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Old Furnaces May Harbor Asbestos

old furnaces asbestos

Now that a cold, Colorado winter is upon us, we’re all turning on and up the heat. The furnaces we use, whether at home or work, come in various sizes and layouts. After furnaces started to replace fireplaces in the 1800s, many different types of fuel began to be used to generate heat along with ways to conserve it and keep it from escaping.

Once asbestos started to be mined and used commercially, more and more uses for it were found as it was both plentiful and affordable. So eventually, since asbestos resists fire and heat and doesn’t react with oil, coal, or wood, it was used in the manufacturing and construction of chimneys, wood stoves, and furnaces up until 1980, when most asbestos uses were banned. Asbestos was used as an insulator in burners, boilers, and hot boxes so that they were safer to use. For most of the 20th century, it was commonly used in furnace construction and installations.

Where Asbestos is Found in Old Furnaces

These days, furnaces are no longer made using asbestos. But if your home or business is still using a unit purchased before the 1970s, it very well may contain that hazardous substance. The parts of old furnaces that commonly contain asbestos are:

  • Boilers
  • Chimneys
  • Ducts
  • Fireboxes
  • Firebricks
  • Flues
  • Furnace cement
  • Heat blowers
  • Heat shields
  • Kilns
  • Refractories
  • Stoves

With old furnaces, just like other items made with asbestos, you don’t have to be concerned about health issues if they’ve been well-kept over time. In other words, the asbestos within the product has been kept sealed and intact without any breakage or tampering.

When and How Old Furnaces Should Be Removed

If your old furnace or related products are breaking and falling apart, then they may be releasing toxic asbestos fibers into the air. The most common breakdown of these items is when the old gaskets, duct wrap, and sealants get friable and fall apart due to the constant contracting motion of the furnace. When you breathe in those fibers over a length of time, they can cause serious health problems like mesothelioma and other cancers. The problem with these diseases is that their symptoms don’t show up until the cancer is in its later stages. So any old, deteriorated furnaces should be treated with kid gloves and removed ASAP. Not only will you remove the threat of asbestos, but new furnaces are much more efficient and cheaper to run than the old ones.

As it’s unlikely that someone who hasn’t been trained in asbestos removal could do it safely and thoroughly, the best thing to do would be to consult with asbestos removal professionals who are not only experienced but also have the proper training and tools to remove and dispose of it correctly and securely.

Cyclone Kleen Up has a trained staff that’s been certified and can perform asbestos testing & removal in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Salida, Penrose and throughout our service area . To learn more, call 719-299-3887 or click here to schedule asbestos removal services ASAP at your Colorado home or business.