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Old 03-07-2009, 12:05 PM   #1
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Had my furnace checked this morning and uncovered all sorts of problems.

1) Need new plastic on the ground (knew that).
2) Furnace chamber has cracks. Furnace over 20 yrs old. Need to replace
3) Humidistat filter was caked with scaley white stuff.
3) Ducts are wrapped with white tape that technician said was asbestos. Huge wake up call!!

I have two small children and I need some advice right away.

I have two options that I'm aware of.

1) Patch Job - seal over the asbestos tape with mastic to completely cover it and keep it from becoming dust. The concern there is that it still could leak into the duct and into the air supply. Not really a chance i want to take.

2) Retrofit - completely replace furnace and duct work. Dispose of the old ducts up to the boots and have the boots cleaned thoroughly.

I'm leaning towards the retrofit option since this is not something I want to take chances with.

I want the most energy efficient furnace/ac-coil unit that is reasonably priced. My home is appx 1600 square feet.

Can you guys offer some advice or suggestions that I'm going about this the right way?
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Call and find out what the asbestos abatement will cost you.

Get several estimates.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Make sure the asbestos removal co. is bonded/licensed/certified and are not hackers. Be prepared to pay more $$ for a proper job/co. Most efficient furnace and A/C's can vary hugely in cost due to quality issues. "Good is not Cheap and Cheap is not Good". Where do you live?
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #4
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


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Make sure the asbestos removal co. is bonded/licensed/certified and are not hackers.
Assuming they remove the ducts and haul them off, what can go wrong? I suppose the boots will need to be handled carefully if they are going to remain, since they will have some asbestos tape that will need to be removed. Don't want any residual tape residue to contaminate the new ducts.
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Where do you live?
Birmingham, Alabama
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #5
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


I would do some internet research on asbestos removal. From what I know they are supposed to isolate the rest of the house living area with plastic vapor barrier/get a fan to create negative pressure in the work area and then remove it so no fibers float into the house. Whether they actually do it properly is another story. You should be out of the house while they work. I would imagine your A/C costs are much higher than heating. I sell Lennox and they make excellent units which don't try and compete with the el cheapos. I would recommend a 15 SEER or higher A/C unit and a air handler/furnace with a ECM motor like the G61V. See Lennox.com. THe XC series are very good and have all copper coils and hail guards on the outdoor unit.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Quote:
Originally Posted by vestaviascott View Post

Can you guys offer some advice or suggestions that I'm going about this the right way?


Make sure a city inspector shows up on the job to see that everything is done correctly. From removing the asbestos to the new install
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Quote:
Originally Posted by vestaviascott View Post
Had my furnace checked this morning and uncovered all sorts of problems.

1) Need new plastic on the ground (knew that).
2) Furnace chamber has cracks. Furnace over 20 yrs old. Need to replace
3) Humidistat filter was caked with scaley white stuff.
3) Ducts are wrapped with white tape that technician said was asbestos. Huge wake up call!!

I have two small children and I need some advice right away.

I have two options that I'm aware of.

1) Patch Job - seal over the asbestos tape with mastic to completely cover it and keep it from becoming dust. The concern there is that it still could leak into the duct and into the air supply. Not really a chance i want to take.

2) Retrofit - completely replace furnace and duct work. Dispose of the old ducts up to the boots and have the boots cleaned thoroughly.

I'm leaning towards the retrofit option since this is not something I want to take chances with.

I want the most energy efficient furnace/ac-coil unit that is reasonably priced. My home is appx 1600 square feet.

Can you guys offer some advice or suggestions that I'm going about this the right way?
You said (3) Ducts are wrapped with white tape that technician said was asbestos. Huge wake up call!! Did he have that white tape properly tested? I'm not saying that it is not asbestos. Get it checked. Might save you some money if it isn't, if it is do some research to make sure the removal is done correctly.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:00 PM   #8
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


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Did he have that white tape properly tested? I'm not saying that it is not asbestos. Get it checked. Might save you some money if it isn't, if it is do some research to make sure the removal is done correctly.
He was fairly certain what it was. It concerned me that he was pretty dismissive of it. He tore a piece off and crumbled it. He said since it was damp, the fibers would fall to the ground rather than the air.

Since this is not something I'm willing to play with, I was a bit taken aback at his behavior.

Anyway, I have an abatement consultant coming over tomorrow.

No, the tape has not been tested yet. Thought it was pretty much a slam dunk though. Home built in 1950's. Furnace is 25 years old. White tape with canvas like texture wrapped as if it were insulation, not just at the joints, all the way up to the boots. Do I really need to go to the expense and trouble of having that tested?
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


A respected contractor told me to just paint it with latex paint. Seems like that would be pretty easy. And if it were sprayed on, then it could get up in the boots without having to remove them.

Not saying I'm leaning in that direction, but it seems a viable option. Anyone concur?
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #10
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Proper abatement is EPA governed unless you DIY the job (not a good idea), in which case the enforcement standards do not apply. Most cities don't inspect asbestos abatement because it is the EPA's ballgame and it comes with huge liability. If you hire an abatement company or if the HVAC guy does it then it should be done to EPA standards.

Yes, they essentially turn your home into a giant bubble, wear tyvek suits, pressurize the place, double bag and label the debris, and take it to a special landfill. Expensive and not fun.

Anything that can be done to keep the asbestos from becoming friable (airborne particles) is beneficial. I've never heard of painting it but if you choose to leave it I can't imagine that would hurt.

I'd have very little concern about it getting into the ducts assuming it is wrapped insulation on the outside.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:53 PM   #11
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


I would be concerned about resale value of the house. As more and more homes are being inspected B4 selling you would not want to have that found out and lose a sale or have to remove it later. I have heard that painting it is okay. The only time it is a problem is if it becomes airborne. Removing asbestos flooring is a hugely worse problem along with lead paint.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:40 PM   #12
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Advice needed. Complete Furnace & duct replacement - asbestos ductwrap (crawl space)


Quote:
Originally Posted by vestaviascott View Post
He was fairly certain what it was. It concerned me that he was pretty dismissive of it. He tore a piece off and crumbled it. He said since it was damp, the fibers would fall to the ground rather than the air.

Since this is not something I'm willing to play with, I was a bit taken aback at his behavior.

Anyway, I have an abatement consultant coming over tomorrow.

No, the tape has not been tested yet. Thought it was pretty much a slam dunk though. Home built in 1950's. Furnace is 25 years old. White tape with canvas like texture wrapped as if it were insulation, not just at the joints, all the way up to the boots. Do I really need to go to the expense and trouble of having that tested?
I would have it tested.
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