Heating, cooling and ventilation
Step 1: Review
All fireplaces and air conditioning equipment will require one or more permits types. For solar panels and solar collectors see residential solar collectors.
You would need permits for these projects like:
- outdoor fireplaces
- masonry or factory built wood burning fireplaces
- gas fireplaces
- air conditioning equipment
- furnaces and gas appliances
- carbon monoxide detectors
- propane gas cylinders
Hiring a contractor
November 1, 2021
Furnaces and hot water tanks
Watch our recorded Q&A on everything you need to know about upkeeping your furnace and hot water tank this winter season.
|Planning approval - development permit (prior to construction)||Permit fee||Advertising fee||Development completion inspection||Total|
|Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for an air conditioning unit||$384||$32||$163||$579|
See the planning applications fee schedule for a complete list of planning application fees.
|Building safety approval - building permit||Permit fee||Safety codes council fee (4%)||Total|
|Renovation to an existing fireplace||$202||$8.08||$210.08|
See the building permit fee schedule for a complete list of planning application fees.
How long will it take to get a permit?
Planning approval (Development permit)
|10 - 12 weeks|
Building safety approval (Building permit)
|Approx. 7 days|
|Building safety approval - building permit||Timeline|
When does my permit expire?
You will receive a permit expiry reminder in the mail. If you need more time, you can extend your permit. Review the extend or reinstate your permit section.
|Permit type||Expiry (from date of issuance)|
|Building permit||180 days|
|Contractor trade permit||330 days|
|Homeowner permit||330 days|
Step 2: Prepare
Use the information below to prepare your application. Follow the rules in the location, design and construction sections to help make sure your application meets the City's requirements.
Construction (Building code information)
Two permits are required if the homeowner or contactor is installing the fireplace and is not a qualified gas fitter. One permit is required if a qualified gas fitter is doing the entire gas fireplace installation (including the fireplace itself and all the piping/connections). In this case, the work can all be completed under one permit – the gas permit.
- Gas permit – This permit includes the fireplace, venting and gas connection. Only a qualified gas fitter can apply for this type of permit.
- Contractor’s gas fireplace installation permit – This permit includes the installation of new fireplaces, gas inserts, and related venting. It does not include the gas line connection that serves the appliance.
- Homeowner’s gas fireplace installation permit – a homeowner may apply for this permit if he or she lives in the home and will be installing the fireplace and venting only. See the Homeowner's gas fireplace installation permit application. This permit does not include the gas line connection that serves the appliance.
Installing a fireplace when finishing your basement
When you are developing your basement, you will also require a basement development building permit. For more information, contact the Technical Assistance Centre or call 311.
Installing a fireplace with a bump out
If you are installing a gas fireplace with a bump out that does not meet the addition rules of the Land Use Bylaw, a development permit is required. You must not project into a side setback area if there is an existing projection on the opposite side.
An example of this is if you are proposing a chimney on the left side of your residence that would be built into the 1.2 m side setback area when you have an existing projection, such as a window well on the right side of your residence that is projecting into the 1.2 m side setback area. The length of the projection must not exceed 3.1 m when in a setback area.
Call 311 and ask for the Technical Assistance Centre for inquiries about construction or code requirements for these areas:
- building codes
- electrical or heating
- ventilation and air conditioning
For all other inquiries, including the Land Use Bylaw, please contact the Planning Services Centre.
All gas appliances should be treated with respect. Improper installation, repair or damage to the unit could lead to sickness, injury or even death from fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
All furnace installations and replacements require a permit.
- A gas permit is issued to a qualified gas fitter and includes the appliance, venting and gas line serving the appliance.
- A furnace replacement permit is issued to a qualified HVAC contractor and will include the appliance and venting only.
- A mechanical permit is issued to a qualified HVAC contractor and includes any major additions or alterations to the related ductwork.
All new gas range installations require a permit.
- A gas permit is issued to a qualified gas fitter and includes the appliance and gas line servicing the appliance.
- All new gas ranges must be installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Before shopping for a new gas range, make a sketch of the area dimensions to ensure the new unit will fit. Ensure there is proper clearance for combustible materials, in either the old space or in a new area. Clearance requirements for the new range could be different from the existing range.
Installing a furnace or gas appliance during basement renovations
As of May 1, 2017, the Government of Alberta requires that a replacement furnace not be used to heat a space undergoing renovation. This means the furnace must be completely isolated from the renovation space so it does not pick up any byproducts from construction which could inhibit proper operation.
Gas appliance safety tips
- Ensure the furnace electrical switch is off when working in the fan compartments and always replace the door after servicing.
- Keep the area around your furnace and water heater clear of clutter (especially combustible material).
- Check vent connector pipes for possible corrosion or obstruction. Replace corroded pipes and remove any obstructions.
- Ensure your furnace receives sufficient airflow for proper operation. Check that combustion and ventilation ducts are open to the outside and are free from blockage.
- For high efficiency appliances, please ensure all vents and air intakes are free and clear of debris.
For code or related information, please call 311 and ask to be directed to the Technical Assistance Centre for Plumbing and Gas or visit us at Electrical and gas appliances.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide alarms are mandatory on each level of your home and near all sleeping areas. Choose an electric powered model with battery back-up in case of a power outage and check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the replacement date. Most carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced every two to five years.
To avoid problems with carbon monoxide, have a qualified service technician check and service your central heating system, gas water heater, gas range and gas dryer annually.
Never store propane cylinders (either full or empty) inside your home, recreational vehicle, garage or workshop. Propane should be stored outside in a shady, protected area, and far from any heat or flame source. Always keep the cylinder:
- outside and upright
- closed when stored (even if empty)
- upright and secure when transporting (whether full or empty)
- on firm footing when in use
All propane cylinders have a pressure reduced regulator. Do not use your outdoor gas grill close to the side of a building and never under any surface that will burn such as a carport. To check for leaks, spread soapsuds on the cylinder and wait for the bubbles to expand. Never use a match or flame to check for leaks.
Make sure your propane supplier checks the requalification date on your cylinder and inspects it for leaks and corrosion. Suppliers should purge trapped air from the cylinder prior to the first filling and should not overfill.
Where to install an air conditioning unit
You can install an air conditioning unit in a rear or side setback with the following conditions:
- Air conditioning units can only project 1.0 m into any side setback area.
- If a parcel has no lane or alley access, and there is no front or side garage, a 3.0 m side setback is required to allow for a possible future driveway leading to a rear garage. With this type of layout, air conditioning equipment cannot project into the 3.0 m side setback area.
Previously installed air conditioning units
If you have a previously installed air conditioning unit that does not meet the Land Use Bylaw rules, a development permit for relaxation is required.
If the air conditioning unit was installed prior to June 1, 2008, there were no bylaw rules for air conditioning equipment and proof of installation is 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.
Step 3: Apply
To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.
We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number
Apply in person
Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre.
Complete application requirement
An application for a permit may be refused if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt, adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building Advisory A19-002 Building Permit Complete Application
Step 6: Inspect
Visit building inspections for information on how to book an inspection, cancel or reschedule, permit expiry and the applicable requirements for each inspection type.
Building permit inspections you will need
Heating, cooling and ventilation
Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:
- Install and complete and structural changes.
- Install and complete the wall and ceiling, and as well the framing for the fireplace.
- If fire rating is required, please ensure it is in place for the inspection.
- Install fireplace as per manufacturer’s installation instructions. Do not drywall or cover up until inspection has been completed.
- Install and complete all the walls and ceiling, and framing.
- Any gas lines that run to a fireplace must be done on a separate gas permit. Please be aware that gas lines must be installed by an Alberta certified journeyman gas fitter.
How do you book your inspections?
Visit Building inspections for information on how to book, cancel or reschedule an inspection, permit expiry and the requirements for each inspection type.