Measuring of radon and thoron progeny concentrations in air, based on air filtration, was analysed in order to assess the reliability of the method. Changes of radon and thoron progeny activities on the filter during and after air sampling were investigated. Simulation experiments were performed involving realistic measuring parameters. The sensitivity of results (radon and thoron concentrations in air) to the variations of alpha counting in three and five intervals was studied. The concentration of (218)Po showed up to be the most sensitive to these changes, as was expected because of its short half-life. The well-known method for measuring of progeny concentrations based on air filtration is rather unreliable and obtaining unrealistic or incorrect results appears to be quite possible. A simple method for quick estimation of radon potential alpha energy concentration (PAEC), based on measurements of alpha activity in a saturation regime, was proposed. Thoron PAEC can be determined from the saturation activity on the filter, through beta or alpha measurements.