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Air conditioning equipment


Important terms

Air conditioning equipment: A system for controlling the humidity, ventilation and temperature in a building, typically to maintain a cool atmosphere in warm conditions. Air conditioning equipment is considered a projection in the Land Use Bylaw.

What permits do I need?

When is a development permit required?

A development permit is required for an air conditioning unit when does not meet the rules of the Land Use Bylaw. A development permit is required when:

  • The equipment projects more than 1.0 m into a side setback area.
  • One side setback is not free and clear of projections.

When is a building permit required?

A building permit is not required to install an air conditioning unit. The installation of all air conditioning units will require an electrical permit. As a building permit is not required, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure the unit meets the Land Use Bylaw requirements prior to installation.

When is a trade permit required?

As the homeowner, you are able to obtain homeowner’s plumbing, electrical and gas fireplace installation permits. To apply for a homeowner’s trade permit, you must be performing the work yourself, you must own the home with proof of ownership (in cases where the property has been purchased recently) and live in the home. If you are hiring a contractor, they must have a valid City of Calgary business licence and obtain the proper permits. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure these permits have been obtained.

You cannot apply for a trade permit on behalf of a contractor. If your contractor is performing the work, they must apply for the applicable trade permit.

Risks when a permit is not obtained

If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:

  • Enforcement action issued by a City inspector.
  • A fine for building without a permit.
  • Having to undo work that has been completed.
  • Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
  • Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted.

Note: As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you permits were not needed. If you are unsure if you need a permit, call the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311. Find out if your contractor has a City of Calgary business license with our Licensed Trade Contractor List.


We’re committed to providing you with a timely response on your permit application.

Development permit timelines vary, based on the type of application and the impacts to the community.

Most building permits for home improvement projects can be issued the same day as the application. However, sometimes a plans examiner will require a more in-depth examination of the application and the building permit is generally issued within a week.

Bylaw and code considerations

Inquiries about building, plumbing, gas, electrical or heating, ventilation and air conditioning code or construction methods, building safety and fire regulations, please contact the Technical Assistance Centre​. For all other inquiries (i.e. Land Use Bylaw), please call 403-268-5311.

Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the work being carried out conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title.

Where to install an air conditioning unit

Air conditioning units cannot project more than 1.0 m into any side setback area.

Air conditioning units cannot be located in a side setback area that is required to be clear of projections. These projections include: air conditioning equipment, window wells, cantilevers and other portions of the building.

Note: This does not include cantilevers and portions of the building higher than 2.4 m above grade. i.e; an upper floor cantilever.

Air conditioning in side yard


When air conditioning units are proposed on the same lot as a semi-detached dwelling:

  • Equipment is only permitted when one side setback area is on the street side of a corner parcel.
  • Raising air conditioning units higher than 2.4 m above grade is not permitted.

Previously installed air conditioning units

If you have a previously installed air conditioning unit which does not meet the rules of the Land Use Bylaw, a development permit for relaxation is required to make the unit compliant.

If the air conditioning unit was installed prior to June 1, 2008, there were no bylaw rules pertaining to air conditioning equipment and therefore, proof of installation would be required to confirm the installation date.

Acceptable forms of proof are:

  • An official receipt or invoice showing the installation date (not the purchase date) of the equipment.
  • The builder’s purchase agreement showing record of air conditioning installation.

What documents do I need?

Where you live and the type of property you have will determine which application list you need to apply for a permit. Please read the content carefully and bring your completed documents along with drawings to the Planning Services Centre.


Book your inspections by contacting 311 and providing them with your permit number.

Generally, your project will require a rough-in and a final inspection for each building and trade permit pulled, though additional inspections may be required. You can contact 311 on the morning of your inspection to find out if it will be in the morning or afternoon.

A development completion permit inspection may be required if a development permit is involved in your project. Call our Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 to determine if a development completion permit is required.

Call before you dig

Always call Alberta One Call before you dig: 1-800-242-3447. For more information or to submit a locate request, visit Alberta One-Call.

Disclaimer: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.​​​​​​​​​​​​