A guide to reducing home energy costs
and increasing comfort.
Education Resources   >   Asbestos Ductwork
Quick Fact
Minimize

A substantial percentage of homes built in the 1960's and 1970's had asbestos ductwork installed during original construction.

 

 

 

Quick Fact
Minimize

In addition to the health risks, asbestos ductwork is often leaky and very inefficient, driving up your heating and cooling costs.

Asbestos Ductwork
Minimize


Throughout the entire process,
asbestos removal technicians
wear disposable clothing and
particle-filtering respirators

 
Before and during removal, ducts
are moistened with a wsolution
of water and penetrating agent
to reduce fiber release

Asbestos is a naturally occuring mineral that appears in a fibrous and fluffy form when separated from rock in the asbestos mining process.  Its fibers are typicall bound together with other minerals to form a sturdy package.  In the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, asbestos was internationally manufacturered for a variety of construction products.  Heating and cooling distribution ducts containing asbestos were one of the more popular choices for new construction at that time.

Left undisturbed, asbestos-containing materials usually do not create any health risks.  However as the product breaks down due to heat, aging, frequent contact, remodeling activities, and poor installation, tiny particles may be released into the air and ductwork itself and possibly inhaled into the lungs.  Asbestos fibers are microscopically small.  Those which seem to be visible to the human eye are actually threads of thousands of fibers.

Asbestos is commonly associated with the following diseases:

  • Asbestosis: A noncancerous respiratory disease that results from progressive scarring of the lung tissue caused by lodging of asbestos.
  • Mesothelioma: A rare cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen that is almost always associated with previous asbestos exposure.
  • Lung Cancer: Inhaled asbestos particles act as a carcinogen when lodged in lung tissue.

In almost all cases, asbestos-related diseases are developed 20 years or more following exposure.  By 1978, the EPA had instituted a ban on virtually all asbestos-containing construction materials. 

When asbestos ductwork is detected, most homeowners want it removed immediately.  To ensure proper removal and disposal of this hazardous material, it is highly recommended that the contractor selected meets the following requirements:

  • Registered and certified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control to transport hazardous waste in the state of California.
  • Owns a Certificate of Registration for asbestos-related work issued by the Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Owns a state contractors license issued by the state of California Department of Consumer Affairs C-2 with an asbestos certification.

Consumer Alert

It is a common misconception that asbestos duct removal and disposal is a prohibitively costly process.  In reality, most homes can have complete asbestos duct removal and disposal for less than $800.

Copyright 2013 by Home Energy 101   |  Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use