Guide to HVAC Change Out

Permits are required when any heating equipment, air conditioning equipment, any ductwork which is installed for heating and/or air conditioning, any equipment which requires ventilation and it’s ductwork, any refrigeration equipment and/or refrigerant lines are installed, any commercial kitchen exhaust fans and make-up air are installed and any gas lines which may be installed.

Note that the permit application should be complete before submitting to the Washington Inspections Department. Incompleteness will add time to the review and approval process.

There are a few things you need to know before submitting your permit application.

  • Is your building located in the Historic District? If so, you will be required to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Historic Planning Administrator. Approval may be required prior to submitting your permit application.
  • If your property is located in a flood zone you will need to submit a certified benchmark certificate along with your building permit application.
  • If you plan on installing any equipment within seventy five (75) feet of a body of water, a C.A.M.A. permit or exemption letter will need to be submitted along with your building permit application.
  • Please check with the City of Washington Planning Department for property line setbacks and any easements which may be on the property.

Licensed Mechanical Contractor and Gas Contractor Requirements

  • North Carolina Licensing Board of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinklers Contractors requires anyone performing any heating, air conditioning, gas, ventilation work be licensed by their board. In the state of North Carolina, a permit shall only be issued to NC licensed contractors unless you are the owner of the property, this is your primary residence and you are performing the work.  


  • Submit a completed Mechanical Permit Application
  • If the unit(s) being changed out are connected to a gas line a Gas Permit Application will need to be obtained along with your mechanical permit application
  • If you are performing the electrical connection to the new unit an Electrical Permit Application will need to be submitted along with your mechanical permit. You will need to be a licensed electrical contractor in order to obtain the electrical permit.
  • Submit a flood elevations certificate (If property is located in a flood plain)
  • Submit a C.A.M.A. permit or exemption letter (If building is located within 75 feet of the water)

Once the permit application is submitted a permit can usually be issued within several minutes.  

HVAC  ( Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) change out permits are calculated at $50.00 per unit. There is no cost for an electrical permit and a gas permit on a HVAC change out. If you change out the HVAC unit and any ductwork the fee will be charged at $0.08 per square foot for the amount of square footage of each floor that the unit covers. Please check the Inspection’s Fee Schedule for cost of permits.

It is the permit holder’s responsibility to schedule each of their inspections. Inspections are to be schedule before 8:00 am in order to be inspected that day. Any inspection called in after 8:00 am will be scheduled for the next working day. To Schedule your inspection please call 252-975-9650 or fax to 252-214-6150 or email to .

When scheduling your inspection please provide the following information:

  • Address of the project
  • Permit number
  • Type of inspection you are requesting
  • Your name and phone number

This is the minimum amount of information needed to schedule your inspection. Please speak clearly so we can understand what you are requesting. Failure to provide the minimum information or speaking clearly will result in not scheduling your inspection. For list of required inspection please check our Inspections Request Guide.