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.