When Permits Are Not Needed – Short #181

In this short episode, Bryan talks about the situations when permits are not needed to install HVAC/R (or HVAC/R-related) components.

A few codes are universal in residential HVAC, including the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Mechanical Code (IMC). The local municipality, also known as the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), chooses which codes to adopt.

You do not need a permit to install plug-in, cord-connected appliances. However, you need UL-listed plugs. You can also replace plugs without needing a permit, but the ratings need to be correct. Anything less than 25v that doesn't put out more than 50 watts of energy also doesn't require a permit. Thermostats and many IAQ accessories, including UV lights, fall into this category.

Portable heating and ventilation appliances, including space heaters and portable cooling units or dehumidifiers, also don't require permits. Evaporative or “swamp” coolers also don't need a permit for installation. Self-contained units with 10 pounds or less of refrigerant and are actuated by motors with <1 horsepower also don't require a permit for installation. We can also change parts without worrying about permits.

However, emergency replacements and repairs (per R105.2.1 in the IRC) also don't require a permit, at least not before performing the work. The only condition is that the permit application must be submitted to the AHJ within the next business day. This rule can come in handy when you can't wait for the permit submission process and need to do an emergency repair or changeout.

Learn more about the 5th Annual HVACR Training Symposium at

If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE.”

Subscribe to our YouTube channel at

Check out our handy calculators HERE or on the HVAC School Mobile App (Google Play Store or App Store).




To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and tech tips
made possible by generous support from