Is it Okay to Put a Treadmill in a Garage?: Pros and Cons of Sprinting in a Garage Gym

Purchasing a new treadmill for your home is a great way to reach your fitness goals. In fact, BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, believes that the convenience of having a home treadmill “may encourage a person to exercise more frequently.” 

While at-home treadmills offer a convenient way to improve your fitness levels, these exercise machines are not always convenient when it comes to space. Many of the best treadmills are not only large in size, but they also require open space around the machine in order to operate properly.

For some owners, in-home space is a limited commodity and they might be tempted to put their exercise equipment in the garage to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, storing treadmills in the garage could potentially do more harm than good. If you are wondering if it’s okay to put a treadmill in a garage, keep reading as we take a look at the pros and cons of a garage treadmill and how this can affect your warranty. 

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level-1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite and the information we provide to help ensure we’re delivering helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

What to Do Before Putting a Treadmill in a Garage

Where to position your treadmill in the home can be a dilemma for those in tight quarters. If you are considering putting a treadmill in the garage, the following steps should be taken before storing your fitness equipment in this part of the home.

Read the User Manual

The most important step for any treadmill owner is to read the user manual first. This guide will instruct owners on how to assemble, operate, and troubleshoot a treadmill. Additionally, the user manual can offer guidance on where you should place the treadmill for home use.

Check the Warranty and Manufacturer Guidelines

When reading a treadmill owner’s manual, the guidelines are usually found in the early sections. The warranty information is typically located at the end of the manual.

The manufacturer guidelines will tell you the dos and dont’s of how to operate your treadmill and where to store it. It’s imperative that you read these guidelines because this is where you will learn if the manufacturer permits or prohibits putting a treadmill in a non-climate-controlled room — like the typical garage.

The NordicTrack EXP7i in the BarBend garage gym.

Some of the most trusted fitness brands state that you can’t put your treadmill outdoors or in a garage. If you decide to ignore these home fitness guidelines then you may end up voiding your treadmill warranty.

The following brands do not allow for treadmills to be placed in garages unless they’re climate-controlled:

Bowflex: Bowflex treadmills are not to be operated outdoors or in moist, wet locations. This eliminates garage storage unless it’s climate-controlled.

Horizon Fitness: Horizon Fitness states that equipment used in a non-temperature controlled environment, like a garage, is not covered under their warranty.

NordicTrack: Under the Important Precautions section of their owner’s manuals, the brand says not to place any NordicTrack treadmills in a garage or covered patio.

ProForm: ProForm’s warranty does not cover treadmills that are improperly used, which includes putting a treadmill in the garage. ProForm says to keep treadmills indoors only.

Weslo: Weslo states in their owner’s manuals not to put a treadmill in the garage. They must be kept indoors and away from moisture and dust.

Xterra: Xterra specifically states not to store a treadmill in any part of a home that’s exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations, like garages and covered patios. 

Get a Treadmill Cover and Mat

No matter where you place your treadmill, you should invest in a couple of handy accessories to protect it. A treadmill cover is a great way to shroud your treadmill and protect it from dirt, dust, debris and moisture that can build up in garages. Treadmill covers are easily found at gym equipment stores or online retailers like Amazon.

Our BarBend product tester working out while standing on a Gorilla Mats Premium Large Exercise Mat

In addition to a cover, you should also get a mat. The best treadmill mats can protect your garage floor and machine from any damage during storage and usage. Treadmill mats increase machine stability and balance, while also reducing vibrations and noises. Like treadmill covers, these mats will prevent dirt, dust and debris from accumulating underneath your treadmill and in the motor.

Risks of Putting a Treadmill in a Garage

Although the garage seems like an optimal space to put your treadmill, it does come with risks. If your garage isn’t climate-controlled, then your home treadmill could be subject to extreme temperature changes which can lead to costly damages and shortening the machine’s lifespan.

BarBend’s Jake Herod walking on a treadmill.

A climate-controlled space is ideal to prevent equipment malfunctions, compromised deck integrity, and other mechanical issues that result from cold, heat, moisture and debris often found in garages. 

Cold Garage Risks

Putting your treadmill in an unheated garage could be very damaging to your workout equipment. In addition to potentially seeing your warranty voided, storing your treadmill — even one of the best commercial treadmills — in cold temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can pose the following risks:

LCD screen could crack or stop working

Motor could slow down or not turn on

Speed or incline functions could malfunction or stop working

Treadmill belt could harden or crack

 Rollers could stick or stop working properly

Hot Garage Risks

Just like with cold temperatures, extremely hot temperatures of 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher can also damage your treadmill. Since they tend to have poor air circulation, it’s easy for heat to quickly accumulate inside garages. Hot garages pose the following risks:

 Poor air circulation

Motor can overheat and malfunction

Hazardous conditions for cardio exercise

The belt can stick or stop working

[Related: CrossFit Garage Gym: A Brief History]

Pros and Cons of Putting a Treadmill in a Garage

Putting a new treadmill in the garage is a personal decision based on many factors. Before rolling it through your garage door, take a look at this list of pros and cons. 

Final Word

If you don’t already have a home gym, then finding enough space to operate and store your treadmill can be challenging. Setting up your treadmill in the garage may be a solution, and it can also provide other benefits, like increased privacy, more distance from curious kids and pets, and less risk of noise annoying housemates with morning HIIT workouts.

Keeping your treadmill in the garage, however, requires that owners put in the extra effort to maintain the treadmill by keeping the area clean on a regular basis, buying covers and mats for additional protection, and controlling the temperature. Not adhering to these conditions could cause damage to your treadmill and potentially violate your warranty. 

FAQs: Is It Okay to Put a Treadmill in a Garage?

Where is the best place to put a treadmill?

Ideally, the best place to put a treadmill is in a climate-controlled room, like a home gym or a spare bedroom or den that’s not being used on a regular basis. This allows you to keep the treadmill out of common living spaces and locked behind a closed door to prevent any dangers to kids and pets. We love a makeshift garage gym, but we prefer to keep treadmills in the home because it tends to have better air circulation, no extreme temperature changes, and less risk of dust, debris, water, or moisture damaging the machine.

What temperature should a treadmill be stored at?

Extreme fluctuations in temperatures can damage a treadmill’s motor, display, and other components, so they should never be operated outside. With this in mind, treadmills should be stored in a climate-controlled environment where the temperature never drops below 50-degrees Fahrenheit or climbs above 105-degrees Fahrenheit. This goes for both the best high-end treadmills and the most budget-friendly models.

What to put under a treadmill in the garage?

Before putting anything under a treadmill, you must first sweep the floor and remove any clutter or debris. Once the space is cleaned and cleared of any potential hazards, then you should place a treadmill mat under your machine. A treadmill mat will protect both the machine and the floor from storage and usage. Additionally, treadmill mats can help keep your exercise machine from moving around during usage, reduce any vibrations or sounds, and help to prevent dust or dirt from getting into the treadmill motor.

The post Is it Okay to Put a Treadmill in a Garage?: Pros and Cons of Sprinting in a Garage Gym appeared first on BarBend.


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