Are Permits & Inspection Required on Gas Furnace Installation?

Almost 100% of the time, Yes! This article is from our Gas Furnace FAQ (Frequently asked Questions) page, and it comes as one of those questions that we hate to hear about. The homeowner, who is also a reader of our website, was in the middle of getting a replacement estimate (learn what should be included) for their 28 year old GE furnace.

The contractor told them that even though mechanical permits and inspections were required, they could save $750 if they chose not to have it done! Wow, I know… good thing they asked whether they need a permit to replace their furnace!

There is so much wrong with that statement, I truly don’t know where to start… In this Gas Furnace Guide article, I want to take a quick look at the mechanical permit and inspection process for gas furnaces.

Gas Furnace Mechanical Permits and Inspections

In order to understand why it’s important to get your gas furnace inspected, you need to understand why the permit and inspection exists in the first place! In fact, consumer review websites like Angies List were started, and continue to thrive today because of bad contractors and the need for added consumer protection!

  • Building and Mechanical codes exist for the safety of you and your family!
  • Permits and Inspections are in place to prevent you from the harm of less-than-professional contractors!
  • An improperly vented gas furnace can kill you from carbon monoxide poisoning!
  • An improperly installed furnace can catch fire, and cause your home to burn down!
  • Some less-than-professional contractors have been known to cut corners when installing new gas furnaces.
  • Contractors need to be licensed and insured in order to pull a mechanical permit and get the new system inspected!
  • Homeowners insurance may not cover losses from a furnace fire if it was not was permitted and inspected!

These are just some of the more important reasons you should INSIST on a permit and inspection when you hire a heating and ventilating contractor!

Over time, most municipalities keep records of the performance of the contractors within their jurisdiction. In situations where contractors continually fail these inspections, they are forced into continued education in order to keep their licenses and have the ability to perform business in your city!

Mechanical Permit and Inspection Cost

I am sure there is a good bit of cost fluctuation in the permit and inspection cost, but for most cities and states in the USA, its less than $100! Don’t be fooled by a contractor who tells you it’s going to cost hundreds of dollars, and they try to skirt the process, call your city and report them.

Reasons Why HVAC Contractors Like to Avoid Inspections

There is no real cut and dry answer why a heating contractor wants to avoid the process of mechanical inspections. The process requires more time and can be a nuisance for less-than-professional contractors.

  • They are held accountable for their work!
  • They are forced to install equipment that’s up to code standards
  • They can be fined for continued failures (oh, and you could die!)
  • Added labor is needed to accompany the inspector
  • Results are publicly available for future customers to review!

Professionals contractors however, not only welcome the inspections, they use them as a benefit of choosing them over the competition. Just ask yourself… who would you rather have install the system for you: A company that continually endangers its customers lives with improper installation, or a professional who takes the time to do it right?!

It should be an easy answer! Always work with a qualified professional!

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Comments

2 Responses to “Are Permits & Inspection Required on Gas Furnace Installation?”
  1. Ali says:

    I had a new furnace installed in the crawlspace of my home two years ago, replacing an old unit that was also a horizontal forced air gas. I never asked about a permit or inspection, thinking the hvac company knew what was required. Now my chimney is literally falling apart. I called a chimney repair man who told me that the flue vent was too large, it had both the new furnace and the gas water heater both venting through it and that 1. the furnace should have been vented out the crawlspace or 2. I would have to change my water heater from gas to electric – for him to install a smaller flue liner to adequately exhaust fumes. The chimney repair man stated that probably the company who installed the furnace didn’t pull a permit or have it inspected – and now I have this expensive problem. I called the hvac people and they said they would come check it out. Are they liable for the chimney problem?

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