Giving up on your New Year’s resolution to run everyday already?

That’s okay we won’t judge. There is always next year. In the meantime, you’ll need to store your treadmill correctly to make sure it is in tip-top shape when you decide to get back on it (for real this time).

But don’t just stash it away carelessly. These machines “are heavy and expensive pieces of equipment that need to be looked after in a very specific way,” explained Max Robinson of Cable Road Storage.

If stored properly, however, a treadmill will keep functioning in the months and years ahead.

how to store your treadmill (1)

Follow these steps to make sure your treadmill is well cared for during its time in storage:

  1. Choose a storage location that avoids extreme heat and high humidity.
  2. Fold the treadmill if possible to save space.
  3. Store treadmill on a level floor.
  4. Cover with a blanket or plastic wrap.
  5. Inspect machine for motor issues before using again
  6. Lubricate belt after storing.

Read on for a more detailed breakdown of how to keep your treadmill stored properly when not in use.

Store in a Climate Controlled Space.

It’s easy to forget the amount of electronics and technology that a treadmill has, noted Sam Williamson, owner of Guardian Moving & Storage.

“The motor that is spinning in the machine isn’t just creating resistance for the user, it’s also powering a fan that cools all of the components, ‘Williamson says, “When the machine is unplugged it isn’t being cooled from the inside, so you need to ensure that the environment it is stored in is cool enough to avoid overheating the electronics.”

To prevent rust and mold issues, store the treadmill in an area where it won’t be exposed to high levels of humidity.

Store on a Level Surface

Before placing a treadmill in storage, look at the machine’s instruction manual to see if it can be folded. If possible, folding it during storage may be a wise option, as you’ll reduce the amount of space it occupies.

In addition, Robinson says to ensure that the floor is level.

“This will prevent the motor and belt from becoming unbalanced and possibly damaged,” Robinson said.

You may have to adjust the equipment to make this possible. Place the treadmill on a clean mat to keep it off the floor. Cover the treadmill with a blanket, plastic sheet or tarp to protect it from dust and damage as well.

Keep it Tuned Up

If you’re concerned about adjusting the tension on the machine’s belts before putting it away, there’s no need.

“Tension on the treadmill belts doesn’t have to be reduced during storage,” explained Jon Stevenson, owner of Treadmill Doctor. “The real issue is how long the treadmill is stored.”

Storing the machine for several months will likely not cause any damage. If the treadmill is stored for a longer stretch, such as several years, the roller bearings or motor bearings may suffer.

To find out if any replacements are needed, try out the machine after using it. If you hear a high-pitched squealing noise coming from the treadmill, you may have a bearing issue, explained Stevenson. You might have to replace the motor or rollers to solve the problem.

Don’t Forget to Lubricate

“Belts are lubricated with silicone, and the silicone will evaporate after two or three months,” said Stevenson.

After you take the machine out of storage, but before using it, be sure to lubricate the belt to avoid any complications.

Come January 1 of next year, your treadmill will be good as new!

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Rachel Hartman