Since January 1, 2011, contractors who install new heating and/or air conditioning systems must apply for HVAC permits and have those installations inspected. The new regulations do not impact any Kentucky licensed contractor doing a replacement installation, although homeowners or building owners may request an inspection from the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction.
“Many of the HVAC companies in Kentucky do a great job making sure their installations are proper, but we need to make certain all work done by licensed contractors meets the consumer’s expectations as well as state and local codes,” said Tim House, acting director, Division of HVAC. Permits will be issued based on the following categories: one- or two-family dwellings, multi-family dwellings, and commercial buildings. This applies also to homeowners who plan to install a system in a new home or install an initial system in an existing structure. Although inspections are not required for replacements, inspections are available to those that request them through the state’s office or local jurisdictions that have a program in place.
Permits in the one- or two-family dwellings category cost $75 for the first system and $50 for each additional system. Permits for multi-family dwellings will be $75 for the first system and $25 for each additional system. Commercial project permits will be based on the total dollar value of the project. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to request these inspections at various intervals of the project. An initial inspection will be conducted, per the request of the contractor (permit holder), to evaluate the project and any HVAC-related concerns. To pass inspection, the permit holder must verify certain information outlined in the building plan (as authorized by the Division of Building Code Enforcement) as well as proof of permitting and licensure.
Consumers should take these steps when considering which contractor to hire for an HVAC installation:
- Get multiple prices, try for at least three.
- Compare the prices (are they within a reasonable range with one another?). A great deal may not be so great if the system doesn’t work.
- Ask for references; not only ask but call to see what they say about the contractor you choose.
- Check to see if they are licensed. You can do this by checking the license
- Although an inspection is not required in all cases for replacements, you may request one by telling the contractor.
- Have a contract; make sure the contract spells out everything that you want. A vague contract may lead to conflict down the road.
- Avoid payment prior to work being performed.
Division of HVAC
The Division of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning is charged with administering and enforcing the Kentucky Revised Statutes 198B.650 to 198B.689. These statutes have required heating and air conditioning contractors in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be licensed by the Division of HVAC since July 1995.
Areas of operation:
- Permitting and Inspections
- Consumer complaints/inspections
- Continuing education
The HVAC industry has undergone a tremendous amount of change over the last decade. Changes in technology and new technological applications have advanced the HVAC trade and occupation into a recognized "physical science" of study.
Chemicals and materials used in the application of the HVAC trade have been found to be harmful to our environment. Federal legislation has been enacted, which mandated certification of individuals for the proper use and handling of these chemicals within the HVAC trade and occupation.
The days of just installing any furnace or air conditioner are gone. Serious thought and planning of the applications of HVAC systems into any structure is a requirement in today's HVAC industry. These products and systems can cause severe property damage, bodily injury and death if not installed properly. Changes in building technology have required the HVAC industry to readdress many industry standards and the applications of HVAC systems into building structures. Occupants' health and safety can be at risk or compromised by inadequate or misapplied HVAC systems.