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Electrifying Your Home ?

Electrical heating systems are being implemented by many Canadians, and people all over the world. People want to become more “green” and reduce their carbon footprint. In most cases, homes have a furnace or boiler using fossil fuels to produce heat. A study from the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering explained that “nearly 70% of the energy used in the residential sector comes from fossil fuels”. The Prairie Climate Centre report states that “about 45% of Canada’s emissions come from burning fossil fuels to make energy, including heat and electricity”. So then, are electrical systems actually more ecofriendly? Simply, it depends on how the electricity that is heating your home is initially being produced. Innovative ways of producing electricity are now being utilized, such as solar or wind/water power, to lower the amount of fossil fuel we consume on a daily basis. Whether or not you decide on switching over your heating services, the system already in place could require professional help to repair and/or remove. Many systems currently being used in Canada may be insulated with Asbestos.

What Should You Look For?

Thermal system insulation is a very common material used to insulate piping and ductwork. These are connected to the HVAC system and could potentially run throughout the wall and ceiling cavities of your home. This material is suspect to be asbestos containing, and you will need to approach this job with a little hesitation. One problem you want to avoid is contaminating the air and subsequently the surfaces within the living space of your home with asbestos fibres. According to the EPA, asbestos is considered to be a known human carcinogen. Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Depending on the type of HVAC system you have currently, the main boiler unit or oil tank could be insulated with parging. This is also a suspect material to be asbestos containing. Again, caution should be taken when planning removal or repair work.

What Is the First Step?

Besides calling a HVAC professional to come and do the work. You should consider getting the material tested to determine if the material is asbestos containing or not. Retaining an environmental consultant should be considered. Within Canada and specifically Ontario, Asbestos is a regulated substance. Repair, removal, and/or disposal has to be done so following specific protocols. Even the process of sampling and analyzing materials have protocols to follow. If these protocols are not followed, in some cases legal action may result. As a consultant, we take that stress off of your hands by guiding you through the entire process. Finding potential asbestos containing materials and providing expert knowledge on what actions you should follow from start to finish.

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