Since tumble dryers tend to make a lot of noise, the garage might seem like a logical place to put one.
If it’s in the garage or an outbuilding, it won’t disturb you while you’re sleeping or relaxing.
Furthermore, lots of us in the UK use the garage as a place to keep everything that doesn’t fit in the house rather than to actually store a car.
This means the garage could be a good option if your kitchen or laundry room is too small for a tumble dryer.
However, can you install a tumble dryer in the garage and if so, which type of tumble dryer should you choose?
Will the dryer work if the temperature in the garage gets too low in the winter?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions.
Can You Put a Tumble Dryer in the Garage?
Yes, you can put a tumble dryer in the garage. However, there are some things to consider first if you choose to do this.
Vented tumble dryers
Vented tumbler dryers are the best choice for a garage, but you should only use one if your garage has a vent so that the hot air and condensation can be pumped out.
If your garage doesn’t have a hole in the wall to attach the vent hose but you’re good with DIY, you could install one yourself. Alternatively, a builder or handyman should be able to make a small hole in the garage wall easily, though this will cost money.
If you use a vented tumble dryer without pumping the hot air out of the garage, the garage will get damp, causing mould and rust. This is an especially bad idea if you use the garage to store things like bikes and tools.
It’s a bit trickier to install a vented dryer than use a condenser dryer, but in the long term, they usually cost less to run and are more convenient as you don’t need to empty a water reservoir.
One alternative to venting the air out of the garage is to use a converter condenser box, which attaches to the hose and collects the moisture in a sealed box. The idea is that they convert a vented dryer to working in a very similar vein to a condenser one. However, they usually don’t work very well, and just result in the garage getting full of damp.
Another alternative is to simply hang the vent hose out of the garage window, which works well for some people, but may not be great for the coldest winter months.
Condenser tumble dryers
A condenser tumble dryer could be more convenient for using in the garage as it doesn’t need to be vented. Condenser dryers collect the moisture extracted from your laundry into a water reservoir, which needs to be emptied frequently.
However, condenser dryers are less suited for cold garages as they store water within the machine, so they are more likely to freeze. They also need the ambient temperature to be above a certain point (most manufacturers say 5°C) in order to work properly and dry clothes.
Most manufacturers don’t recommend putting a condenser dryer in the garage, though they can work well as long as the temperature isn’t too low and the garage has enough air circulation.
The performance of your condenser dryer should improve if you open a door between the garage and the rest of the house, as this will allow more air to circulate and will stop the garage from getting too cold.
Heat pump tumble dryers
Heat pump tumble dryers usually need an ambient temperature of at least 10°C to work well, so the garage will probably be too cold. Manufacturers don’t recommend using a heat pump tumble dryer in the garage.
Will the garage be too cold?
Most manufacturers recommend keeping vented and condenser tumble dryers somewhere where the ambient temperature doesn’t drop below 5°C. This could rule out the garage unless you keep it heated in the winter.
Storing your tumble dryer in the garage can invalidate the warranty, so check the terms of your warranty before putting a dryer in the garage or other cold space.
Condenser dryers are at particular risk from cold temperatures as they store water within the machine. This water could freeze if the temperature drops low enough. Vented dryers pump out all of the moisture, so cold temperatures are less likely to damage them.
Tumble dryers don’t work as effectively in cold rooms, or in small spaces with poor air circulation.
It could be worth using a thermometer to check the temperature of the garage and make sure it doesn’t fall below 5°C.
If you keep a fridge or freezer in the garage as well, this could help raise the temperature of the garage somewhat as these appliances generate heat, though it’s unlikely to make a big difference and these appliances could stop working if the garage gets too cold.
What’s the Best Tumble Dryer for a Cold Garage?
As we said above, you should try to keep the temperature in the garage above 5°C if you’re keeping a tumble dryer there.
Most people agree that vented tumble dryers are better for garages as they are less vulnerable to cold temperatures.
If you’re choosing a dryer for a cold garage, you should avoid brands who specifically advise against using their dryers below certain temperatures. Beko states that its dryers shouldn’t be used below 5°C and White Knight advises against using its dryers in outbuildings.
If we had to recommend one tumble dryer for using in a cold garage, it would be the Indesit IDV75 Eco Time 7Kg Vented Tumble Dryer (see below).
Indesit IDV75 Eco Time 7Kg Vented Tumble Dryer
Lots of people find that this vented dryer from Indesit works well in the garage. Most people find that it dries clothes quickly and effectively.
It has a 7 kg load capacity which should be enough for most families, and it has a B rating for energy efficiency, which is relatively good for a tumble dryer.
The instructions manual doesn’t say anything about not using the dryer in low temperatures. However, it does say the following:
“You should also make sure that the room in which the tumble dryer is installed is not damp, and that it is adequately ventilated.”
The manual offers advice for ventilating the machine through a wall ventilation hole, window ventilation hole or an open window.
At the time of writing the Indesit IDV75 comes with 12-month parts and labour guarantee automatically and 10-year parts guarantee if you register it with Indesit. We couldn’t see any caveats in the warranty about using the dryer in low temperatures or in a garage or outbuilding, so this shouldn’t invalidate the warranty.
Use the links below to read more about this dryer and see how much it costs from different retailers: