MADISON, Wis. — AprilAire, a provider of indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions for the home since 1954, is marking a year in the radon mitigation business by giving away thousands of radon tests in January to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania residents to mark National Radon Action Month. 

“It’s estimated that nearly one in every 15 U.S. homes has elevated radon levels and there’s no way of knowing if yours is one of them without testing,” said Jens Housley, AprilAire’s senior category manager for radon. “We are on a mission to help people stay safe in their homes so, to help raise awareness about radon, we’re giving away thousands of tests in our headquarters region of Milwaukee and Madison as well as in the area of Allentown, Pennsylvania, all areas widely known for elevated levels.” 

Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils and it’s the number one cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, leading to an estimated 21,000 deaths each year. Measured by pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends mitigation strategies when radon levels are greater than or equal to 4.0 pCi/L — the equivalent of having 200 chest x-rays per year or smoking eight cigarettes every day. 

More than 30 states are estimated to have elevated radon levels and AprilAire would like to help those residents stay safe and healthy in their homes. The company has targeted three areas for the free test kit giveaways: its hometown of Madison, Wisconsin (Dane County), near Milwaukee (Waukesha County), and hot spots in Pennsylvania including Allentown (Lehigh County), Reading (Berks County), and King of Prussia (Montgomery County). All these areas are considered Zone 1, meaning homes in the area have the highest potential of elevated radon levels compared to the rest of the country.

Per Wisconsin Department of Health Data, 50.8% of tests in Dane County showed 4.0 pCi/L levels or higher and, in Waukesha County, 61.3% had such elevated levels. In Pennsylvania, Lehigh County reported 46% of tests above 4.0, 50% of tests in Berks County were above 4.0, and Montgomery County reported 28% of tests were above 4.0.

“All homes have some levels, but when they’re elevated it’s unsafe. Without a test you won’t know your health is in danger,” Housley said. “As a whole, our company provides healthy indoor air and radon is now a key product line. We even offered employees free tests because health really does begin at the workplace as well as at home.”

AprilAire is providing up to 1,000 test kits in Dane County, where its headquarters is located, through its professional HVAC partner Harker Heating & Cooling. Up to another 1,000 will be available through Kettle Moraine Heating & Air Conditioning in nearby Milwaukee. And in Pennsylvania, the tests will be distributed by SWAT Environmental. To get a free test, homeowners should contact the AprilAire partner in their respective regional area.

AprilAire is focused on radon awareness and education all year but especially during January. In addition to the free test kit program this month, the company has participated in the popular video project, Build Show. The Build Show Build Boston episode airing on January 9 will focus on homeowner Scott Rodman discovering elevated radon levels and employing a radon mitigation system from AprilAire. 

Other AprilAire initiatives during January will highlight the dangers of radon, the value of testing and mitigation, and the fact that testing is never a one-and-done proposition because levels fluctuate so testing should recur on a regular basis. To disseminate these messages, the company will use direct mail, social media advertising, public relations, and a variety of other marketing tactics including web, online, and professional partner promotions. Additionally, Tamara Day of HGTV and Magnolia Network will host a radon test kit giveaway, have a radon mitigation system installed in her own home, and post a “play-by-play” of these important healthy indoor air messages on her influencer channels.

Additionally, AprilAire will host weekly 30-minute live training courses during January through the AprilAire Academy for its network of professional HVAC partners nationwide. Topics covered throughout the month in these complimentary webinar sessions include testing for radon in your service area, installing radon alarms, replacing faulty radon fans, and turning passive systems into powered systems for improved radon control. Sessions begin January 5 and partners can register here or contact AprilAire at (800) 334-6011.