Home permits can be a tricky area for homeowners. While it’s common sense that permits are needed for large construction or other projects, it’s often somewhat difficult to find out if permits are necessary for specific home improvement projects. Furnace installation and replacement sometimes falls into this category. Many who need the work done are left wondering if this falls into the “permit zone.”

The short answer—yes. In Washington State specifically, a mechanical permit or furnace permit is required by law in order to fully replace a furnace, even like-for-kind replacements. These are major home projects that require a great deal of work by contractors and installation teams. A permit helps ensure the contractors carrying out this work are licensed and in a proper position to do so.

Additionally, a low-voltage electrical permit is also required during this process for the control wiring and thermostat work that comes along with the territory of furnace replacement—even if the old thermostat is going to be reused with the new furnace system. As mentioned above, permits bring peace of mind to the project, as it can be dangerous if carried out by someone other than a licensed professional.

Furnaces, whether gas or electric, are vented appliances that must be properly installed to ensure safety. If not properly installed, furnaces can cause illness, injury or even death. As mentioned above, permits ensure the contractor executing the installation is licensed, insured and bonded. These permits provide a 3rd party inspection that ensures the installation meets manufacturer’s guidelines and code requirements for safety and proper operation.

In the case of a furnace installation, permits can also help in the case of a mishap. If you do not have the proper permit and have your furnace installed improperly, homeowner’s insurance will most likely not cover the cost of damages, repairs or replacement. As you can imagine, this can be a very costly mistake.

The Washington State Department of Labor & industries has some great resources that can help guide you through the process of determining whether or not a permit is needed for specific home improvement process. These resources can be found here. We highly recommend reading through this documentation if you have a furnace replacement (or other home improvement project) in your near future.

Under no circumstance should you, as a responsible homeowner, trust a contractor or individual who says a permit isn’t necessary when it comes to installing a furnace. It provides safety and assurance that your project is done correctly in a way that will keep you and your loved ones safe. At BelRed, we can guide you through this process from start to finish and our team of expert, knowledgeable staff will replace your furnace correctly with safety always top of mind. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding this process.

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2 thoughts on “Do You Really Need a Permit to Install a Furnace?

  1. Thanks for your question. In Washington State, no matter what the use, or size of the system, a permit is required for every installation – even if the system is actually installed by the homeowner themselves. There are no exceptions to this.

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