Your garage door opener. A handy device that most of us take for granted, that always works when we push the button. But what happens when you pull into your driveway, reach up to hit the remote and nothing happens

You can open your garage door manually using the safety latch attached to the red handle, but we’re sure you’ll want to replace or repair your opener ASAP

After you troubleshoot for electrical problems such as a tripped breaker or something blocking the door sensors, you may be faced with replacement. Or maybe your garage door opener just isn’t working like it used to? If you’ve been putting up with manually raising and lowering your garage door for some time, you’re ready to install a new opener

There’s more than one different kind of garage door, and there’s more than one type of garage door opener. If you’ve never had to pick one out before, you might find that this quick and simple guide to picking the right opener is useful in helping you to make the decision – which needn’t be at all complicated, though it’s something you’ll want to be sure to get right. The cost of garage door openers varies widely, too, so beware of buying one with bells and whistles you don’t really need.

Sometimes there are just too many garage door opener reviews to sift through and you wish someone would take a look at your garage and home to help you find the style and function you need without having to guess.

The Human-Powered Garage Door Opener

This is by far the most cost-effective garage door opener, found on garage doors made prior to the 1960’s (The electric opener was actually invented in the 1920’s, but wasn’t common until some decades later). Garage doors that open this way will usually be padlocked or have some other kind of locking mechanism to keep the things inside them safe. You simply get out of the car, grab the handle at the base of the door and lift. To close the door, pull it back down into place and lock. Springs and hinges make reduce the weight needed to maneuver the garage door, just like they do for powered garage door openers.

Electric Garage Door Openers

Almost all garage doors now have electronic opening mechanisms, usually operated by a keypad that allows you to push a button or tap in a code to unlock the door and open it up. These have been around for a long time, and they’re now installed on basically all garage doors as a standard feature. Even though the remote units are mostly standard, there are different types of machines that operate garage doors.

garage door openerChain Drive

Chain garage door openers use a metal bicycle-type chain that engages a sprocket on the opener unit to pull or lower the garage door on its tracks. Chain drives are the most frequent used drive, and they are generally less costly, but a bit louder than other drives. Chain drives require some maintenance like lubrication and checking for wear and tend to not last as long as belt drives.

Belt Drive

Garage doors with belt drives are generally used in higher-end opener systems. They employ a durable toothed rubber belt that is tensioned around a gear inside the opener motor housing. They are as dependable as chain drives, but, unlike the chain drives, they are very quiet. Coupled with other garage door components that focus on noise reduction, you’ll barely notice when the garage door opener belt opens and closes the door.

Screw Drive

Screw-type drives transfer lifting power to the garage door through a threaded steel rod. Because there are fewer moving parts in the screw drive than in the other garage door openers, they were historically much quieter than a chain drive. Even though there’s less maintenance needed, they do need lubrication regularly and they can be a bit slower than a belt or chain drive since the thread spacing and diameter of the rod are limited. They are also somewhat more sensitive to changes in temperature, changing the dynamics of the steel rod if it gets too hot or too cold. There aren’t many new screw drives being installed now as chain and belt drives have improved and offer some of the features of the screw drive in a more reliable machine.

How much garage door horsepower?

With all the technological improvements in garage door design, especially in the ways they are balanced and counterweighted, most modern garage doors can be handled by low-power openers, the lowest on the market being 1/3 HP. Many companies recommend a 1/2 HP drive to ensure a longer life for the unit if it operates a standard size aluminum or steel door set.

 

If you have oversize or otherwise large and heavy garage doors, e.g., solid wood or steel and garage glass doors, a 3/4 HP drive is recommended.

Garage Door Opener Remote- A Necessity

One of the best innovations in garage doors was the onset of the handheld garage door remote the user keeps in their car or handbag. Some high-end cars incorporate an opener in the electronics of the vehicle itself with no need for a separate unit. Using a short-range radio signal, these devices can open a garage door at the push of a button, or a code entered on a keypad or even no action at all except approaching the house in the case of a smart home setup.

Programming a garage door remote can be daunting, even with the best instructions provided with the opener. If your remote gets stolen or lost, immediately deactivate the opener and replace it, then program it to talk to your door opener.

Garage door remotes made using older technology come equipped with code Dual Inline Package (DIP) switches. These switches can be set to only two positions, on and off. They are found in both the garage door opener motor housing and the handheld remote, and the pattern of on-off positions must match. In newer garage door remotes, rolling code technology is used. Every time the remote is used and a button is pressed, the opener and the motor unit agree to “change the channel” so that it’s never the same twice.

Some garage door remotes use a “Learn Button” that allows the handheld and motor drive unit to get in sync by pressing it on both and waiting for a few seconds while they detect each other and exchange information.

As smart home technology increases in popularity, you’ll see garage door openers that automatically open as soon as the car enters the driveway. There may be fingerprint scanners or facial recognition providing security for your home on a garage door opener in your future. There are already entire home systems that are “smart,” not the least of which is a garage door opener app on your phone! With all of that, sometimes we forget to check the garage door opener battery! Replacing the remote battery should be your first step in troubleshooting a balky garage door opener.

Garage Door Opener Repair

Flummoxed by a problem with your garage door opener? Or maybe your garage door remote refuses to work. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a garage door opener over time- electrical and mechanical. Call a professional when you need help. We can speak for our technicians- they have installed and fixed just about every brand and configuration you can imagine. Your garage door opener motor and drivetrain are usually up high on the ceiling- requiring ladder work- not to mention specialized tools and know-how to get it working like new. While you may need a replacement, it’s work a service call to diagnose the problem and possibly save yourself some money.

Garage Door Opener Security

If you’re leaving your home for awhile, the easiest garage security measure you can take is to pull your opener’s safety latch down, which disengages the door from the drive mechanism. This effectively locks the garage door and makes using the electric opener impossible. There are other types of security we can install like special locks, alarms or heavy duty hardware that can prevent garage break-ins. 

Our All Four Seasons Garage Doors product lines for garage door openers are proven to withstand even the harshest of elements and years of extended use. The outstanding warranties and customer service that back our products directly align with what our business is about. The price, quality, and service is unbeatable and we’d like to prove it to you.

Some of our Garage Door opener preferred brands are:

  • Linear
  • Liftmaster
  • Chamberlain
  • Sears Craftsman
  • Stanley
  • Genie
  • Allister
  • Ankmar
  • SkyLink

There are so many choices to consider when shopping for a new garage door opener! We can help. All Four Seasons is your garage door opener installation professional. We can recommend, install and maintain any and all brands of door openers, and even program your remote for you! Check in with us if you’re in the market for a convenient, quiet and dependable door opener for your garage.