Can You Install a Treadmill Outside? (Here’s What Expert Says)

Shayla Whitter

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I wanted to enjoy running on my treadmill outdoors, especially during summer. I had a perfect spot in my backyard where I could set up the machine, but as I started to research more about keeping treadmills outside, I discovered a multitude of potential damages.

After much contemplation and research, I decided against placing my treadmill outside. While it would have been convenient to have it outdoors, the potential damages outweighed the benefits. 

Instead, I chose to keep my treadmill inside, protected from harsh weather conditions and potential animal damage. It may not be the most scenic workout environment, but it’s certainly the safer option for my machine’s longevity.

Can You Set Up A Treadmill Outside?

Placing your treadmill outside may seem convenient, mainly if you have limited space. However, the potential damages caused by direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and animal damage can outweigh any benefits of outdoor placement.

Here are some possible sources of damage so that you can make a decision on whether or not you want to install your treadmill outdoors.

Direct Sunlight

Placing a treadmill outside may seem convenient, but it has its fair share of risks and downsides. Direct sunlight, in particular, can cause damage to the machine over time. 

The heat from the sun can lead to warping and cracking of the belt, while the UV rays can cause fading and brittleness of plastic components. Therefore, it’s best to avoid placing a treadmill outside and keep it in a temperature-controlled indoor space to protect it from the elements and potential damage. 

Not only will this confirm the longevity of your treadmill, but it will also keep you safe from any accidents that may arise from using the machine in outdoor conditions.

Very Wet Areas Living

An area with high rainfall can pose a risk to keeping a treadmill outside. Even if the treadmill is covered, there is always a chance that rain could find its way onto the machine, leading to damage or malfunction.

Furthermore, high humidity levels in wet areas can also lead to corrosion of metal components, such as the frame and bolts, causing them to rust and weaken over time. This can lead to safety hazards and reduce the lifespan of the treadmill. 

In addition, moisture can seep into the electrical components of the machine, causing damage and potentially creating a fire hazard. Overall, it is not recommended to place a treadmill in an area with high levels of moisture or rainfall.

Very Cold Areas

Treadmills are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures, especially in icy areas. If the winter temperatures in your location regularly drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be risky to keep the treadmill outside.

Keeping a treadmill in icy areas can lead to several issues, such as damage to the motor and electronic components due to extreme temperature fluctuations. The lubricant in the belt and deck can also thicken and harden, leading to increased wear and tear. 

In addition, the display screen and buttons can become unresponsive in the cold, making it difficult to use the machine effectively. If you live in an area with harsh winters, bringing your treadmill inside or storing it in a climate-controlled area is recommended to prevent damage and ensure longevity.

Risk of Animal Damage 

If you live in a rural area where wildlife is common, it may be worth considering the potential risk of animal damage to your treadmill. Large animals like bears may be curious and want to play, while smaller animals could take up residence in the hidden underbelly of the machine.

Animal damage is another reason to avoid placing your treadmill outside. Wildlife, especially in rural areas, can cause significant damage to your equipment. Animals such as bears, raccoons, and squirrels may scratch, chew, or break parts of the treadmill, rendering it unusable. 

The scent of sweat and oils on the treadmill can also attract animals, making it a potential target for their curiosity and destruction. Therefore, taking the necessary precautions to protect your treadmill from animal damage, including keeping it indoors or in a secure and enclosed area, is essential.

Do All These Aspects Affect Your Warranty?

Yes, the impact of the various environmental factors on the treadmill’s warranty depends on the particular terms and conditions set forth by the manufacturer. Reading and understanding the warranty agreement thoroughly is essential before purchasing a treadmill. 

Most manufacturers outline the conditions that void the warranty, including environmental factors that can damage the machine.

For example, if you stay in a region with high humidity levels, the warranty may be voided if you fail to take proper care of the treadmill. Similarly, if you keep the machine in an area with excessive dust or debris, the warranty may not cover the destruction caused by the accumulation of dirt.

Disclosure to direct sunlight is also a significant factor that can affect the warranty of a treadmill. Most treadmills are made to be used indoors, away from direct sunlight. 

The intense heat generated by the sun’s rays can cause the machine’s plastic components to warp or become brittle over time. This can lead to damage, such as cracks in the frame or base, which may void the warranty.

Using a surge protector to protect your treadmill’s electronic components is essential if you often stay in an area with power outages or surges. If you fail to take this prevention and the machine is damaged due to a power surge, the warranty may not cover the repairs.

Related Article: 11 Reasons You Should Pay to Have Your Treadmill Assembled


Owning a treadmill is an excellent way to stay active and improve your fitness level, but it’s essential to consider the risks and challenges of outdoor placement. 

While outdoor placement may seem convenient, it can lead to severe damage and impact your treadmill’s warranty. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your treadmill in a dry, calm, and sheltered area and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for maintenance. Doing so ensures that your treadmill remains in good condition and provides you with years of use.

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