Garage door openers, standard on most homes since the mid-1980s, are beloved by many simply for the fact that they are incredibly convenient. Chances are, however, that you don’t give your opener much thought, unless it becomes overly loud or begins giving your problems more often than not.
Though, garage door openers have made great strides in recent years, with the best improvements made in safety and noise reduction – they, along with their components, still require routine maintenance in order to survive the pressures of your everyday life. With the proper care, your next opener will likely last for years.
Garage Door Openers: What to Look For
Garage door openers are available in three different drive types: chain, belt and screw. Chain-driven openers have been around for years, and still remain a popular choice among homeowners, despite the fact that they are quite noisy. Screw-driven openers are reduced noise for less expense than belt-drives.
1/2-horsepower motors are best suited for standard aluminum and steel doors, whereas, 3/4-horsepower motors are capable of lifting wooden doors weighing up to 500 pounds. The best openers are those with DC power motors, which are designed to fade into the background, as they run more efficiently, and quietly. The finest openers offer battery backups in the event of a power outage.
Most standard modeled openers are capable of opening a seven (7) foot door without modification. If your door is taller than seven feet then you will need to invest in an extension kit. Make sure to talk with your garage door installer regarding this. These kits are relatively inexpensive.
Safety & Security
The garage door is just heavy enough to cause serious injury, which is why safety features on garage door openers are extremely important. Standard on all models are safety and security features such as photoelectric safety sensors, automatic reversals, rolling-code technology, and emergency manual releases.
Think it can’t get much better than pushing a button to open a door? Then you haven’t seen the garage door openers available today! Making things even easier are features such as key-less entry, motion sensor overhead lights, smartphone capability, and parking assists; among others.