A treadmill is a valuable tool that can help you diversify your training. If you use it properly (and often enough), it can improve your running performance noticeably.
But the one thing that may prevent runners from getting one is space. Or, more specifically, a lack of space.
Treadmills aren’t exactly small; even the compact ones take up a fair bit of room. Nobody wants to be tripping over their treadmill on their way to the bathroom or bumping their chair against it at the dining table.
Here’s an out-of-the-way option – can you put a treadmill in a garage? It may not be the ideal spot, but if you can’t fit it comfortably in your home, it’s a possibility.
Don’t let lack of space prevent you from getting one! Here’s what you need to consider before deciding if the garage is the right spot for your treadmill.
First, Check Your Warranty
Even though it might be perfectly okay to leave your treadmill in the garage, you may be voiding the warranty if you do so.
Each manufacturer is different. Some will be fine with you putting your treadmill wherever you wish, but others won’t be so happy if you leave it in a potentially dusty garage.
Double-check yours before deciding to put your treadmill in the garage. If you aren’t completely sure, it could be a good idea to give them a call and get a solid answer.
What Parts Could Suffer In Cold Weather or Humidity?
Garages aren’t built to be lived in. For that reason, they usually aren’t climate-controlled. They tend to be more humid in warm weather, and colder and drier in winter.
Humidity could cause damage to the inner mechanics, or mess with the display screen. But it’s actually the cold weather that is a little more worrying.
If the treadmill belt becomes too cold, it could get brittle. When it gets brittle, even moderate use can cause it to wear away much faster, or even break while you’re running on it.
The cold can also cause the inner mechanics to seize up, including the motor and the incline function. There’s also a chance of the display screen freezing and cracking!
How Dusty is Your Garage? What Do You Use Your Garage For?
Once you’ve established that the cold or the humidity isn’t going to be an issue, the next thing you need to consider is dust.
How dusty is your garage? Is it enough that the dust could get into the inner workings of your treadmill?
Most garages are used as storage areas. Although some are kept neat, organized, and clean. But in general, they’re a little more on the dirty, stuffy, and dusty side!
Dust isn’t an issue on the surface of your treadmill. It can be swept off quite easily. But when it gets into the moving parts of the treadmill, that’s when you’re likely to have problems.
Dust and debris inside the motor, under the belt, or inside the electronic screen can cause havoc and stop the machine from working. It’s also pretty much impossible to get deep inside there to clean it without voiding your warranty!
If you have something that creates a lot of dust in your garage, like a woodworking tools, it’s best for your treadmill to go elsewhere.
Are There Benefits to Having Your Treadmill in Your Garage?
Don’t be put off by that, though. All that said, there are some benefits to having your treadmill in the garage instead of in the house.
A treadmill isn’t tiny! Keeping it in the garage allows you to save space in the house. You don’t have to worry about folding it up and trying to slide it into a cupboard somewhere when it’s not in use!
Of course, if space is short in your garage, you may need to make another plan!
People, kids, and pets are around the house all the time. In the garage, there’s usually much less traffic.
This is beneficial in two ways. First, it prevents the treadmill from getting bumped, stepped on, scratched, chewed on, or played with. Second, it prevents kids and pets from getting hurt by the fast-moving mechanics!
Having space to yourself can be a bonus. You can crank the volume of your music, not worry about the noise of the treadmill, and get in the zone.
There’s also the sense of “going to” somewhere different to exercise. It offers a little more separation from everyday life and running, on those days when you can’t get out on the road.
How Can You Protect Your Treadmill in a Garage?
If you do decide to put your treadmill in the garage, you’ll need to take measures to protect it from dust, debris, and weather conditions.
The best thing to do is to invest in a high-quality treadmill cover. This will prevent dust from settling on the machine when it’s not being used. It can also protect from direct sunlight and wind, although it’s less likely that either of those will find their way into your garage.
While some treadmill covers are designed to be used outside, you should note that even the best cover won’t protect your treadmill from cold or humidity. If these are issues, you may need to consider options like insulation or a cooling system for your garage.
Before moving the treadmill into the garage, clean the area thoroughly. Try to remove as much junk as possible, patch up areas where dust could blow in from the outside, and lay a rubber mat on the floor before bringing the treadmill in.
Clean the garage regularly to make sure no dust has a chance to settle into the machine! Also, clean and maintain your treadmill often to get rid of dust that’s already settled in it.
What to Consider When Putting the Treadmill in the Garage
If the garage is looking like the right spot for your treadmill, take these factors into consideration before committing to moving it there.
If space is an issue in the house, you’ll still need space in the garage in order for the treadmill to fit there comfortably.
If there’s not enough space, you may need to consider getting rid of some stuff or moving things around to accommodate it.
You’ll need a bigger space than the size of the actual treadmill. There’ll have to be at least a body’s length of space behind the treadmill.
This is for safety! Accidents do happen. You don’t want to step wrong and be catapulted into the garage door and then land back on the moving belt.
If you do put a foot wrong, you want the space to be able to pick yourself up without having to frantically try to stop the belt while you’re still on or very near to it.
Of course, using the emergency stop clip-on helps with this, but either way, you don’t want to fall and not have space to land.
Don’t lock yourself in the garage and run wild. Like we mentioned above, accidents can happen.
Firstly, don’t lock the door. If something does happen, others will need to be able to reach you. Leaving the door open could be a good idea, if you don’t mind and if the weather permits (depending on if you have a standalone garage or one connecting to the house).
Secondly, make sure your phone is with you so you can call someone if there’s an emergency. Otherwise, take a panic button or alarm button with you.
Garages can get stuffy! Try not to run in a dusty, musty room that’s closed in. If you can, open a window or even the door a fraction, to allow some fresh air to circulate.
Don’t rely on your treadmill’s fan to do this for you! Most of them are just a small help, and anyway, it could end up just blowing dust at you.
Breathing is an important part of running. If the air isn’t very breathable, you’ll find that your running performance suffers.
Especially if you’re used to running out on the open road, make an effort to get fresh air circulating around the garage while you’re in there.