For now dont worry about the asbestos as long as you dont mess with it.
The worst thing you can do is let some hack come in and disturb it.
#1 if the furnace was made prior to the 1970's than it should be removed properly. Check with your local building dept. They can give you more information then anyone here.
#2 if it is asbestos than please, for your kids, have the unit in question removed by a licensed abatement contractor.
This is not a time to be cheep. The damage that can be done will not show up for 20 to 30 years.
ok so i have lived in this house for 28 years and the furnace looks like its 100 years old i know there is a law suit against the holland company right now and it trigured me to check it out not for money but for safty im not rich but i need to get it out i guess
LOL, does anyone on here remeber taking the old skill saw and cutting sheets of asbestos for fire protection behind wood stoves or oil furnace chimneys? We used to do it all the time. Clouds of dust flying everywhere no masks or protection of any kind. Used to be standard practice. Now everyone gets all flipped out over a little bit of asbestos, I think the whole thing is over rated, all these cancer causing things in our homes and environment and yet the local store sells cigarettes right over the counter. Read a report the other day that says Zoneolite loose fill insulation is a cancer causer now, so I am sure that will be the next thing on the freak out list.
Black Adder, we work in a field where we can put ourselves in danger everyday. It is necessary to minimize these hazards, not only to ourselves but our customers and the public as well. Asbestos is hazardous when it is frayable and the fibers are introduced into the air where it is breathed.
The company I work at requires us to have annual chest X-rays. Two of my ten co-workers, who are non-smokers have black spots the size of silver dollar coins in their lungs. Go ahead and tell them hazards of asbestos are overrated.