labs. Keep in mind that it may not be completely accurate, but we should be able to give you a good idea!
  • If you’ve already started your radon test and a severe weather event occurs, you should continue running the test. Running the test for the longest period of time possible is recommended when severe weather occurs – so aim for 96 hours. Running the test for a longer period of time helps to compensate for any sudden changes in radon levels caused by weather. However, the results from the test may still not be a good indication of your normal radon levels, so it’s wise to run another test once the weather is back to normal.
    • To read more, click here to find more information about why weather affects radon levels and testing.
I sent my kit in a while ago. Why haven’t I received my report yet?

Whenever we have a completed report for your kit, we send it off via whatever method you specified on your information sheet! You can always access lab tracking and reports through our website. Here’s the most commons reasons why haven’t seen a report yet:

  • Your emailed report got sent to a junk or spam folder. Since we send out thousands of reports this way, we often get flagged as spam.
  • Your mailed report hasn’t reached you quite yet. It can take around 7 days for a mailed report to reach you sometimes!

Some other factors may include:

  • An incorrectly written email, fax number, or address
  • Missing information. Sometimes, we receive tests in our lab without the information sheet.
  • A slight delay in transit to our labs

If it’s been over 30 days since you mailed off your kit and you have still not received results, please contact us at radon@alphaenergylabs.com or (800) 324-5928. Be sure to include your test kit serial and shipment information.

Why was my kit returned marked “Refused”?
  • Our laboratories do not refuse packages, because we know that kits return to our labs in various ways! If you tried to send your kit back to our labs through USPS and it was returned, usually that means there was not enough postage. Click here to find out what the current rates are for our test kits!
  • We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee your test will be valid. Delays in mail delivery are, unfortunately, out of our control – another reason why we recommend expedited services that guarantee a timely delivery!
What are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
  • Lung cancer in the only documented health risk connected with radon exposure. Radon is a radioactive gas, and so the danger comes from breathing it in. Symptoms also do not happen overnight! It takes years and years of exposure to fairly high levels of radon before symptoms appear. There isn’t any evidence that short-term exposures will cause symptoms. However, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer with the added factor of smoking! Other bodily aches and pains you might be experiencing are not caused by radon. To read up a bit more, visit the EPA’s website.
There’s a QA/QC note on my report about an unsealed envelope. What does that mean?

This note about the sampler being received in an unsealed envelope usually means one of two things:

  • That we received your kit in an envelope that either was completely open and unsealed (with no fold) or
  • That your envelope was not entirely sealed up (though folded over).

An unsealed envelope could be from improper sealing, but there are some cases where the top flap gets separated from its seal during transit. We’re required to note anything like this on our reports as they can affect the results. In the cases where that note is present, the results that we were able to get are estimated readings, as radon can escape or enter during transit to our labs. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to know exactly how it could have affected a kit.

If you are going to be needing some firm results, you will need to test again with a new kit and ensure that the envelope is sealed up properly when it is sent back for analysis.

To help avoid this error:

  • Be sure that you do not “overfold” the top flap, which can cause improper sealing. 
  • We also recommend taping over the seal with some extra tape to ensure it is air-tight!
What is the privacy policy and terms of use on this kit?

Here at Alpha Energy Labs, we strive to keep your personal information confidential; we do not release your confidential information (name, address, results, etc.) to third parties – the only exception being when required by law or regulatory agencies. We do not sell your information for marketing purposes.

  • You can view the entire privacy policy and terms of use by clicking here. You can also view a list of states that have regulatory laws regarding radon and radon testing.

If you have any questions about the regulations specific to your state, please contact your state radon contact! You can find your state’s radon contact number by searching here.

How much postage does my kit need?

Postage prices vary depending on how many samples you have! Please check with your post office for the correct amount of postage – many times more than one stamp is required.

Please note that if your mold kit reaches us without the proper amount of postage, our lab is responsible for covering that cost and you may be charged additional fees. We strongly recommend taking your package to the post office for weighing so that you may apply the correct postage amount.

What days does the lab accept mail?

We are open to receive mail any day that the Post Office delivers! This includes Saturdays and a few holidays. If they will be delivering, then we will be here to receive your packages!

  • Saturdays we are open to receive mail, but customer service is not open. We also do not typically issue reports on Saturdays.
  • Click here for the Post Office’s list of holidays on which they are closed and do not deliver.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be responsible for transit delays, from holidays or other processing delays. We recommend purchasing a shipping service that includes tracking so that you may ensure delivery to our labs. Packages delivered near holidays may be delayed in processing due to lab closures over holidays; however, this should not affect the accuracy of the results as the time-sensitive portion of testing is completed the day it arrives in the lab. For radon kits, we need to receive kits with 10 calendar days of being stopped to ensure valid results (for mold kits the time limit does not apply). 

What does “Room Location” mean?

This is the space where you can note where your test kit was placed during exposure, such as “living room” or “center of basement”. It can be as general or specific as you like! This is typically only for your own reference, so you can note this according to your preference. Please note that the room location does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Do I still need to send in a paper copy if I use the online form?

If you have filled out the information sheet online, it’s not necessary to send in a paper copy, though we recommend it! Both types of forms require the same information, so only submitting one should be sufficient. Click here to register your kit online!

If you would like to print another copy of the info sheet and instructions, you can download a new copy by clicking here.

On my online form, I incorrectly marked that I did/didn’t want Rush. What do I do?

For that Rush Service, we have to go by whatever is listed on the mailer envelope that your kit gets sent in. Your kit stays sealed in that packaging until the second stage of analysis, so we are not able to match up your information with your kit until later in processing. Fortunately, this makes for an easy fix!

  • If you selected that you were planning to get the Rush Service on the online form but do not want Rush Service, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box on the mailer envelope is not marked for Rush Service, and you do not need to send in payment for that service.
  • If you were not planning on doing Rush Service when doing your online form but do need Rush Service on your kit, you’ll just need to make sure that the Rush Service box is checked on the mailer envelope and that payment is included!

 

How should I run my test if I’m worried about high humidity/moisture?

For tests being run in areas that have high humidity, the best thing to do is run your kit for the minimum exposure time – 48 hours. This greatly reduces the chances of your kit absorbing too much moisture for us to get a result. If you’d like, you can also run a dehumidifier during testing as well. We do not recommend running any fans/vents that circulate in air from the outside, as that exchange of air would affect your results.

What are your holiday hours?

For Mail and Deliveries to the Lab:

For Lab Reporting and Customer Service:

  • Customer service and lab reporting days are Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, unless noted. Holidays falling over a weekend are observed on the closest Friday or Monday to said holiday.
  • We are closed on these holidays: 
    • New Year’s Day* 
    • Memorial Day  
    • Independence Day*
    • Labor Day 
    • Thanksgiving Day* & day after
    • Christmas Day*
    • *Note: customer service and lab reporting typically close around 12pm CST on the day preceding these holidays.
What does shipping cost? How many stamps should I use?
  • We strongly recommend purchasing a shipping service that allows you to track your package, as we cannot track arrival of the test kits in our lab. If you do not have tracking on your kit, we may not be able to tell you whether or not we have received it. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS Priority all have shipment tracking!
    • Rates for shipping vary depending on what carrier you choose, shipping distance, and how many kits you are sending. Check with the carrier to get a price!
  • Recently, the US Postal Service has increased the amount of postage required for First Class mail. Some older test kits may contain outdated instructions – please be sure to use the correct amount of postage when sending your package. For current postal rates, click here.

Please be advised that we do not recommend shipping with USPS First Class (using stamps) as they are the least reliable carrier. We must receive your test within 10 days of the end of the test for best results. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid reading for your test. We also advise placing your test kit(s) inside of a box or shipping envelope, as we have noticed some companies tend to damage test kits that are not placed inside of a box or envelope.

How dangerous is radon?
What amount of radon is safe?
Which type of radon test should I choose?

For most tests we recommend using a Short Term test kit, especially for preliminary and exploratory testing. If you are looking to do a secondary test, you may want to use a different type of radon test. You can refer to our flowchart to help decide which test is right for you!

How can I order a test kit?
  • For general customers, please click here for a list of our products available for purchase.
  • Alpha Energy also maintains relationships with several state radon programs. If you are a resident of one of those states you may order at a discounted price by clicking on the state. Only orders shipping to that state will be fulfilled. To see if there is a program for your state, check the “State Discounts” dropdown near the top of the page!
  • If you are a business or state-affiliated agency looking to order in bulk, give us a call to get information about our bulk pricing! You can follow the bulk prompts through our general line: (800) 324-5928.
Is there a cost for lab analysis on my kit?

Unlike other analytical laboratories, Alpha Energy does not charge an additional fee for analysis for most test kits! First Alert, Kidde, and Alpha Energy kits fall into this category.

  • Tests conducted in New Jersey require a $10 administrative fee per test kit to cover the regulatory costs charged to Alpha Energy by the State of New Jersey DEP.
  • For Canada residents, a $15 fee per test kit is required to cover shipping costs.
  • LabTech kits do have an analysis fee of $15, plus any other costs that may apply (New Jersey administrative fee, optional Lab Rush Service, etc.).
    • Your test information sheet will indicate if an analysis fee is required. If you are unsure, check your test serial. Serials starting with RA (i.e. RA123456) require a $15 analysis fee.

 

What is Radon in Water?
  • Radon gas is created by the decay of uranium and sometimes gets trapped in underground water reserves and aquifers at high pressure. When this radon-contaminated water leaves your tap the radon gas is released into your home. Because of this, well water sources are the most likely to have radon problems.
What is the shelf life of my kit?
  • The Short Term test kits have an indefinite shelf life! As long as they have been sealed up in their plastic bag, do not have any sort of damage to the paper side of the kit, and have been stored under normal room temperature conditions, they should be fine to use. First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits all use Short Term tests.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) test kits generally have a shelf life of about one year. These kits should have a sticker that states by what date the test should start by for a valid reading. If you have any concerns about your kit being expired, please call us at 800-324-5928 and have your test kit serial number ready!
  • Radon in Water test kits do not expire.

Note: while the kit may not expire, some information may become outdated, such as the postage needed to send back your kit. Please check to ensure that you are using the correct amount of postage when returning your kit. 

Do I need to test for Radon in Water?
  • In most cases it is not necessary to test for radon in water. Generally, you should only test your water if you receive a high test result from your first Short Term test. If you receive your water from a municipal supply the chances are very low that you have radon in your water. For more information, please refer to our flowchart.

Where do I place my radon sampler?

Short Term Radon Tests (This includes First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits)

  • You should place your radon sampler on the lowest livable level on your house at least 2 – 7 feet above the floor. Make sure that it is on a flat surface at least 6 inches away from any wall or large object (anything large enough to impede air flow). You are also able to hang your sampler from the ceiling if you cannot set it on a surface within the 2-7 ft. testing window.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with high humidity. If the charcoal absorbs too much moisture, your test could result in an error (this is also why we recommend a 48-hour exposure). Definitely do not place it anywhere where it could get wet!
  • Make sure that the paper side is facing upwards! This allows air to reach the charcoal and is necessary to obtain accurate results.
  • Typically you should place it near the central portion of the room, but it is fine to place it elsewhere in the room. Gas permeates and fills the volume of space that it’s in, so placing it on one side of the room versus the other shouldn’t be an issue!
  • For real estate transactions, you should place two radon samplers four inches apart. Laws can vary by state, so ask your state radon contact about what laws are in place for your state!

Long Term Radon Tests (Alpha Track)

  • Place the radon sampler rounded side up on a flat surface or suspend it using the attached clip. Be sure to keep the detector 3 feet from any window, door, or other opening and at least 1 foot away from any wall. The radon sampler should be at least 20 inches above the floor.
  • Avoid areas and rooms with abnormally high humidity or any place where it might get wet!

 

How do I get Lab Rush Analysis Service?

Lab Rush Analysis Service guarantees that you will receive your results via fax or email by the end of the next business day after we receive your kit in our lab (e.g. if received on Tuesday, your results guaranteed by the end of Wednesday). The cost is $10 per test kit. If you are looking to get your results as quickly as possible, getting expedited shipping and lab rush service is the fastest way to go!

  • Make sure to provide a valid email address or fax number on your information sheet so that we can get you your results once your kit is finished.
  • Enclose your payment with your info sheet and kit. You can pay by check or credit card.
    • For credit cards, write your card information on the bottom portion of your info sheet. We accept all major credit cards!
    • For checks, you can make them out to Alpha Energy Labs.
  • Mark the box on the outside of the return mailer to notate lab rush service. If no box is present, write “Rush Service” on the mailer in permanent marker. If there is no notation on your mailer, then we will have no way of knowing that your kit needs to be rushed and there will be delays.

Note: Alpha Energy cannot be held responsible for delays in analysis if you fail to follow all of the above instructions. Lab Rush can only be applied to Short Term test kits before they are sent to our laboratories. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

How do I start my Short Term or Long Term test?

Be sure to read the instructions about sampler placement before starting the test! This will help you understand how to conduct the test properly. Instructions are on the back of the information sheet that was included in your kit.

  • For both Short Term and Long Term test kits, testing begins once the radon sampler is exposed to air. To begin testing you will need to open the plastic bag and pull out the sampler for placement.
  • Immediately place the sampler in a location that fits the guidelines listed in the instructions.
  • Don’t forget to write the start dates and times on your info sheet! The testing times and dates are important for our lab calculations, and without them we cannot obtain results.
When do I stop the test?

To view the instructions that came with your kit, click here!

  • Short Term – The test officially stops when the radon sampler gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your sampler should have been exposed for at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours! An exposure period outside of the 48 – 96 hour time frame results in an invalid reading. We usually recommend a 48 hour exposure to avoid the possibility of accidentally overexposing the kit, but also to avoid having the kit absorb too much moisture!
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
    • First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits use Short Term radon samplers.
  • Long Term (Alpha Track) – The test officially stops when the test device gets sealed up in the return mailer (along with your info sheet).
    • Your test device should have been exposed for at least 91 days but not more than 365 days! An exposure period outside of the 91 – 365 day time frame results in an invalid reading.
    • Be sure that the return mailer is sealed up completely! You can use tape to ensure that the mailer is sealed well.
How should I ship my test kit?
  • First, make sure to stop the test by sealing up your kit (and information sheet) in the return mailer.
    • If you have already sealed up the kit and left out your information sheet, you can place it and your kit inside a box or shipping envelope to ensure that we receive them both together. If you have misplaced your return mailer, a double seal zip-lock bag will suffice!
  • Second, ship your kit to us as soon as possible! We must receive your test kit within 10 days of the test being stopped. After 10 days, we cannot guarantee a valid test result.
  • We strongly recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority Mail or better. This way you can track your shipment and ensure delivery to our lab.
  • For USPS First Class mail (using stamps), current postal rates are listed here. Sometimes our enclosed information goes out of date as postal prices increase, so be sure that you are using the correct amount of postage before shipping!
    •  If you ship via USPS First Class mail you do so at your own risk. Alpha Energy is not responsible for postal errors. We have seen an ever increasing error rate with the postal service and delivery times have greatly increased. We strongly recommend shipping methods that allow you to track your package, such as FedEx, UPS, or Priority Mail or better.
    • Certain tests include prepaid USPS First Class postage. If your mailer says “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED INSIDE THE UNITED STATES”, no stamps are required to ship via USPS. Please understand we cannot guarantee that USPS will deliver your test in a timely manner.

We recommend placing the test kit inside of a box or shipping envelope to ensure safe delivery. We have noticed that UPS tends to damage kits that are not placed inside of a box or UPS envelope.

  • You are welcome to ship us multiple kits in one package, as long as each is sealed up in its own return mailer!
  • Please ship to our physical address: 2501 Mayes Road, Ste 100 Carrollton, TX 75006
    • If your test includes prepaid USPS First Class Postage, the envelope will have a PO box address on it. If you ship with an alternate shipping method, please use our physical address above. The PO Box address can only be used for kits being sent via the prepaid return postage.
How do I test for Radon in Water?
  • You need to capture a sample of your water in the sample vial. Take the water from as close to the water source as possible; you want to ensure that the water goes through as few filters and aerators as possible, as they will release the radon into the air and skew your test result.  If possible, disconnect any filters or aerators from the water source. For more detailed information, see our Radon in Water Testing Instructions.
What are “Closed House Conditions”?

Only Short Term radon samplers use Closed House Conditions! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde products use short term radon samplers.

  • All exterior doors and windows are kept closed during the test and for at least 12 hours before starting the test. Normal use such as entry and exit is fine, but doors and windows should not be left open. Interior doors should be used as normal – opening and closing them is fine!
  • You are able to run your heating and cooling systems in your house, as long as they are not bringing in outside air. They should be running in a re-circulation mode.
  • If you normally run a dehumidifier, then you should run it during testing as normal!
  • Fans venting air to the outside (like stovetop or bathroom fans) should be used as little as possible.
  • Fans circulating air inside the house should be fine to use, but be careful not to expose your kit to a lot of moving air! Make sure that your fan or vent is not blowing at the sampler, and avoid putting it right next to your fan or vent.

If you did not conduct your test under these conditions, that doesn’t make your test invalid, but be advised that your results may not be as accurate as they would have been under the Closed House Conditions. If your house meet these requirements, then mark “yes” for Closed House Conditions!

Closed House Conditions are not necessary for Long Term (Alpha Track) tests and Radon in Water tests. 

What does “Test Floor” mean?

Test Floor is the floor of your house that you placed your test kit on. For example, your basement would be “basement”, your first floor (ground level) would be “1st floor”, and so on. Please note that your test floor does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

What does “Structural Type” mean?

Structure type is the type of construction used in your house. You can refer to the flowchart to help choose. Please note that your structure type does not affect our ability to get results from your kit!

Where is my Test Kit Serial Number?
  • For Short Term tests, your test kit serial number is located on the plastic tray of your radon sampler immediately below the words “Test Kit Serial”. It is usually 1-3 letters followed by 4-6 numbers, i.e. FC123456. This is not the barcode on the outside of the retail packaging! First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits are all Short Term tests.

 

  • For Long Term (Alpha Track) tests, your serial number is located on the top of the black disk canister. It would be a series of 7 numbers and include a dash before the final number (note: older kits may not include a dash in the serial). These should all begin with the letters “AT” — it may not be included on the canister itself, but will be listed on the information sheet.
Why do I need my Test Kit Serial Number?

Having the test kit serial number ensures that you have permission to access the results for or update information about your kit. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, Alpha Energy cannot disclose test information with the serial. If you are wanting to search for your results on our website or must contact our lab for any reason, you will need the serial!

  • Be sure to make a note of  your test kit serial for your own records!

For information on where to find the serial, please refer to our FAQ! It is not the barcode on the retail packaging. 

For more information on our privacy policy, please review our privacy policy here.

I made a mistake doing my test/information sheet. What do I do?
  • Some mistakes probably won’t affect our ability to get results – such as forgetting to use all capitol letters or write in black ink. If you need another information sheet, you can download one by clicking here. You can also opt to register your kit online without sending in a paper copy of your info sheet. Click here to enter your info in online!
  • Some mistakes render a test kit invalid, like the paper backing being punctured or overexposing the kit. Unfortunately, you would have to run another test in those cases.
  • There are some cases where a replacement kit might be available at no charge. To inquire about getting a replacement kit please call or e-mail radon@alphaenergylabs.com with your name, address, test kit serial number, and circumstances surrounding your request.
  • If you aren’t sure about your kit, call us at (800) 324-5928 and we can help!
I lost the information sheet. What should I do?

There’s two ways to get your information to us in this case:

  • Download and print a new copy of your info sheet to send back to us from here.
  • Submit all your test information online here.

Either is sufficient! If you’d like to be extra thorough, you can do both.

For any test procedure questions, please refer to the instructions here or to one of the other FAQs!

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SHORT-TERM

LONG-TERM

RADON IN WATER

 

Have you received my test kit?
  • To better serve all of our customers and provide fast analysis service, Alpha Energy must dedicate our time to performing analysis on your kit. For this reason, we cannot spend time searching for your test kit. We do not have the ability to track your kit in our lab until the test has completed the first step of analysis and the package can be opened. We recommend choosing a shipping method that allows you to track the delivery of your test kit.
How long until I get results, and how am I notified?

Your results will be sent to you however you indicated on your information sheet! We are able to email, fax, or mail them to you, and reports are sent out once we have finished testing. You may also view any lab tracking and test results online here. (Be sure that your browser is updated and compatible with our system. A list of compatible browsers can also be found here.)

For Short Term radon tests, results are generally available 3-5 business days after our lab receives the test kit. During high volume times, such as our peak season from November to April, results may take longer.  If you need your results quickly or within a certain time window, we recommend purchasing Lab Rush Analysis Service (see F.A.Q.).

  • There is no time window guarantee for regular service – if you need your results within a small time window we strongly recommend you purchase Lab Rush Analysis Service and ship your kit via an expedited method.
  • Short Term tests include First Alert, LabTech, and Kidde kits.

For Long Term (Alpha Track) radon test kits, results are generally available 2-4 weeks after our lab receives the test kit.

For Radon in Water, results are generally available 4-6 weeks after the lab receives the test kit.

 

How do I get my results faster?
  • For faster service, please enter your test information online here.
  • For an even faster analysis time, you may purchase our Lab Rush Analysis Service! Rush service will guarantee your results are sent via email or fax by the end of the next business day after our lab receives the kit (e.g. if received on Tuesday, results guaranteed sent by Wednesday). The cost of lab rush analysis is $10 per test kit. Please note that this is only available before your kit is sent in for analysis.
  • For the fastest service possible, we recommend using  an expedited shipping service to our labs and purchasing our Lab Rush Analysis. The faster we get receive it, the faster you will get results!

Note: Lab rush service is only available for purchase before a test kit is sent in. Once you have sent in your kit we are not able to take an order for rush analysis. If you must have a kit rushed after it has been sent in, please contact our labs. Additional fees will incur.

 

What do my test results mean?
  • Below 2 pCi/L (74 Bq/m3) is considered a low level of radon and a good test result!
  • Above 4 pCi/L (148 Bq/m3) is considered a dangerous level of radon and the EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon levels. How?
  • Between 2 and 4 pCi/L (74-148 Bq/m3) is considered by the EPA to be an acceptable but not ideal result. No level of radon is considered safe, so a follow-up test may be warranted to confirm test results. Many times we recommend using a long term test kit for these follow-up tests.
  • The national indoor average for radon is estimated at 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor air averages 0.4 pCi/L. For more detailed information, please visit our page here.
  • If you would like some additional information about your radon results, you can visit the EPA’s website or call your state radon contact (find yours here!).
What do my Radon in Water test results mean?
My test results were high. What do I do now?
  • If this was the first test at the location, it is typically recommended that a follow-up test be run. You may want to use a different type of test kit, depending on your results. You can refer to our flowchart here to help you determine which test you should choose!
  • For tests above 4.0 pCi/L the EPA recommends undergoing mitigation to reduce your test levels. Alpha Energy does not provide mitigation services. You can find a list of licensed mitigators here, and you can also speak with your State Radon Contact for a more complete list of mitigators that do work in your area!
  • For more information you can also refer to the Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
Where can I learn about types of mold?

o Moldlab maintains a excellent website with a great deal of information. You

can find a glossary of types of mold here . Additional resources can be found here.

I have my test report. What do I do now?

If you received a lab report back that had high or abundant levels of potentially dangerous types of mold, we usually recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home or business. If you need help finding a professional in your area to take air samples, we may have a referral for you. You can also find professionals on the Internet or in your local phone book.

I have mold. How do I get rid of it?
  • Most molds are considered allergenic and some may be toxigenic, so if you are going to disturb the mold with cleaning methods you increase your chances of exposure to the mold particles. A good rule of thumb is that if the contaminated area is small and the material is non-porus, it can be cleaned by traditional methods. Porus materials, on the other hand, are difficult to clean because of the tiny microscopic holes in the material. The root type structures of the mold can grow down into the holes and make it hard to clean completely. For more information, you can visit the EPA’s website or OSHA’s website .
Do I have Black Mold?
  • Usually when a customer asks this question he/she is referring to Stachybotrys, because that is the particular type of mold that received so much media coverage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Although Stachybotrys is black in color, so are many other types of mold. Do not assume you have Stachybotrys just because the mold is black.
  • You do not want to discount the importance of other types of mold that may be listed on your report. Just because you do not see the word or words Stachybotrys or Black mold on your report does not mean that there may not be a potentially harmful mold present. Please look up the type of mold detected on your report on our glossary of terms for a better understanding of the type of mold you are dealing with.
I have mold. Can I still live in my house?

That is a difficult question to answer since there are no established ‘safe’ levels of mold and more importantly, individuals have dramatically different resistances to mold. If you received test results back and have determined that there are potentially harmful health effects associated with the mold, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding further exposure. The following questions may help you answer that question:

How wide spread is the contamination? Is it inside a cabinet? Or is it inside a wall cavity, or under the entire carpet pad? If it is a small area you can close/seal it off until it can be cleaned properly by a professional. If the contamination is wide spread or you do not know the extent of the contamination you should probably contact a professional in your area for advice.

Are any of the occupants particularly susceptible to mold or lung problems, like persons with existing respiratory disorders, the young, the elderly or the immune suppressed? If so, it is recommended to err on the side of caution and discontinue any possible mold exposure to these individuals.

Is the mold airborne? Is the mold in an occupied area? If you received a lab report back from tape lifts and the types of mold listed have potential health effects associated with it, we recommend contacting a professional in your local area to take air samples for you. A professional must take air samples because specialized equipment is used. Having air samples taken will let you know if the mold you sent in on the tape lifts has contaminated the air. We highly recommend having an Exterior / outdoor sample taken at approximately the same time the interior samples are taken so you will know what is considered normal for your area this time of year

Have you been experiencing any health problems that you think may be due to mold exposure?

I cleaned my mold. Will it come back?
  • It certainly can if the conditions are conducive to its growth. Different types of mold thrive in various conditions. Some types of mold grow in high moisture, some low, some like cellulose, some prefer decaying material, etc.
Which type of test should I choose?
  • Our Visual Mold test is designed to take samples of visible mold. Choose this test kit if you want to spot test for mold.
  • Our Airborne Mold test kit is designed to test for mold spores that are in the air. Choose this test kit if you have concerns about your air quality and airborne mold.
How do I purchase rush analysis service?
  • Rush analysis service is available for Visual Mold tests only. The cost is $10 per sample in addition to the normal analysis fee amount contained in your information card. Older test kits do not contain rush service option; you may download and print your rush service card here.
How many tape strips do I have to use for my Visual Mold kit?
  • You can use as many or as few test strips as you need. You will have to pay the cost for analysis for each test strip sent in or your test will not be analyzed.
How can I pay for analysis?
  • We accept check, cash, money order, or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc).
Where do I ship my test kit?
  • Your completed test kit should be shipped immediately to Moldlab at 2501 Mayes Road Ste 110 Carrollton, TX 75006.
How long until my test results are ready?
  • For Airborne Mold tests, your results are available 24-48 hours after our lab receives your test kit
  • For Visual Mold tests, your results are available 72 hours after our lab receives your test kit. If you need your results faster, you may purchase rush service to have your results delivered within 24 hours of receipt of your kit. For more information on rush service, see the F.A.Q. topic above or the test instructions here
How do I get my results?
  • Your results will be delivered by fax or email, depending on which option you choose. To have your results resent, please call the Moldlab at 866-416-6653.
How do I read my Visual Mold Test report?
  • The top portion of the report is all the information you provided on the paperwork, test kit, or samples you sent in to the lab
  • The second or middle section of the report is a list of the sample location (if provided) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page the types of mold that were found (if any) are listed, along with a rating system of 1x – 4x. See the next FAQ for more information on this.
  • The bottom portion of the report shows the laboratory licenses and certifications as well as the technician who analyzed your sample(s).
What is the Raw Count on my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • The raw count, found on the right side of the summary report, can be thought of as an actual count. The number is how many spores we actually viewed on your sample while looking through the microscope. We use this number to generate the Calculated Concentration.
How do I read my Airborne Mold Test report?
  • For air samples, the general guideline is that you want the inside air sample to be similar to or less than the outside types and concentrations of mold detected. For this reason, it is very important that you take an outside/baseline/control sample from a non-contaminated area, preferably outdoors so you can establish what is considered “normal” in your specific area at that time of year.
  • EPA, OSHA, NIOSH and other occupational health related associations in the U.S. have not yet to this date established permissible exposure levels (PEL), recommended exposure limits (REL), or other limit values for aeroallergens. The general guidelines listed here represent commonly accepted interpretations and practices derived from various sources, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association and Health Canada. Please realize that the evaluation of one's specific results in terms of potential health hazards and subsequent courses of action are beyond the scope of the laboratory analysis. Contact your physician to discuss possible health effects and medical advice. Those requiring expert advisement on a particular indoor air quality issue should retain the services of a professional IAQ consultant.
What is the Calculated Concentration on my Airborne Mold test report?
  • The calculated concentration can be found on the far right side of the Summary Report for the non cultured airborne spore report. The number is listed as spores per cubic meter of air. The number is derived using several pieces of data: the number of minutes the pump ran, the pump settings, the raw count (see raw count # x), cassette dimensions and microscope info. All data goes into an equation to generate the ‘calculated concentration’. We think this explanation works well: Imagine taking a 1 liter pitcher from the kitchen and scooping up one pitcher full of air, (of course you can’t really do this, but imagine if you could) the calculated concentration is a representation of how many mold spores would theoretically be in that pitcher of air
What does the rating system (1x-4x) mean?
  • Although the visual/tape type testing is generally not used for quantitative testing, we created the rating system of 1x-4x so you will have a relative idea of how much mold there is in your sample. 1x equals a trace amount, like would be found in typical dust samples. A 4x rating indicates an abundant amount of spores and typically means the sample was taken from the source of the mold.
What does the “other” on my report mean?
  • Occasionally we find a type of mold spore on a sample that we are unable to identify by direct examination under the microscope. When this happens, the lab will try to get the mold to grow on a Petri dish to identify it. However, there are many types of mold that do not grow well in a laboratory and are difficult to identify. In those cases we will list the spore as “other”, indicating that mold was found but could not be identified.