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  • California Permit Requirements For HVAC Installations

    As a homeowner there may come a time when you decide to undertake a home improvement project. One important step you never want to skip is pulling a permit. Depending on the scope of work you can determine whether a permit needs to be pulled. When replacing your HVAC system as the homeowner you need to make sure the state licensed contractor you hire takes out a permit from the local building and safety department. This will help avoid fines and any additional repairs. Building permits enforce following building codes. Building codes are in place to ensure properties meet safety and structural standards and that the equipment is functioning properly and efficiently. Routine inspections also ensure the system meets Home Energy Rating System (HERS) testing and verification requirements.

  • What Is A Building Permit?

    A building permit is a written authorization issued by a city or county to construct a project. Building permits are required for most construction or remodeling projects to ensure work safety and compliance with building, construction and zoning codes. For HVAC projects the following require permits, but are not limited to:

    • New HVAC installation
    • HVAC Changeout
    • Replacement of furnace, coil, FAU, or condenser
    • Relocation of an existing HVAC unit
    • Adding or replacing more than 40ft ducting
  • Who Pulls The Permit?

    Keep in mind the person who pulls the permit is the person responsible for following construction codes. Typically, the contractor you hire for the project, is the one pulling the permit. As the homeowner, you could also pull the permit, but you would be considered the contractor and liable if there’s any issues. However, its best to have the contractor pull the permit because they are familiar with the process and the city’s inspectors.

  • What If I Skip Getting A Permit?

    If your project requires a permit, get a permit. If you are working with a contractor who suggests skipping this step, consider moving on to another contractor.

    As cumbersome as the process may be, it will be better than dealing with the city if it finds out you should, but don’t have a permit. The city might force you to obtain a permit and could double or triple the permitting fees. Penalties for not obtaining an HVAC building permit vary from city to city. It may also shut down your project or require you to tear down your work if there is a question as to whether the work was done according to building code.

    Projects finished without permits can also:

    • jeopardize your insurance coverage and rates. Even worse, a homeowner’s insurance policy could be cancelled if their insurance company finds that work has been done on the property without a permit.
    • scare away potential buyers
    • and/or lower resale value.