Do You Need A Permit To Install A Heat Pump Or Mini Split?

A permit to install a heat pump or ductless mini split is required in just about every town in the country. You may think permits are only for bigger projects like renovations or adding a deck or pool. But, it applies to HVAC installations as well.

Pulling a permit may add some time, and expense to the job. But, an improper installation without a permit can result in damage to your home or even injury. At the least, it diminished home comfort and the system is more likely to break down.

As an HVAC product manager for more than a decade Peirce-Phelps, I’m very knowledgeable on the advantages of high-efficiency cooling and AC systems. And, I know what can go wrong with a bad installation.

I also work closely with dozens of HVAC installers across Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. They’ve installed thousands of mini splits, heat pumps, furnaces, and AC units over the years and know the permit processes in and out.

With this background, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about permits and inspections when installing a heat pump or mini split.

You can get more information on product options with our free download below. Or, schedule a free consultation with a certified installer who knows all about your area’s specific requirements.

Heating and Cooling Permits and Inspections

Installing or replacing an HVAC system requires a permit and inspection from your local municipality. This is to ensure the installation meets all local building codes and safety standards.

Here’s what that entails:


What is a Permit?

A building permit is an official approval issued by a local government agency. It gives you permissions to move, alter, or add a structure to your property. To obtain a permit, you must submit plans for your project. These show it complies with all  local building codes, zoning regulations, and safety standards.

What is an Inspection?

Once the installation is complete, a building inspector checks that the work was done according to the approved plans and meets local codes and standards. The inspector also ensures the installation is safe, efficient, and will not cause harm to the occupants of the home.

Overview of the Inspection Process

After the installation, an inspector ensures the electrical and mechanical components are safe and up to code. They may also require additional inspections during and after the installation process to verify that the installation meets all necessary requirements.

Once the inspector approves the installation, you will receive a certificate of occupancy or completion. This means everything is legal, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your mini split heat pump installation meets local safety and building codes.

Mini Splits and Heat Pumps

Mini-split heat pumps are a popular and energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Like a central ac system, they require indoor and outdoor units, and often some light construction in the home.

As a result, permits and inspections are necessary to ensure everything is installed properly. It’s also important because the heat pump is an outdoor unit that’s visible to the public.

Why Do I Need a Permit and Inspection for HVAC Work?

There are several reasons why homeowners should obtain the necessary permits and inspections before installing or repairing mini-split systems.

Homeowner Safety

Mini-split systems involve electrical wiring and refrigerant lines, which can be dangerous if not installed properly.

Quality of Work

Permits and inspections also ensure that the work is done by licensed professionals who have the necessary skills and training to complete the job correctly.

Legality and Liability

Non-compliance with permit requirements can result in fines. If work is done incorrectly, homeowners may be liable for damages or injuries.

Risks of Doing Work Without A Permit

Without a permit, your work may not meet local building codes and regulations, putting your safety and that of others at risk. This can result in expensive fines, legal action, and even having to redo the work.

Additionally, unpermitted work can impact the value of your property, making it difficult to sell or refinance in the future. You have to disclose any work done without a permit on a seller’s disclosure, for instance.

Can I Pull A Permit For Heat Pump Or Mini Split Installation Myself?

Homeowners are generally allowed to pull permits for home improvement projects. But, it’s still important to consult with local experts and professionals to ensure project meets all necessary standards.

Pros and Cons of Pulling A Permit Yourself

If you’re confident in your ability to pull permits and navigate the permit process, doing so yourself may be a viable option. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions about your project.


Avoiding legal and financial liability

By pulling a permit yourself, you ensure that your work meets all the necessary codes and regulations. This helps protect you from legal action and fines that can result from unpermitted work.

Additionally, you may be able to save money on contractor fees and obtain the necessary inspections more quickly.

Confident the permit is approved

When you pull your permit, you’re in control of the process and can ensure that all necessary documentation is in order. This can help you avoid delays and confusion down the line.


Need to know all the local codes and regulations

Pulling a permit requires knowledge of all the local codes and regulations that govern the work you’re planning to do. Not being familiar with them puts you at risk of violating those regulations.

Have to pay out of pocket

When you pull a permit yourself, you’re responsible for paying any associated fees out of pocket. Depending on the scope of your project, these fees can be significant.

May delay the work

Pulling a permit can take time and may delay the start of your project. It’s essential to factor this into your project timeline and plan accordingly.

Five Questions to Ask A Contractor Before Hiring Them

1. Are you licensed and insured?

A licensed HVAC contractor will have the necessary training and knowledge to complete the job safely and efficiently. Additionally, a contractor with liability insurance protects you from any damages that may occur during the project.

2. Can you provide references from past customers?

Ask the HVAC contractor to provide references from previous customers who have had similar projects completed. Contact the references and ask about their experience: Were they satisfied with the work performed? Did the contractor complete the job on time and within budget?

3. What is your experience with projects similar to mine?

If you need a new HVAC system installed, ask the contractor if they have experience with the type of system you want. If you need repairs or maintenance, ask if they have experience working on your particular make and model of HVAC system.

4. Can you provide a detailed written estimate of the work to be performed?

A detailed estimate will help you understand exactly what work will be completed and how much it will cost. If the estimate is vague or incomplete, it’s a red flag that the contractor may not be trustworthy.

5. What is your timeline for completing the project?

Knowing the timeline will help you plan and prepare for any potential disruptions to your home or business. Additionally, ask about their safety procedures and if they plan to pull any permits required for the project.


Here are some more common questions and answers about permits and mini splits.

Are you looking for specific information about your home or project in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, or New Jersey? If so, click below to set up a free consultation with a certified installer in your area.

Can a homeowner install a mini split?

It’s possible for a homeowner to install a mini split heat pump, but it’s not recommended. Installation requires knowledge of electrical and refrigeration systems, as well as proper permits. It’s best to hire a licensed HVAC professional for installation to ensure safety and efficiency.

Can I buy a heat pump and install it myself?

Installing a heat pump yourself is possible, but not recommended. Heat pumps require specialized knowledge, tools, and permits for proper installation. A licensed HVAC professional can ensure your heat pump is installed safely and efficiently, which can save you money on energy bills in the long run.

Do mini splits decrease home value?

Mini splits do not typically decrease a home’s value. In fact, they may increase its value by improving energy efficiency and indoor comfort. However, poorly installed or unattractive units may affect a home’s aesthetic appeal. It’s best to choose a reputable HVAC professional for installation to ensure proper placement and appearance.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of heat pump installation professionals in State College, PA, or anywhere in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland.