Lets Talk Residential HVAC Permitting for Brandon, Lutz, Tampa and the Hillsborough County Area

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Why should the home owner have the Air Conditioning/Heating Contractor pull a permit?

First, it is County code that a permit be pulled when changing out Air Conditioning/Heating systems. If a permit is not pulled you are breaking the law.You are taking the chance that your contractor may not have a valid license and the system may not be installed correctly. So when a permit is pulled, what’s in it for you?

The contractor has to have a valid HVAC license. This also means he has liability insurance and workers comp insurance that protects you from being sued if the worker gets hurt on your job.

When the job is complete the city or county sends an inspector at a predetermined time window. The homeowner agrees that they will be home. When the inspector arrives he makes sure that the equipment the contractor said they were going to install is correct. That means the equipment is not mismatched and will meet minimal federal guide lines and deliver the efficiency the contractor said the equipment would deliver. Then he checks to see if the equipment is installed per code. At the air handler, which some people call the inside unit, they check to see that it is hung correctly. That means the air handler is level so the condensate will drain from the unit. Is the duct work attached to the air handler correctly? Is the auxiliary drain pan installed correctly with a cut off switch to shut the unit down if the condensate line backs up? Is the air handler accessible for a technician to service it? Is the condensate line run correctly and is it insulated across the attic per code? This prevents condensation from dripping on the ceiling and causing mold and spots to appear on your ceiling well after the installation. The inspector then goes to the condensing unit, which is also called the outside unit. They check to see if the condensing unit is installed correctly, that it is mounted on the proper slab and tied down with hurricane clips per code. Is it the proper distance from the property line and proper distance from a main electrical panel or gas tank? Is the condensate line run correctly outside? Is the disconnect properly mounted and has the correct wiring? They then go to the main electrical panel and check to see that the correct circuit breakers are installed. If every thing is installed per code he signs off on the job. If he finds a violation, he red tags the job and the homeowner is given a slip of paper as to the violation and the contractor is notified to correct the violation. When the violation is corrected, the inspector then comes back out to verify that the job is complete.

With all the things the inspector checks for it’s certainly in the homeowners best interest and the contractors for piece of mind and legalities that a permit be pulled.

A couple of things to look out for:

  1. Is the contractor subbing out any of the work? Why should that matter? If they are not employees of the contractor they may not be licensed, which means they would not have insurance, which means you would be responsible if they got hurt or did any damage to your home.
  2. What kind of rating does the contractor have with the Better Business Bureau? If there are many complaints or they do not resolve their complaints, they get a poor rating like a C or below.