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This unit was replaced in a tiny efficiency apartment and the utility closet sits next to the fridge. The closet HAD a door on it before that tempered the sound of the unit somewhat, and also looked nicer than a big ugly unit sitting 3 inches further into the room.

My landlord has informed me that this is just the way it is. I'm a more than a little concerned about whether or not this is safe. Shouldn't a door be on it?

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  • Is this HVAC unit a furnace that burns gas or oil, or an air handler that just has a blower and electric heat strips and/or an air conditioning coil on it? Jun 10, 2020 at 3:35
  • Extend the walls of the closet.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 10, 2020 at 4:23
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    @jsotola it served as a noise baffle and aesthetic cover. Jun 10, 2020 at 10:39
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    The landlord has made a substantial change to the apartment that changes the living conditions. You may want to carefully read through your lease to see if you have any grounds for remedy or breaking the contract if you feel the noise is unacceptable and the landlord is unwilling to do anything about it. I hate to say "lawyer up", but sadly, this sounds like it may be more suited for Law than Home Improvement. Before doing that, at least ask the landlord if you can do something about it and deduct the expense from your rent (providing itemized receipts, of course).
    – FreeMan
    Jun 10, 2020 at 12:14
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    To your actual question: rest easy. It's probably slightly safer if the door's open because there's more ventilation, CO can trigger other detectors in your apt, and you could notice a problem sooner.
    – dandavis
    Jun 10, 2020 at 21:27

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As a landlord, I’d be embarrassed at a shoddy job done to one of our units. As mentioned, it’s most likely safe as the HVAC unit couldn’t have been installed (with permits) if it was unsafe. You want to make sure you have a CO/Smoke detector near any gas burning building system (furnace, hot water heater, etc.) for your own safety and sanity.

To fix this yourself you may be able to add/extend the closet door trim into the room and then cover over this, but make that a last resort after working through your landlord. You shouldn’t have to “deal with it” unless you’re comfortable with the details shared with you by your landlord during the initial discussion. It sounds like they had a spare unit sitting around that was close enough to fitting or the HVAC contractor did it without permits. Dig in a bit deeper to see what’s going on here.

You can always find a new unit and let the landlord deal with the vacancy of not taking care of their tenants appropriately. Good luck.

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