In our rental house the furnace ducts are very dirty. We brought an expert to clean it, but he said he just won't do it because the tape around the ducts (in the attic) is probably asbestos.
After notifying the landlord, he got another company to have the material tested. The results came back, confirming that there is indeed asbestos in the tape. However, the test "results" also state that "as the material is on the outside of the ducting/unit, the asbestos material is not being subjected to the furnace air flow, and therefore is not causing a contamination issue, not a reason for concern".
Our concern is with the fact that the guy from the asbestos test company barely took a look at the duct system: he did not look inside the ducts, and did not see an area where the tape starts to crumble (in the attic, outside the duct). All he did was to take sample of the wrap material next to the furnace itself.
The questions are :
How can we know if the system is really safe to use? Is the braking tape a reason for concern?
Isn't the landlord supposed to make sure the heating system is in a usable condition? Currently he says that since the test indicates that this is not a concern, then he won't do anything. Also, he does not want to take care of cleaning it (even tough it hasn't been cleaned in years, possibly decades).
Suppose we do believe the conclusions of the test results. How can we get the system cleaned?
Thanks for all the tips. I don't mind writing the check for a 2nd opinion test, but here's a breakdown of professionals that I spoke with:
HVAC cleaning companies: don't want anything to do with it.
Asbestos companies: don't understand what I'm talking about, and propose to take more samples and test them.
Other HVAC companies: "we don't clean ducts" / "We won't touch anything with asbestos" etc.
Any recommendations on companies that do systematic evaluation of the system (that has asbestos in it)?