Can You Put A Condenser Tumble Dryer In A Cupboard?

This question keeps popping up in our inbox so we thought we’d clear it up once and for all by writing this article. The short answer is no, you can’t put a condenser tumble dryer in a cupboard. However, the reason for this might not be clear so keep reading for more information.

Why Would You Want to Put A Condenser Tumble Dryer In A Cupboard?

We completely understand the reasoning behind wanting to put a tumble dryer in a cupboard, and why you would imagine a condenser tumble dryer would be the best choice. It’s out of the way, the cupboard will help muffle any noise when the tumble dryer is in operation, and it’s a condenser tumble dryer so it doesn’t need any venting.

But the truth is, you should never put a condenser tumble dryer in a cupboard.

Whilst all of the above is true, it doesn’t take into consideration the fact that all tumble dryers need a constant supply of fresh air to operate correctly. Which means confined spaces are not suitable. Also almost all tumble dryers expel a certain amount of damp air which will eventually damage any non ventilated space.

Why Shouldn’t You Put A Tumble Dryer In A Cupboard?

As mentioned above, condenser tumble dryers need a constant supply of fresh air and at a reasonably cool temperature. The air needs to be cool to regulate the temperature of the condenser, and it’s the same with heat pump tumble dryers.

How Does A Condenser Tumble Dryer Work?

The way the condenser tumble dryer works is hot air is passed through the laundry and then collected on the condenser where the moist air collected from the clothes turns to water. The remaining hot air is vented through the back of the machine.

This Can Cause Problems In A Cupboard

On some of the cheaper models, the air vented from the back of the machine still contains moisture which will damage your cupboard in a short space of time.  

Also that air coming from the back of the tumble dryer on all models will be hotter than the temperature needed in the dryer. If the machine keeps pumping hot air into itself, the condenser will heat up and stop working.

This will result in your washing taking longer to dry and your energy bill getting higher.

Is There Any Way A Condenser Tumble Dryer Can Be Put In A Cupboard?

It is possible to successfully run a condenser tumble dryer from inside a cupboard as long as certain criteria are met. The dimensions of the cupboard have to be so big as to allow the back to have adequate ventilation. This is necessary to allow the hot air to dissipate and leave cooler air for the machine to take in.

The space needed to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air to keep the condenser tumble dryer operating correctly is an area of 3 square metres.

Another factor is that you’ll need to keep the cupboard door open at all times the machine is running. Which if you wanted it in a cupboard to quieten it down is pointless.

Ask the engineer who installs the dryer for advice on the best place to site it, but don’t expect them to suggest a cupboard.


Is There Anywhere Else You Shouldn’t Put A Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Another place you’ll likely be thinking of putting the condenser tumble dryer is the garage. It’s out the way and the noise it makes won’t matter. Sadly though, this is as bad as a cupboard even though there’s adequate ventilation space, it’s still not a good idea putting the condenser tumble dryer in the garage.

Why Shouldn’t You Put A Condenser Tumble Dryer In The Garage?

Believe it or not, it’s because it’s too cold! It’s not hot air you have to worry about now, it’s cold air. Why? Because the cold air will cause the hot air to condensate in other places and not into the water reservoir on the appliance. Places like the inside of the dryer’s cabinet where it will drip back onto the clothes, making them as wet, if not, wetter than when they went in there.

Or inside the drum which would cause the same problem. The thing is condenser dryers need a temperature of 5 degrees C or higher to operate, and many garages and outbuildings drop way below that during the cold, Winter months. Some of the modern dryers won’t even turn on if the temperature is too cold.

Added to this, the garage could become too hot during high Summer which leads to the same problem as having the tumble dryer in the cupboard – The air will become too hot to condense correctly.

So Where Should You Put Your Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Condenser tumble dryers need to be sited in an area that has good ventilation and the correct range of temperatures to make it work correctly. The ideal site for your tumble dryer is in the kitchen alongside the washing machine. Having them together like this makes washdays so much easier. 

The freshly washed and spun washing can be transferred to the tumble dryer without having to carry the laundry too far. It’s also likely that the kitchen will always be at the correct temperature to operate your condenser tumble dryer.

Another suitable space is in a utility room which will usually house the washing machine as well.

Condenser tumble dryers don’t need to be near an outside wall or door so they are not as restricted as vented models. But you do need to consider their need for adequate ventilation when siting them. If you are having an engineer install your appliance, ask them as they will be best placed to offer advice on the most suitable place for your appliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a condenser dryer need ventilation?

As condenser dryers don’t have vents to remove moisture, in theory they can be placed anywhere. However, they do need an adequate supply of cool air to operate correctly. Which means they will need a certain amount of ventilation or the condenser will become too hot and not remove any moisture from the air passing through the laundry. This will add to the drying time and the amount of energy used.

Can you keep a dryer in a cupboard?

Although it seems like a good idea to keep a tumble dryer in a cupboard, the reality is not that good. The dryer will need a certain amount of ventilation to operate correctly and this is normally not possible in a cupboard even with the cupboard door open when the appliance is in operation.

Can a condenser dryer cause damp?

Condenser dryers can cause damp because they use hot air to dry the clothes. Some of that air can be lost through the appliance’s vents found at the rear of the machine. If this hot air hits any cooler surfaces in your home, they can become damp.

Do condenser dryers cause mould?

Condenser dryers don’t cause mould directly, but the moisture created when the hot air from the dryer hits a cooler surface in your home can cause damp. Always ensure adequate ventilation for the needs of the appliance.

How much space do condenser dryers need?

The amount of space needed by condenser tumble dryers is at least 3 square metres in the area the appliance is to be sited. This will ensure adequate space for the correct ventilation when the machine is operating.

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