If you’re short on space in your home but you’ve got a shed that could house a tumble dryer, you might consider putting the appliance out there. But is this such a good idea?
The short answer is that it is possible to keep a working tumble dryer in a shed, as long as the shed meets certain conditions.
To use a tumble dryer without damaging it, you should make sure that the following conditions are met:
- There should be a vent to allow hot air to escape outside (if it’s a vented dryer)
- The shed should be watertight and solid.
- The shed should have a stable floor to put the machine on.
- It shouldn’t get too cold (below 5°C).
If you don’t care for your appliance correctly when it’s housed in a shed, the machine itself, the outbuilding, and any contents may suffer some damage.
In addition to this, some manufacturers stipulate that you should not keep a tumble dryer in an area where the ambient temperature drops below 5°C. Very cold or freezing temperatures can ruin components within an appliance like a tumble dryer.
Parts that come into direct contact with water are very susceptible to damage caused by freezing (a water reservoir in a condenser dryer, for example).
While it is possible to keep a dryer in an outbuilding, there are a number of concerns with doing this, and there are also a few benefits of doing it. Below you’ll find out what these main drawbacks and positives are.
Potential Problems with Keeping a Tumble Dryer in a Shed
On the surface, keeping a tumble dryer in a shed seems like a straightforward plan. But in reality, there are a number of potential problems to bear in mind.
In order to prevent these problems from occurring, you need to put a few measures in place.
1. The shed might need renovating first
In order to make your shed tumble dryer friendly, you might need to make some changes to it:
- Electricity socket – You’ll need to add an electricity socket to your shed, if there isn’t one there already. You’ll likely have to call an electrician to fit this for you and to ensure it’s safe.
- Vent – A vent will need to be added to the outbuilding to allow hot air to escape if you’re using a vented dryer. Keeping trapped air in a tight space can rot the wood, damage the flooring and ruin any tools in the area. It is possible to fit a vent yourself, but you’ve got to make sure that the vent is fitted and sealed, so no outside air can leak into the shed.
- The shed needs to have an even floor and be sturdy – If your shed isn’t in good condition in the first place, for example, it’s unsteady, the floor is uneven or the walls are rocky, you need to repair these parts before you move the tumble dryer in. A rocking tumble dryer is going to damage these pre-existing issues.
- Reinforcement might be needed – You may have to do some reinforcement work before you move the dryer into the shed. For example, an unstable floor may need to be reinforced to make it safe for a large, rocking dryer to sit on it.
- Shed should be watertight – The shed also needs to be watertight before any appliance or electricity can go into it.
You may be lucky and your shed is in perfect condition to house your dryer. But if not, you may find yourself paying out a lot of money to bring your outbuilding up to a safe standard for your appliance.
2. Weather worries
Tumble dryers are normally kept indoors, where it’s usually toasty and the temperature rarely goes below zero.
So, a major concern when it comes to keeping a dryer in a shed is whether or not it’ll be able to function effectively in cold weather.
You can, of course, insulate your shed to keep it warm. But this isn’t always a good option because in the summer the opposite happens, and an insulated outbuilding can get very warm! If your shed gets too hot, this may cause the dryer to overheat, and this can be very dangerous.
Most sheds aren’t usually insulated from the off, so a dryer housed in a shed will likely be exposed to low temperatures.
The main problem with this is that any water that’s trapped inside a tumble dryer during the winter can freeze. And in doing so, parts can break and the dryer might not function correctly in the cold environment.
3. Warranty woes
This won’t necessarily apply to all tumble dryers, but a shed could be considered an ‘inhospitable environment’, and keeping your dryer there could therefore void any warranty you have on your appliance.
So, if you plan on keeping your dryer in the shed, read your handbook and warranty before making the move. If you haven’t bought a dryer yet, but intend on putting it in a shed, perhaps check the warranty first to make sure that your machine will be covered.
4. Condensation complications
It’s possible for condensation to form inside a home and in a shed when you run a tumble dryer. So, you should make every effort to ensure that hot air escapes from the buildings when the dryer is running.
In the case of a shed, if you don’t allow the hot air to leave, condensation will form quickly as the hot air from the dryer makes contact with the cold, and often insulated, shed walls.
The droplets will then find their way into and onto other surfaces, including sockets, switches, and tools.
For one, electricity and water don’t mix well. So, you must stop water getting into the plug sockets and around electrical items. Similarly, you need to make sure that your equipment doesn’t get ravaged by moisture!
Secondly, condensation can cause damp and rot to set in in a wooden shed. This can damage the structural integrity of the shed and make it a very dangerous environment. Continuing to use your dryer under such circumstances would only make the problems worse too.
Condensation can create complete chaos in a shed, and the damage caused by it can be costly to repair. So, it’s essential that you put preventive measures in place to deal with the problem before it actually happens.
5. Insufficient space
Sheds aren’t always massive in size, but they are known for being quite cluttered spaces. They’re usually where you shove the patio furniture, the BBQ, deckchairs, rubbish, old toys, stuff for the charity shop, and anything else that you don’t need!
So, before you move a tumble dryer to a shed, you’ve got to make sure that there’s sufficient room to house the appliance. You cannot plonk a tumble dryer in the middle of a chaotic shed because this could have dire consequences.
A dryer needs to be sitting on a solid surface in safe space where there is sufficient air flow. It, therefore, cannot be rammed into a tiny corner, with random gadgets and toys plonked on top of it.
If your shed isn’t big enough or you don’t want to make space for your tumble dryer, don’t force your appliance in there, put it somewhere else. Space matters!
Potential Benefits of Keeping a Dryer in a Shed
Of course, there are a number of people who do house their tumble dryers successfully in a shed for years! So, let’s look at some benefits of doing this.
1. Frees up space in the home
Keeping a tumble dryer in a shed should give you more space in your home. If you’ve got free space in a shed, perhaps you can store both your washing machine and tumble dryer together in there. Your shed would become like a utility room, potentially freeing up a room in your house.
2. Stops the house heating up in the summer
If you keep your dryer in a shed, during the hotter months your home won’t be exposed to all of the heat that comes off the machine. So, your home should remain cooler when you dry clothes! That being said, you could actually do with having the extra heat in your home during the winter months, because the hot air can take the chill off.
3. Less noise pollution in your home
Keeping your dryer in a shed means that you’ve got less noise pollution to deal with. You can sit down and relax in the night, and you won’t have to listen to the dryer rumbling. If you find your tumble dryer too noisy, you could try one of these ultra-quiet models.
Can You Put a Tumble Dryer in a Garage?
You can keep a tumble dryer in a garage, as long as you put some measures in place to ensure that the dryer works effectively and no harm comes to your garage or the items in it.
You’ve got to make sure that the garage isn’t too cold, has sufficient ventilation outlets, has an electricity supply, and that the appliance can be placed somewhere stable and safe.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!