Get a permit to install a heat pump or air conditioning unit

Last updated November 9, 2023

Do you want to install a heat pump or air conditioning unit on your property? There are standards that you need to comply with. Here’s what to do.

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You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law :

  • Units cannot be installed in the front yard of a building.
  • In other areas, the following requirements must be met:
    • The unit must be installed at least one metre away from the property line.
    • Contact the permit counter if your property is located at the intersection of two public roads.

Movable air conditioning units

This type of unit can be installed on the facade of a building.

Units on the balcony of a dwelling

Heating and air conditioning units can be authorized on balconies on the facade of a building under the following conditions: 

  • The building must have four or more dwellings.
  • ​​​​​The dwelling must not have other balconies or patios.
  • Only one unit per dwelling is authorized.
  • Cords and hoses linking the unit to the building must be no longer than .5 m.
  • The appliance must be concealed by a screen and not be visible from public property.
  • The unit must be at least two metres away from all windows and balconies of neighbouring buildings. 
  • Only units for below-ground dwellings can be installed on balconies. 
  • Maximum allowable dimensions of the unit are as follows: 
    • 40 cm wide
    • 75 cm long
    • 100 cm high

For buildings in an area with a historical, natural or other significant status, please contact the permit counter.

Communication channels

By phone

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

You must meet the following requirements: 

  • The maximum allowable dimension of the unit is .3 m.
  • Outside ducts must be concealed with covering for outdoor use of the same colour and shade as the siding of the building. 
  • On lots located at the intersection of two streets, units installed on the ground or at ground floor level are allowed in the secondary front yard as long as they are at least 1.3 m from all property lines and are covered by plants so they are not visible from the street. 
  • In back or side yards, units must be located at least 1.3 m from all property lines.

Communication channels

By phone

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law. 

Installation on the front of a building is prohibited. For side or back yards, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The unit must be installed at least one metre from all property lines and the unit must be compliant with the maximum allowable dimensions: 
    • 40 cm deep
    • 75 cm high
    • 100 cm wide
  • If your building is located at the intersection of two streets, please visit the permits counter to find out which standards apply to your case. 

Movable air conditioning units

This type of unit can be installed on the facade of a building.

Units on the balcony of a dwelling

Heat pumps and air conditioning units are allowed on balconies on a  building facade if the following conditions are met: 

  • The building must have four or more dwellings.
  • The dwelling must have no other balconies or patios.
  • Only one unit per dwelling is allowed. 
  • Cords and hoses connecting the unit to the building must be no longer than .5 m and must be concealed with metal piping that is the same colour as the siding of the exterior wall to which they are attached.
  • The unit must be at least two metres away from all windows and balconies of neighbouring buildings. 
  • Maximum allowable dimensions for the unit are: 
    • 40 cm wide
    • 75 cm long
    • 100 cm high
  • The unit must not be higher than the railing or visual screen that conceals it. 
  • The unit must be installed in a way that prevents climbing.
  • The railing on which the unit is installed must form an opaque visual screen and be built of rigid material.
  • The colour and appearance of railing and visual screens on the same facade or side/back wall must be identical.

Noise

The building owner must ensure that noise generated by the unit does not exceed authorized levels at any time of the day. He or she must also make sure that vibrations and water drainage do not disturb neighbours. 

Exception

If you live in the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District, your units must comply with specific conditions and be compatible with your building and its environment.

Because of the various by-laws’ special characteristics, no information will be given over the phone. We recommend that you go to your service point at least an hour before it closes.

Communication channels

In person

Permit counter

By appointment
5160 Boulevard Décarie
Montréal, QC H3X 2H9

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law. 

Units are only allowed in back and side yards at least two metres from all property lines.

Movable air conditioning units

This type of unit can be installed on the facade of a building.

Units on the balcony of a dwelling

Maximum allowable dimensions for wall or split units are:

  • 85 cm long
  • 40 cm wide
  • 100 cm high

Communication channels

By phone

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Installation in the front yard of a building is not allowed. For other yards, the following requirements must be met:

  • The unit must be installed at least two metres from all property lines. 
  • The noise generated by the unit must never exceed 45 decibels at any of the property lines.
  • Contact the permit counter if your property is located at the intersection of two public roads.

If you have a complaint about an air conditioning unit or a heat pump in the neighbourhood, please call 311.

Learn more

In person

By appointment
55 Avenue Dupras
Montréal, QC H8R 4A8

Legislation

Contact your borough before installing appliances such as a heat pump or an air conditioning unit. Various standards apply and a conversion permit may be required. 

Movable air conditioning units

No permit is required to install a movable air conditioning unit in a window.

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To file a noise complaint or a complaint concerning the location of a neighbour’s HVAC unit.

Learn more before installing a HVAC unit.

Legislation

Permanent heat pump or air conditioner

You must obtain a permit to install these types of units and to comply with the urban planning by-law.

Installation of air conditioning units, generators and heat pumps is prohibited in the front yard.

Duration of permit

Once you have the permit, you have 6 months to begin the work.

For further information on this permit, contact the permit counter.

Exception : Movable or small air conditioning units

You do not need a permit to install a movable air conditioning unit or one that has a maximum width of 35 cm and maximum length of 85 cm. These units may be installed in a front yard under the following conditions:

  • The unit and its components must be hidden by something or behind a ventilation grille.
  • If the unit is on a balcony and visible from the street, it must be hidden behind an opaque screen.
  • The unit must be located at least 1.5 m from each boundary of the yard.
  • The distance from the ground to the top of the unit must not exceed 1.1 m.

In all other yards, the unit must be located at least 3 m from all lot boundaries.

Apply

Online

You need an account to use this service.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Units cannot be installed in the front yard of a building. To install a unit in other yards, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The unit must be installed at least two metres away from all property lines. 
  • The unit must not be visible from the street. 
  • The noise generated by the unit must never disturb neighbours

Communication channels

By phone

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Air conditioners and heaters can be installed without a permit.the following requirements must be met:

  • Maximum dimensions:
    • 85 cm long
    • 35 cm wide

Check with the borough about applicable standards for larger units. 

  • Only one unit per home or dwelling. 
  • If the unit is located on the ground, it must be at least 1.5 metres away from the front property line. 
    • The unit must not be higher than 1.1 metres from ground level. 
    • The unit can only be used for one underground or ground-level dwelling. =
  • If the unit is located in the back or side yard:
    • The unit must be a certain distance from all property lines, usually 1.5 metres. Check with your borough to get the applicable distance for your area.
  • If the unit is located to the side of the building, the visible length of cables must not exceed 50 cm and they must be concealed with metal piping that is the same colour as the siding of the exterior wall to which they are attached so that they are not visible from the street. 

Contact the borough if your property is located at the intersection of two public roads. 

Units on the balcony of a dwelling

Units can be installed on a balcony on the building facade as long as the following requirements are met: 

  • The unit is not higher than the railing. 
  • Cordes and hoses that link the unit to the building are no longer than 50 cm. 
  • The unit is concealed from public view by a visual screen or shrubbery. Please check with the permit counter to find out which shrubbery is allowed. 

Movable air conditioning units

This type of unit can be installed on the facade of a building.

Noise

Noise generated by a heat pump, air conditioning unit, swimming pool filtration system or water heater must never exceed:

  • 52 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • 55 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Exception

Some restrictions apply to heritage buildings.

Communication channels

By phone

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legislation

You need a permit (certificate of authorization) to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit.

  • You must comply with the urban planning by-law.
  • Units are authorized in back yards. They can also be installed in the side yard under certain conditions. Contact your borough to find out more. 
  • Noise generated by the unit must not exceed 50 decibels. 

Movable air conditioning units

Permits are not required for this type of unit.

Fees

The permit’s cost is $10.50 per $1,000 of work, with a minimum fee of $70.50. Taxes are included.

Required documents

  • Certificate of location
  • Site plan
  • Estimated cost of the work
  • Technical sheet and installation specifications for the equipment

Apply

4241 Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville
Montréal, QC H1H 1S4

Payment method

Click on the place to see accepted methods of payment.

Legislation

You need a permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit.

Heat pumps, air conditioning units, thermopumps, swimming pool filters and other mechanical devices are permitted in the other yards and the rear setback under the following conditions:

  1. Located at least three metres from any property line

  2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, a mechanical device can be located between 1.5 m and 3 m from a property line if it is surrounded by a noise barrier

  3. Not visible from a public street, excluding alleys

  4. ln the case of a duplex, triplex or a property containing more than three dwellings, the noise barrier required by paragraph 2 must also include an acoustic roof

  5. If a mechanical device serves an exclusively residential building, all of its ventilation ducting must be interior or on the roof

The unit can also be installed on the flat roof of a building. Contact the permit counter to find out which technical specifications apply.

The permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit is valid for 12 months.

Movable air conditioning units

A permit is not needed to install this type of unit. However, you must meet the following requirements:

  • This type of unit is prohibited between October 25 and May 15, and must be taken down. 
  • The unit cannot be installed in a doorway or window located less than two metres away from another door that opens, a balcony, a terrace or a patio of a neighbouring unit (the two metres are calculated vertically and horizontally. 
  • The unit cannot be installed in the window or door of a wall that opens onto an enclosed courtyard formed by two buildings in a row, if one of the side walls of the building(s) is located less than three metres from the property line.
  • It is prohibited to install a movable air conditioner, which is designed to be installed in an open window or doorway, on a permanent basis. 

Noise

Noise generated by a movable unit must not exceed 36 or 55 decibels, depending on the time of day.

Communication channels

Direction de l'aménagement urbain et du patrimoine

514-495-6234

Direction de l'aménagement urbain et du patrimoine

1431 Avenue Van Horne, 2nd floor
Montréal, QC H2V 1K9

You need a permit to install a heat pump or a permanent or movable air conditioning unit.  However, if you replace a unit in the same space, you do not need a permit.  

Units cannot be installed in the front yard of a building. However, for buildings with more than four dwellings, a split heating/air conditioning unit is allowed in the front yard under the following conditions: 

  • The unit is installed on a balcony or patio only. 
  • If the unit is installed on the ground, it must not be visible from the street.
  • The unit’s installation must be compliant with the by-law. 

Heat pumps, air conditioners and compressors that are located less than two metres away from the property line must never be visible from the street. They must be completely surrounded by an opaque acoustic screen. Contact the permit counter to find out which materials are authorized.

All units must be in good condition and properly maintained.

Duration of permit

The permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit is valid for 3 months.

Things to know

The same conditions apply to homes and commercial properties.

Fees

The fees for a permit to install a heat pump or an air conditioning unit are $60. Taxes are included.

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Permit counter

13665 Boulevard de Pierrefonds
Montréal, QC H9A 2Z4

Payment method

Click on the place to see accepted methods of payment.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Units cannot be installed in the front yard of a building. For other yards, the following requirements must be met:

  • The unit must be installed at least .6 metre away from the property lines and the street. 
  • If the unit is installed on the ground or protrudes from the building and is visible from the street, it must:
    • Be installed at a height of two metres or less. 
    • Be concealed by a plant screen composed of evergreens or an opaque gate

Communication channels

By phone

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. When you install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Installation is prohibited in the front yard of a building. For other yards, the following requirements must be met:

  • The unit must be installed at least three metres from all property lines. 
  • Contact the permit counter if your property is located at the intersection of two public roads. 

Before taking any steps, please contact the borough to make sure that your installation is fully compliant.

Movable air conditioning units

This type of unit can be installed on the facade of a building.

Required documents

  • Certificate of location
  • Quote for the equipment

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Permit counter

5650 Rue D'Iberville
Second floor
Montréal, QC H2G 2B3

Legislation

If you are a merchant, you need a permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit.

When you install a heat pump or an air conditioning unit, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Before taking any steps, please contact the borough to make sure that your installation is fully compliant.

Duration of permit

Once you have the permit, you have 6 months to install your heat pump or air conditioning unit.

Fees

The fees for a permit to install a heat pump or an air conditioning unit are $160 per unit. Taxes are included.

Required documents

  • Site plan, drawn to scale, showing property lines, the existing building, and size and location of heat pump or air conditioning unit
  • Technical sheets for heat pump or air conditioning unit, indicating how much noise will be generated
  • Certificate of location

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Counter permit

777, boulevard Marcel-Laurin
Saint-Laurent, QC H4M 2M7

Payment method

Click on the place to see accepted methods of payment.

Legislation

You need a permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit.

When you install a heat pump or an air conditioning unit, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Residential buildings with five dwellings or fewer

These units cannot be installed in the front yard. In other yards, the following requirements must be met:

  • The unit must be installed at least one metre from all property lines.
  • Contact the permit counter if your property is located at the intersection of two public roads. 

Residential buildings with six dwellings or more

  • Central units are allowed on the roof or inside the building. 
  • Units can be installed on balconies as long as they are not visible from the street. 

Commercial or industrial buildings

  • Central units are allowed on the roof or inside the building. 

Before taking any steps, please contact the borough to make sure that your installation is fully compliant.

Movable air conditioning units

This type of unit can be installed  without a permit.

Fees (taxes are included)

Building

Fixed price per unit

Single-family home

$160

Residential building with five dwelling or less

$160

Other building types

$310

Required documents

  • Last name, first name, address and phone number of applicant or applicant’s representative
  • Detailed description of work
  • Site plan showing the following elements (existing and proposed): location of buildings, size of any setback or yard
  • Estimated cost of work

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Permit counter

8400 Boulevard Lacordaire
Montréal, QC H1R 3B1

Legislation

You need a permit to install a permanent heat pump or a air conditioning appliance.

You  do not need a permit to install a moveable appliance.

Installation at ground level

Ground-level installation is permitted in all yards under the following conditions:

  • The unit must be placed at least one metre from any property limit.
  • In a front yard, the perimeter must be camouflaged by plants and shrubs or a screen of the same height as the unit.
  • Installation is prohibited in the backyard of buildings with 12 or fewer dwellings located in the L’Île-des-Soeurs neighbourhood.

Installation on a balcony

Installation on a balcony is permitted under the following conditions:

  • The building must have 13 or more dwellings.
  • The unit must not exceed the height of the railings.
  • The wires and pipes must be the same colour as the wall on which they are placed.

Installation on a wall

You are allowed to install an air conditioner or heat pump on a back or side wall.

On a side wall, the unit must be installed at least two metres away from the front facade of the building.

Installation on a roof

Installation is permitted only on a flat roof of a main building, under the following conditions:

  • When facing a public road, other than an alleyway, the unit or heat pump must be hidden behind a painted, galvanized or anodized metal screen.
  • The screen must be the same height as the unit. The height is calculated between the roof and the top of the screen.
  • The width of the screen must measure at least one and a half times the width of the face of the unit placed alongside a facade wall.
  • The screen must be set back from a facade wall, at a distance equivalent to at least twice the height of the screen.
     

Before taking any steps, please contact the borough to make sure that your installation is fully compliant.

Exception

Installing a movable air conditioning unit is forbidden in L’Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood.

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4555 Rue de Verdun
Suite 109
Montréal, QC H4G 1M4

Legislation

You don’t need a permit to install a permanent or movable air conditioning unit or heat pump. However, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Units cannot be installed in the front yard or on balconies that are on the facade of a building. In other yards and balconies on the side or in the back of the building, the unit must be installed at least three metres away from all property lines. 

Movable air conditioning units
This type of unit can be installed on the facade of a building without a permit.

Exception

You need a permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit on the roof.

Duration of permit

Once you have the permit, you have 12 months to start the work.

Fees

Taxes included.

Processing fees

$9.80 per $1,000 of work. Minimum $161 for residential sectors; $473 in other sectors.

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Permit counter

800 Boulevard De Maisonneuve Est
17th floor
Montréal, QC H2L 4L8

Legislation

You need a permit to install a heat pump or a permanent air conditioning unit. When you install a heat pump or permanent air conditioning unit, you must comply with the urban planning by-law.

Units are not allowed in the front yard of buildings. In other yards, the unit must be installed at least one metre from all property lines.

If the unit is installed on the flat roof of a building, it must be:

  • Located at least two metres away from any non-adjoining parapets. 
  • At a distance from the facade that is at least twice as much as its height.

Movable air conditioning units

You don’t need a permit to install a movable air conditioning unit.

Duration of permit

The permit to install a heat pump or permanent air conditioning unit is valid for 18 months. Work must begin in the first 12 months.

Communication channels

311

Outside of Montréal: 514-872-0311

Monday to Friday: From 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Permit counter

405 Avenue Ogilvy
Suite 111
Montréal, QC H3N 1M3

Legislation