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.