Can you use a tumble dryer without a vent hose?

I received the following query regarding whether a vented tumble dryer can be used without a vent hose.

I’m buying my first ever tumble dryer and it is going to go in the double garage where there are no windows. Do I have to get the vent hose going outside or will it be ok?

A garage isn’t an ideal place for an appliance. They can be very hot in summer and very cold in winter. Some manufacturers specifically say not to use their dryer in an garage. Apparently if it gets very cold the drive belt can become hardened and kinked, and cause a breakdown. Also, the new heat pump dryers are not well suited to cold environments.

That being said, a tumble dryer will work without a vent hose if it’s free standing. This is evidenced by the fact that many vented dryers didn’t even used to come with a vent hose.


They were commonly an optional extra. However, it is definitely much better to have one properly vented if possible.

The potential problems with not venting a vented dryer in a garage are condensation and black mould when it’s cold weather.

My own dryer is a condenser dryer so it doesn’t need a venting hose but even so, we always open the small window behind it or we get condensation on our fridge and freezer when it’s cold. If our dryer was a vented one and not properly vented this would be much worse.

A vented dryer, venting straight out into a room will obviously pump lots of hot moist air into it as well as fluff, if the room is cold you will get condensation on cold objects and can get mould growing on rubber or other surfaces.


Another issue would be lots of dusty fluff would accumulate over time. As described above, even a condenser dryer can leak some moist warm air into the room but it won’t be as bad as a vented one.

NOTE: If a dryer is pushed underneath a worktop without a vent hose it may not be such a good idea as the hot air is likely to find it hard to escape.

If using without a venting system it would really be necessary for the dryer to be free standing with plenty of airflow around and somewhere for the air to escape like close to a window, vent or door.

Siting a vented dryer in a garage is fairly common. If no window is available to hang a vent pipe out of and it’s not possible to vent through the garage walls it’s best to leave the garage door open when using if security isn’t an issue.

Whether the lack of proper venting will cause any real problems depends on how large the garage is and whether there are many cold surfaces etc.

What about using an internal condenser vent hose kit?

If desperate you could try one of those condenser vent hose kits which allow the end of the vent hose to go into a plastic container filled with water. However, my mother tried one once and it was useless. I’ve checked out reviews of them online and many people also report they are useless but some have apparently reported they worked ok.


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30 thoughts on “Can you use a tumble dryer without a vent hose?”

  1. Barbara: If it’s a large cupboard and it doesn’t create condensation on the walls or on the meter itself it shouldn’t be an issue. I would try to keep the door open when in use if it is creating condensation.

  2. Hey I just moved into a house that does not have a dryer vent to hook up a dryer vent hose. I will be putting in a hole to hook it up and run it threw the crawl space. Until then is it ok to use my dryer for like 2 weeks til I get it all hooked up?

  3. Hiya, I have been handed a vent dryer by a friend, I’ve used it in my student house, where a window is available in good reach from the dryer, and everything was fine. I am now taking it home, but the window is beyond the dryer by kitchen counters/sinks etc. If finding a long enough pipe, would it still be okay for the vent pipe to be sitting outside a window? Is it okay to use still as long as the pipe is sitting outside the window? I don’t want it to create any damp/mould etc into my mums place?

  4. I have had a Servis Tumble dryer for some 17 yrs now, have not been using it for the last 15 yrs. I have noticed recently that when I dry my clothes in-doors i.e, using a clothes horse that my clothes smell awful, so I have decided to use my tumble dryer again, the problem is that the hose at the back is damaged in several different places. Where my dryer is now located, in my kitchen, it is too far from my window & door. Have been reading online about which Venting Kit to get but the blogs that refer to using ICE has me stumped,when I was using my dryer before I never used ICE. Can you please explain why ICE is being used, thank you. Also could I use a large towel & wrap it around the hose of the dryer to stop the condensation & dust??,thanks.

  5. Chelsea: As long as the pipe isn’t too long. If you have to make it too long it can become ineffective.

    Chrisdina: Never heard of using ice, the pipe shouldn’t be blocked in any way or the hot air can’t escape and the dryer can overheat. If the hose won’t reach I would use it in a well ventilated area. Those devices you can buy to vent into aren’t much cop from what I’ve seen.

  6. I need to buy a tumble dryer as I have not long had a baby and my washing pile is getting rediculous. It will need to go in my utility room but it has no heating there so is really cold during the winter. Venting is a bit of a problem too so do you think a condeser dryer will be ok to use without causing damp or mould?

  7. We are expecting our first baby and the wife would like a tumble dryer. The only place we can have one is in our garden shed and running an outdoor extension lead to power it…not ideal i know but its the only option. Providing the dryer is covered during the winter to help prevent the extreme temps, would there be a problem in putting the venting pipe out of the front door of the shed? We’re in rented property so i dont really want to go drilling holes in the shed just in case.
    Thanks very much!

  8. Garden sheds are very poor places for appliances as they get very cold, very hot, plus damp and condensation can cause problems. Even a long extension lead isn’t ideal. Regarding venting during use though there should be no problems hanging the pipe out of the door instead of a window.

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