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So You Found Asbestos Insulation? Here Are Some Good Alternatives


Though asbestos isn’t used in new home construction today, you can still find the material in plenty of older homes. If your home was built before 1980, you’ll likely find asbestos was installed for insulation.

Though asbestos is linked to respiratory illnesses, the material is harmless -- unless disturbed. So, if you’re planning a remodel, you should first have your home inspected and any asbestos discovered should be professionally removed.

In addition to insulation, you might also find asbestos used in the ductwork of your HVAC system. If you’re renovating your home and planning to give your central air system an overhaul, there are several effective alternatives to asbestos.

Why Is There Asbestos in My HVAC System?

Every HVAC system needs to carefully regulate the conduction of thermal energy to achieve maximum efficiency. Ducts are insulated with a material like asbestos to accomplish this feat. Asbestos used to be the most economical material available.

Why Is Asbestos So Dangerous?

Asbestos-based insulation is banned due to its propensity for causing mesothelioma and lung cancer. When disturbed, asbestos insulation breaks down into microscopic fibers that are easy to inhale. As such, it poses a significant threat to homeowners and HVAC technicians alike.

The Most Popular Asbestos Alternatives

Here are a few materials that can replace asbestos in existing HVAC systems worth looking into.

Fiberglass: Similar to the insulation found in the walls of many homes, fiberglass HVAC insulation is a cost-effective way to prevent heat transfer. What's more, it's fairly easy to install. The major downside of fiberglass insulation is its thermal retention characteristics compared to more costly materials.

Mineral Wool: Mineral wool insulation is a fibrous material that's made from basalt. Mineral wool insulation resists moisture damage, and blocks sound quite effectively. On the downside, mineral insulation is always more costly than traditional fiberglass alternatives.

Polyurethane Foam: If you've ever installed a window, you're probably familiar with polyurethane foam. This material is sprayed onto a substrate and rapidly expands before curing. It boasts fantastic thermal retention properties and superior durability. The major downside of polyurethane foam is that it's harder to remove once in place.

Getting Rid of HVAC Asbestos for Good

If you need to replace asbestos HVAC insulation, Burns Environmental Services can help you out in a jiffy. We're the go-to asbestos removal team in the greater Los Angeles area for home and business owners of all kinds. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 577-4009.

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