If you’ve ever had a question about a garage door opener, you’re in the right places. These are the 10 questions that we hear the most often from homeowners preparing to purchase a garage door opener. While there are many other questions that you may have, these 10 are the most frequently requested bits of information that we can share with you in easy question and answer format today.
What are the types of garage door openers?
Many homeowners don’t realize that there are two types of door openers with a trolley: the chain drive type and the type with a belt drive. The second type of door opener has a metal-reinforced rubber belt, and that means that it is much quieter. If you have a room over the garage, this will be the type of garage door opener you want.
If you do have the chain drive type, you can find some that have a full chain, and some that have a combination of metal cable and chain elements. Choose a full chain if you can, because they are of better quality.
What are the sizes of motor I can choose from for my garage door?
There are two different motor sizes available on the market: ½ or ¾ horsepower motors. (You may also see some that claim to have 500 or 700 newtons of power; these are European door openers that are the equivalent to ½ or ¾ HP.)
In order for a garage door to be properly balanced, it must weigh between 8 and 10 lb. (3.5 and 4.5 kilos). Electric door openers are meant to replace human strength for lifting these doors. So while a ¾ HP opener is calibrated to lift up to 350 lb. (160 kg), be aware that it can also push down this same weight – meaning it can cause a relatively light garage door to be a hazard.
Where should I buy a garage door opener?
If you buy a door opener from a chain hardware store or big box store, you will only find the type of door openers with the trolley that pulls the door made in three parts. This will work if you only open your garage door infrequently. However, if you open your garage door every day, this won’t be as long-lasting as an opener with a single-piece trolley mechanism.
Choosing to shop from a garage door specialist means that you can take advantage of expert knowledge about all brands of doors. You’ll get the perfect recommendations for the type of door opener that best meets your needs. You can also shop for a “professional” series door opener, which is equipped with the basic components to suit all your needs.
Can I install a garage door opener myself?
If you are used to doing DIY handy work around your home, and the installation is fairly straightforward, then yes, you can install these yourself. However, it is never a bad choice to choose an expert to install your garage door opener. This expert will ensure that everything is operating safely, especially for both of the automatic safety reversal mechanisms.
How do I know my garage door opener can’t be opened by someone else?
If you are worried about someone driving by and opening your garage door remotely, choose a door opener that has a control panel (instead of a “doorbell” type button) that allows you to block any remote control use of your door. You will still be able to operate your door from the control panel.
However, if you don’t have a garage door opener with this feature, you can unplug your door opener if you plan on leaving for an extended period of time. Once back, all you have to do is reprogram your remote, which takes less than two minutes.
There was a power outage and now my garage door opener isn’t working. What do I do?
After a power outage, you will need to reprogram your garage door opener. It’s relatively easy to reprogram a remote for most models. Use a step ladder to look on the back of the opener housing. There, you’ll find the instructions you need to reprogram the remote.
Why does my garage door only go down a few feet before reversing?
Safety requirements in North America since 1993 have required that all garage door openers are equipped with two automatic reversal systems. The first one is mechanical and the other one is based on photocells, to keep anyone around the door safe. It’s the photocell system, installed on each side of the door, about 4 to 6 inches from the floor, that causes this reversal. If there is nothing blocking the path of the door, then the beam has been become misaligned. Just realign the sensors to fix this problem.
Can I buy a backup battery?
Some door openers, like LiftMaster’s 8550W model, have integrated backup batteries. This will allow you to continue opening and closing the door for up to 20 hours during a power outage.
What is the MyQTM application?
Internet apps are becoming more and more integrated into our homes today. Garage doors are part of this integration thanks to the MyQ app. Through your smartphone or any device with the app, you can open your garage door wherever you may be.
How much should I expect to spend on a garage door opener?
Every model of garage door opener varies in cost. For a professional-quality, ½‑HP, belt-drive model, the price might range from $350 to $400, before any installation cost. Installation usually costs between $100 and $125 if the door opener is installed at the same time as a new garage door.