Can You Put A Tumble Dryer In A Garage? (outbuilding suitable dryers guide)

Many of us with garages seem to use them for storing all manner of household items other than the car. So it would seem the logical place to put a tumble dryer. And in some cases, it is possible to put and use a tumble dryer in the garage or other outbuilding.

But there are certain conditions that are not suitable for operating a tumble dryer outside of the main house. Keep reading for more information.

It is possible to put a tumble dryer in a garage or outbuilding, however it will get too cold for some models to work so you’ll need to check your handbook for specific instructions.

Which Type Of Tumble Dryer Will Work In The Garage (or outbuilding)?

There are 3 main types of tumble dryer which are 

  1. Vented 
  2. Condenser
  3. Heat Pump

Let’s have a closer look at each type in more detail.

Vented Tumble Dryers

Vented tumble dryers are the ones that have a large hose connected to them either from the front or the back which expels the steam from the washing as it dries. They need to be situated near an outside wall, window or door to allow the hot, moist air to dissipate.

 As vented tumble dryers expel hot, moist air you’ll need to ensure that it dissipates outside the building. Otherwise your garage could become damp and mould could form. As well as this, any tools could soon become rusty.

Vented tumble dryers are the type that will work best in a garage or outbuilding. This is because they don’t store any water inside the appliance (more on this later). 

Condenser Box

If you don’t like the idea of using a long vent pipe or cutting a hole in the wall, you can get a condenser box. This is a plastic box that you fit the tumble dryer’s hose onto, add cold water and you now have the equivalent of a condenser dryer. These condenser boxes are reusable. All you need to do is empty the box when the washing is dry, pack it away and reuse it next time you use your tumble dryer.

If you want to purchase a condenser box, you’ll need to check the diameter of your vent pipe. Once you know the diameter of the vent pipe you’ll be able to pick up a condenser box from as little as £10 depending on the make of your tumble dryer and the diameter of your vent pipe.

Condenser Tumble Dryers

On paper, condenser tumble dryers are the type that should work best when put in a garage. This is because they work by condensing the moisture into water which is stored in a reservoir inside the machine that needs emptying usually after every use. As this type of tumble dryer condenses the moisture into water, there’s no need for a vent hose to remove the hot, moist air or steam from the machine.

This means there’s no need for any holes in the wall or open windows or doors. Which would make the garage the ideal place to put one apart from one simple fact. During Winter months, the temperature in the garage drops to a point where the water in the reservoir can freeze. This can lead to expensive repairs at worst and the dryer not drying clothes at best.

Condenser tumble dryers cannot operate at temperatures lower than 5 degrees C (41F) and as most outbuildings and garages get temperatures below 5C during Winter months they are not viable sites for condenser tumble dryers.

Heat Pump Tumble Dryers

Heat pump tumble dryers are basically upgraded condenser machines. They condense the moist air into water which is stored in an internal reservoir which needs emptying frequently. The difference between a condenser tumble dryer and a heat pump tumble dryer is the air is then reheated and pumped through the appliance to start the cycle all over again.

Heat pump tumble dryers will not operate below 10 degrees C (50F), and as such, will never be suitable for putting in a garage or outbuilding in the UK. Or anywhere that the temperature drops below 10C during Winter months.

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Tumble Dryers?


Almost all tumble dryers need to be above a certain temperature to operate properly. That temperature is typically 5C (41F) and this is especially true for condenser type tumble dryers. With heat pump models needing 10C (50F) to operate correctly.

In many cases your warranty will be invalidated if you even store your appliance at lower than recommended temperatures. Vented machines pose less of a problem when the temperature drops because they vent all of the moisture out of the machine. This means any moisture that could pose a problem is removed from the machine and won’t therefore affect any working parts.

Having said that, if it is too cold the clothes will fail to dry and the machine will be running for far longer than is normally expected and this will obviously cost more on your energy bill.

When Is It OK To Put A Tumble Dryer In A Garage?

If your garage or outbuilding is heated there will be no problem putting a tumble dryer in there, There probably won’t be any need to change the heating pattern you already have set up, unless you usually switch the garage’s heating off at night, in which case you’d need to keep some heat on at night.

Having a refrigerator or freezer in the garage will help to raise the temperature slightly, but you’ll probably still need to add extra heat to protect your tumble dryer. However, if the refrigerator and freezer have been working in the garage for a long while, it’s possible the temperature will be warm enough, as they would have stopped working if the temperature was too cold.

If you are thinking of putting your condenser tumble dryer in your garage or outbuilding. We’d recommend keeping a thermometer in there to check on the highs as well as the lows. Just to be on the safe side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a condenser tumble dryer OK in a garage?

Whether or not it’s OK to put a condenser tumble dryer in your garage, depends on the ambient temperature of your garage. Not only will condenser tumble dryers not work below 5C (41F) but you could void any warranty just by storing them under those conditions. If you have a heated garage, it should be fine.

Does the tumble dryer have to be placed in a well ventilated room?

All tumble dryers need a supply of cool air to operate correctly. Regardless of type, the recommended size of the area a tumble dryer should be installed in is 3 metres squared (10ft squared).

Do you need a water supply for a condenser tumble dryer?

You don’t need a water supply for a condenser tumble dryer. Condenser tumble dryers collect moisture from the laundry and store it in an internal reservoir that needs emptying regularly by hand. 

Can you use a condenser dryer in a shed?

It is possible to use a condenser tumble dryer in a shed, as long as the shed doesn’t get too hot or cold. Condenser tumble dryers need an ambient temperature to operate correctly. They cannot be placed anywhere the temperature drops below 5c (41F). The area also needs to be at least 3 metres (10ft) square to allow enough cool air to pass through the machine.

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