Can I install an air conditioner in my Vancouver condo?

With the recent heat waves we’ve experienced across BC this past summer, installing air conditioning seems to be at the top of everyone’s mind!  

Although most buildings have fresh air blowing into the hallways, most residential buildings don’t have any type of centralized HVAC installed. Owners are generally on their own to install air conditioning within their own individual units. This can be in the form of a portable AC that simply vents through the window, a window mounted unit, or a heat pump/ AC that requires mounting and venting to the exterior of the building.

Am I allowed to install an AC unit in my strata?

To find out what is and isn’t allowed, you must first and foremost refer to your strata bylaws. Many bylaws prohibit the installation of air conditioners, or at least require that certain conditions be met in order to allow them.

As the standard bylaws don’t really get into much detail here, we recommend that Strata Corporations lay out exactly what is allowed in their bylaws.

Things to consider detailing in your strata bylaws regarding AC installation would be;

Which types of units are allowed; portable, window mounted, or envelope mounted?

Which models, colours, etc. are allowed. Do you want to maintain a consistent look throughout the building?

Is an assumption of liability required?

How are the units to be installed?

Where at the units to be installed? How will this affect the building exterior and warranty?

What maintenance is required, and who is to pay for it?

Is the building capable of handling an increased electrical load?

What permits are required?

What type of alteration agreement and assumption of liability form is required

What is the process for owners to apply, and how does the approval process take place?

Strata Council may want to consider approving one or two vetted contractors to do the work so that standards such as installation location and models remain consistent. With well laid out protocols and procedures, Strata Corporations can make the process quite simple and standardized for the owners.

Watch our video here about installing AC in strata buildings;

Looking for some strata management advice? Reach out to our property management company today!



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