Do I really need a permit to replace my air conditioner?

Whether your in the planning stage or ready to commence your project of replacing/upgrading your air conditioning system in your home, many people do not understand the permit process. So the answer to the question if a permit is really required, the short answer is YES (A quick phone call to your local municipalities building department will verify this). The long answer is more about WHY a permit is required.

  • Permits are required to protect all people from the effects of repairs, replacements or new construction which are in violation of the current codes which could cause harm to life and/or property.
    Basically, this is all about safety. With proper permitting and inspections you can ensure that the work being performed inside your home are done correctly and that no “shortcuts” have been taken when it comes to building codes. Now don’t take this as meaning that just because a permit has been pulled that the contractor will follow all necessary procedures provided by the manufacturer of the equipment. If you’ve met me before, I’m sure you’ve heard me say “The most important day in the life of an air conditioner is the day its installed, if it’s not installed properly you may have nothing but problems for the life of the system.” There is a lot more involved in a proper air conditioner replacement than just complying with building codes, which I will gladly explain in more detail with you if your getting ready to replace or upgrade your a/c.
  • Permits are also required to ensure that federally mandated building related requirements, such as energy conservation and accessibility are complied with.
    Air conditioning consumes on average around 70% of your electric bill here in South Florida. The government has strict guidelines on energy efficient systems being installed. How do you, as a consumer, know what SEER rating your air conditioner system actually has? Just because a contractor wrote down a number on a piece of paper doesn’t mean its true. Part of permitting requires the contractor to provide accurate ratings on all equipment being installed in your home.
  • Permits help protect you by avoiding unlicensed contractors.
    Sure, the work may be cheaper, but we all know the saying “You get what your pay for”. Unlicensed contractors are known for taking shortcuts and scamming people. Working without a proper licensed is against the law. If the work being done in your home is not done to code or workmanship standards there is NO recourse against the unlicensed contractor. So you may very well end up spending many times the amount of money you originally thought you would be “saving” by fixing the work that was done incorrectly.
  • Getting caught doing or having the work done without a permit can lead to fees and fines.
    That’s right, if code enforcement see that work has been performed without a permit, you can expect to see a fine with VERY EXPENSIVE fees and penalties attached, and guess who is responsible for paying? The homeowner.
  • Plan on selling your home?
    If you plan on selling your home and you’ve had work performed without a permit, even 10 years ago, most home inspectors can and will see this. You will then be held liable to obtain the necessary permits and inspections prior to transferring ownership of the property. The problem that can occur with this, is now you have to hire a licensed contractor to inspect the work, obtain a permit, make any necessary corrections (building codes change over time, so a system you installed 7 years ago may take A LOT of corrections) and pass all inspections. This will not only cost your money, but time, and will put a hold on selling your home, potentially having the buyer back out of the deal.

So if your live anywhere in South Florida, whether it be Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Weston, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie, Coral Springs, West Boca Raton (Unincorporated Palm Beach County), a PERMIT is required. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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