Can a Tumble Dryer Be Kept Outside?

Keeping a tumble dryer outside may seem like a convenient option to free up indoor space. However, there are several important considerations when determining if an outdoor location is suitable for a tumble dryer. This comprehensive guide examines the key factors involved in outdoor tumble dryer placement.

Key Takeaways:

  • Outdoor tumble dryers require protection from moisture and other elements.
  • Proper ventilation is essential for safe operation outdoors.
  • The dryer must be on a solid, level surface with sufficient airflow.
  • Electrical and venting need special accommodations outdoors.
  • Certain dryer types like ventless are better suited for outdoor use.
  • Routine maintenance helps maximize lifespan for an outdoor tumble dryer.


Installing a tumble dryer outdoors may initially seem like an easy way to save interior room. However, there are some important requirements involved in keeping a dryer outside to ensure safe operation and prevent damage. This article will provide a thorough overview of key considerations regarding outdoor tumble dryer placement.

Understanding the factors that can impact an outdoor tumble dryer will help determine if this location is viable. We will examine the effects of moisture, ventilation needs, installation surface, electrical and venting accommodations, suitable dryer types, maintenance requirements, and other essential information. With proper precautions, certain dryer models can safely withstand outdoor conditions.

Gaining comprehensive knowledge about the feasibility and proper setup for an outdoor tumble dryer location will enable you to make an informed decision. This extensive guide aims to educate readers on all the variables involved for appropriate outdoor installation and use. The goal is to provide actionable insights to support optimal functionality and longevity for a tumble dryer kept outside.

Key Factors to Consider for an Outdoor Tumble Dryer

Determining if an outdoor setting is appropriate for your tumble dryer involves evaluating several key factors. We will take an in-depth look at each of these important considerations.

Is the Dryer Protected from Moisture and Other Outdoor Elements?

One of the biggest risks of keeping a tumble dryer outside is exposure to moisture and other outdoor elements. Excessive humidity can damage the sensitive electronic components in a dryer. Water from rain or irrigation could also seep into the dryer and cause electrical shorts or corrosion.

It is essential to keep the tumble dryer fully shielded from moisture. Placing it under an awning, patio cover, or other shelter is ideal. The dryer should not get wet during storms or regular yard watering. Check that water flows away from the unit. Allow ample clearance so sprinklers do not spray it directly.

In addition to moisture, a dryer kept outdoors needs protection from dust, dirt, leaves, bird droppings, and other debris that could clog or coat the interior. Ensure the location has minimal exposure to falling plant matter and yard waste. Covering the dryer when not in use helps safeguard it from the elements.

Does the Dryer Have Sufficient Ventilation in the Outdoor Location?

Another vital factor for an outdoor tumble dryer is proper ventilation. All dryers require good airflow to dissipate heat and moisture. This is especially important outdoors where air circulation may be limited.

The area must allow air to freely flow through the dryer's ventilation grates. Overhanging roofs, walls, vegetation, or other obstacles should not restrict airflow. There should be open space on all sides of the dryer. Install it at least a few inches off the ground for air passage underneath.

Inadequate ventilation surrounding an outdoor dryer could cause overheating. This can damage components or increase fire risk. Proper ventilation prevents moisture buildup that promotes mold or mildew. Make sure the outdoor site allows robust airflow.

Is the Dryer on a Solid, Level Surface with Enough Clearance?

The foundation where the outdoor tumble dryer sits is another key factor. It is vital to place the dryer on a flat, stable, and level surface. This ensures quiet and balanced operation.

A concrete pad, wood platform, or other solid base allows secure installation outdoors. Avoid soft ground that could settle unevenly. The surface must firmly support the dryer's weight without shifting or sagging over time.

There should also be adequate clearance for ventilation and convenient access. Allow extra room to easily reach connections at the back or underside. Adhere to the manufacturer's specifications for required space on all sides.

Have Electrical and Venting Been Accommodated for Outdoor Use?

When installing a tumble dryer outside, the electrical and venting hookups require special accommodations. All wiring and connections need protection from moisture. Use only outdoor-rated GFCI electrical receptacles.

Seal any openings into the dryer's electrical panel. Conduit pipes shield power cords from damage. Keep cords off the ground to avoid lawn mower or rodent hazards.

For vented dryers, the outdoor venting must have a hood or cover to prevent water intrusion. Use moisture resistant ducting. Route ducts to stay free of debris and condensation. Follow all venting guidelines for length and obstructions.

Getting electrical and venting right enables safe outdoor dryer operation. Consult local codes and a licensed electrician when installing outdoors.

Are Ventless or Other Specialty Dryers Better Suited for Outdoor Use?

Standard vented tumble dryers often pose challenges for outdoor installation. Ventless (condensing) dryers provide an alternative specifically designed for laundry rooms without ventilation.

Ventless dryers recirculate air internally and do not require external ducting. This makes them simpler to install outside since venting accommodations are unnecessary.

Models with stainless steel drum construction also withstand moisture well. Look for additional weatherproofing or all-season features. Consider a dryer rated for garage or protected outdoor installation.

While ventless dryers avoid some outdoor concerns, they still need a covered location and proper electrical setup. Carefully check specifications before purchasing a unit for outdoor use.

Will the Dryer Receive Periodic Maintenance for Longevity Outdoors?

To maximize the lifespan of an outdoor tumble dryer, periodic maintenance is essential. Lint and dust buildup are heightened outside, so regularly clean the lint filter and vents.

Inspect the dryer surroundings for nests or evidence of animal intrusion which could damage wiring. Wipe down the exterior and confirm proper drainage around the unit after rains.

Listen for unusual sounds that could indicate a failing component. Have a technician annually service the dryer to keep all systems functioning properly.

With careful maintenance and monitoring, a dryer can operate safely outdoors for many years. Stay diligent about upkeep.

Outdoor Installation Considerations

If an outdoor location seems potentially suitable for your tumble dryer, there are some installation best practices to follow:

Is the Location Fully Shielded from the Elements?

  • Place under an eve, overhang, pergola, or deck to protect from rain and irrigation.
  • Avoid positions directly under trees or areas where plants will shed on the dryer.
  • Make sure no sprinkler heads will spray the unit.
  • Use a water-resistant cover when not in use.

Does the Site Have Ample Ventilation?

  • Do not install in a fully enclosed, tight space.
  • Allow open airflow on all sides of the dryer.
  • Check for good cross breeze circulation.
  • Keep the unit elevated off the ground.
  • Follow clearance recommendations.

Is the Surface Beneath the Dryer Solid and Level?

  • Pour a concrete pad or build a platform from treated lumber.
  • Use lumber rails or bricks to level on uneven ground.
  • The dryer must sit flush without any rocking or vibration.

Are Electrical and Venting Properly Configured?

  • Only use exterior GFCI outlet with weatherproof cover.
  • Have a licensed electrician install wiring.
  • Use conduit to shield cords from damage.
  • Seal openings on the dryer housing.
  • Venting must have moisture-resistant ducting.

Is the Dryer a Suitable Model for Outdoor Use?

  • Choose an all-season or garage-rated dryer.
  • Consider a ventless condenser-style tumble dryer.
  • Look for features like stainless steel drum and weatherproof housing.
  • Carefully check the manufacturer's specifications before purchasing.

8 Key Questions about Outdoor Tumble Dryers

1. Is it safe to keep a tumble dryer outside?

It can be safe if the proper precautions are taken. The dryer needs complete protection from moisture, adequate ventilation, stable installation, outdoor-rated electrical hookup, and regular maintenance. With the right setup and model, an outdoor tumble dryer can operate safely.

2. Where is the best place to locate an outdoor tumble dryer?

The ideal location is under a covered patio, carport, or overhang that provides shelter from the elements while still allowing full airflow. Position the dryer on a concrete pad or raised platform. Make sure ventilation is not blocked and clearance is maintained all around the unit. Avoid locations under trees or too near sprinklers.

3. What risks are there with an outdoor tumble dryer?

Exposure to moisture from rain, sprinklers, or humidity can damage the internal electrical components. Lack of ventilation could cause overheating. Cords lying on the ground pose tripping or electrical hazards. Unit vibration or shifting can occur on uneven surfaces. Improper electrical hookup may cause shock or fire risks.

4. What maintenance does an outdoor tumble dryer require?

More frequent cleaning is needed to clear lint and debris which accumulate faster outside. Inspect for leaks, nests, mildew, and damage after storms. Wipe down the exterior to prevent buildup. Check airflow openings for obstructions. Have a technician do annual servicing to keep the dryer functioning properly.

5. Can you put a tumble dryer in an outdoor shed or garage?

Vented dryers require adequate airflow so a fully enclosed shed is usually not recommended. An open-sided shed or garage can work if not too confined. There should be cross ventilation allowing air circulation. Take precautions to protect from moisture sources like vehicle cleaning. Follow electrical guidelines for the space.

6. What type of tumble dryer is best for outdoor installation?

Ventless condenser dryers avoid the need for ducting to the outdoors, making them better suited for external locations. Models rated for garage, patio, or outdoor use are designed to handle humidity and seasonal elements. Stainless steel drums resist corrosion. Choose an all-season or weatherproof dryer.

7. How should you prepare a tumble dryer for outdoor storage?

For extended storage outdoors, unplug the dryer and coil the cord to minimize tripping risk. Place waterproof covers over the dryer or wrap it in a tarp. Elevate the unit on blocks to avoid moisture from the ground. Store in a shed or cover with waterproof casing. Check for any pest infestation before reusing.

8. Can you install a tumble dryer outdoors permanently?

A tumble dryer can be permanently installed outside if the location is fully covered and protected from rain, moisture, sprinklers, and other water sources. Proper airflow must be ensured and the electrical hookup requires outdoor-rated outlet and wiring. Routine maintenance is key for longevity. It also helps to choose a dryer designed for garage or outdoor installation. With the right precautions, permanent outdoor installation is possible.


Determining if an outdoor location is suitable for a tumble dryer requires careful evaluation of moisture protection, ventilation, clearances, electrical and venting accommodations, installation surface, and regular maintenance needs. While challenging, some dryer models can operate safely outside with proper precautions.

This comprehensive guide examined the critical factors involved in outdoor tumble dryer placement. Being informed on the potential risks and installation considerations will allow you to make the best decision for your specific needs. With adequate protections and an outdoor-ready unit, enjoying the convenience of an external dryer is possible. Just be sure to follow all safety guidelines and the manufacturer's recommendations


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