Posts Tagged ‘furnaces’

Miracle material, modern curse: Pipe Wrapping Worries?

March 27, 2012

Boy that’s just ugly.

Older homes, especially ones that had steam systems, often had pipe insulation like this;  it looks a bit like white corrugated cardboard.  I suspect it was as much to protect people’s foreheads from being scalded as they walked through their basement as it was to deliver the heat where it needed to go!

Fairly effective as an insulator—with the pockets of air and resistance to high heat—Aircell type pipe insulation starts to be a concern in the home as it deteriorates.

Materials containing asbestos are troublesome if they can become “friable”.  This means something that was once considered solid can disintegrate quite easily.  Asbestos found in vermiculite is a problem because it may already be dust.  Pipe insulation made with asbestos breaks down over time and turns powdery when it is bumped.

Keep in mind that not all white pipe insulation contains asbestos, other materials are now used.  Asbestos was banned in the late ‘70s and should have been out of circulation by the early ‘80s.  The best course of action is to leave it alone if you’re not sure.  Leave it to the experts if it needs to be removed, they know what to do.  A healthy, energy efficient home is in reach; knowledge is half the battle.



Image used with permission by Asbestorama on Flickr.

ARRA / Stimulus package $1,500 home energy improvement tax credits (redux!)

March 5, 2009

We continue to get tons of questions about the new $1,500 tax credit available for home energy improvements and included in the stimulus package. Repeating my earlier post, the ARRA includes increased tax credits for 30% of the cost of qualifying improvements up to $1,500 for improvements installed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.  We have put together an updated summary of the credits and answers to the most common questions we get in an summary page on our website. 

ENERGY STAR also has detailed information on the credits. The Alliance to Save Energy also has a similar summary with notes that complement the ENERGY STAR notes. Good stuff that applies to almost every project that GreenHomes completes!


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