Can You Put a Condenser Tumble Dryer in a Cupboard?
If you’ve just bought a new condenser tumble dryer then the next stage will be finding a suitable place in your home to install it.
It can be really tempting to find a place that’s out of the way and maybe even concealed for convenience.
Another advantage of this kind of place is that it will often be quieter and you can have more peace whilst the dryer is running.
While looking, you may be tempted to pick a cupboard for the dryer to sit in, but can you put it there safely with no issues?
Condenser tumble dryers need a constant supply of fresh air to work properly. As a consequence of this, confined spaces are generally just not suitable for these tumble dryers. As well as needing the fresh air supply, the dryers will generally expel some amount of damp air, which will damage a non-ventilated area quite severely over time.
So in general, no you shouldn’t put this kind of dryer in a cupboard.
Further in this piece we’ll look at why this is the case and look at other places that are not suitable for these dryers.
Why Can’t You Put a Condenser Dryer in a Cupboard?
There are quite a few reasons why a condenser dryer can’t be placed in a cupboard.
As mentioned above, the condenser dryers need a steady supply of fresh air.
This air needs to be at a reasonably cool temperature, in order to regulate the temperature of the condenser. Heat pump dryers also need cool air like this.
Air also needs to be expelled out the back of the dryer (though not nearly as much as a vented dryer).
If you have a cheaper model of condenser dryer, the air coming out the back is liable to be slightly damp, which can build up in a confined space.
Generally, though, condenser dryers should not be expelling damp air. I’ve written pieces explaining how they work previously, but the gist of it is that these dryers extract moisture from the clothes using high temperatures and then condense the moist air to water in a separate chamber.
This water can then be removed manually from underneath the machine. So as most of the water is condensed out, there shouldn’t be that much moisture coming out the back of the dryer, but it’s always best to not take any chances with this.
Another point is that the air coming out the back will be hotter than the required temperature of air needed.
If a dryer is consistently recirculating the same hot air this can reduce the efficiency of the machine, which will increase your energy consumption.
Technically it is actually possible to run a dryer in a cupboard if you were to leave the door open. This does really depend on how good the air circulation is, which is directly related to the size of the cupboard.
Running it with the door open will sort of defeat the purpose, however, if the reason it’s in the cupboard in the first place is to reduce noise!
Sometimes, during installation, the engineer will be able to recommend the best location for the dryer.
So that covers why having the dryer in a cupboard is not a good idea, but are there other places that are unsuitable?
Where Else Shouldn’t You Put Your Condenser Dryer?
Another tempting location for your condenser tumble dryer can be the garage.
This is a good “out of sight, out of mind” location as it is unlikely to be noisy and you can set it going and leave it alone.
This is actually, again, not a good place for the dryer to be!
Here we have the opposite problem to placing the dryer in a cupboard. Instead of the air becoming too warm to operate the dryer properly, the garage will actually be too cold.
While hot air can totally reduce the ability of the dryer to condense the water out of the air, cold air will have the opposite effect.
Having a colder environment can make it more likely for moisture to start condensing in places other than the intended condensing chamber.
These places can include the inner cabinet, or even the drum of the dryer, which will mean your clothes just remain wet for longer.
Condenser dryers typically need to be in an environment that is above 5 oC to work properly and some garages and outbuildings can drop below this in the Winter months.
Some more modern dryers will even refuse to operate if the temperature is too low.
On top of this, maybe the garage actually gets too hot during the Summer months, meaning the moisture extracted from the clothes doesn’t condense properly.
So now we’ve seen where NOT to put a condenser tumble dryer, but where CAN you put one?
Where Can You Put a Condenser Tumble Dryer?
As we’ve seen, a condenser tumble dryer needs to be in an area with decent ventilation and appropriate ambient temperature.
The classic location is the kitchen, side by side with your washing machine. Having them in this arrangement also assists with the logistics of transferring clothes from washer to dryer.
If you have a suitable utility room, it is also possible to stack a dryer on top of a washer (as long as it’s not a top loaded appliance).
The kitchen is also likely to be suitable in terms of temperature (as your kitchen probably won’t be colder than 5 oC!).
The advantage of the condenser tumble dryers is that they don’t need a “hole in the wall” in order to vent the air out the back.
They need a normal amount of ventilation, so a kitchen or utility room in your home would work fine, but as mentioned before, if an engineer is installing this appliance, they will be able to recommend the best location for it.
These dryers don’t have the same restrictive properties as a vented dryer so there is a bit more freedom in where to place them.
So hopefully that answers the question of placing your condenser tumble dryer in a cupboard.
It is possible to do it and run the dryer with the cupboard door open, but this can be impractical in some cases.
Your best bet is to place the dryer in your kitchen, as this will meet most of the requirements for temperature and ventilation.