May 25, 2018

The 10 most often asked questions about garage door openers

Garage door opener

Here, in a short question and short answer format, are the 10 most often asked questions from homeowners when the time comes to purchase a garage door opener. There may be many others, but here is a brief list of those that garage door specialists receive most frequently.

What types of door openers are there on the market?

When we are talking about door openers with a trolley, there are two models: chain drive or belt drive. The second, with a metal-reinforced rubber belt, is much quieter and especially good when there is a bedroom located over the garage.

For those equipped with a chain, some use a full chain and others a combination of chain and metal cable. Those that only have a chain are better quality.

What sizes of motor are available?

Currently, either ½ or ¾ horsepower motors are available. There are European door openers with motors that provide 500 or 700 newtons of power, equivalent to ½ or ¾ HP. CAUTION: a properly balanced door should weigh between 8 and 10 lb. (3.5 and 4.5 kilos). An electric door opener only replaces human strength, as when you lift a garage door with only one hand. Be aware that while a ¾ HP opener is calibrated to lift up to 350 lb. (160 kg), it can also push down this same weight.

Where should a door opener be purchased?

Chain hardware stores or big box stores carry only door openers with the trolley that pulls the door made in three parts. If you use your garage door very infrequently, this is not a major technical concern. However, if you use your garage door regularly or every day, be advised that it is better to purchase an opener with a single-piece trolley mechanism. It is more solid and longer lasting.

Garage door specialists are knowledgeable about all brands of door openers after installing and repairing most of them. You can trust them to recommend the type of door opener that best meets your needs. They can provide you with what is called the “professional” series, door openers with equipped with the basic components to suit all your needs.

Can I install it myself?

Yes, if you are handy and this isn’t a unusual installation. However, trusting a specialized garage door technician can put your mind at ease. This expert will ensure that everything is operating properly, especially for both of the automatic safety reversal mechanisms.

If I leave on a trip, how can I be sure no one can open my garage door?

Depending on the model of garage door opener you buy, some have a control panel (instead of a “doorbell” type button) that allows you to block any remote control use of your door. Don’t worry – you can still operate your door from the control panel.

The best, 100%‑effective way is to 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.

If I have a power outage, how do I reprogram my remote?

Normally, it is relatively easy to reprogram a remote based on the model you buy. Using a stepladder, climb up and look on the back of the opener housing. There, you’ll find the instructions you need.

Often we hear, “What’s going on? My door goes down about two feet, then reverses”.

All garage door openers sold in North America since 1993 come equipped with two automatic reversal systems, one mechanical and the other based on photocells, to keep you and yours safe. It’s the photocell system, installed on each side of the door, about 4 to 6 inches from the floor, that causes this situation. The beam has been become misaligned. Just realign the sensors to get everything working properly again.

Do backup batteries exist?

There are some door openers that have integrated backup batteries, like LiftMaster’s 8550W model. This battery can tide you over for 20‑or‑so hours of operation (openings and closings) in case of a prolonged power outage.

What is the MyQ TM application?

Internet apps are becoming more and more integrated into our homes today, and our garage doors are part of this change. It all works using a Wi-Fi connection. By installing the MyQ app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can open and close your garage door from anywhere in the world.

How much does a garage door opener cost?

It varies depending on the model. For a professional-quality, ½‑HP, belt‑drive model, the price can vary between $350 and $400, without installation. As for the installation, it can run between $100 and $125 if the door opener is installed at the same time as a new garage door.

Was one of your important questions not on this list?

If so, contact us at 1-866-319-8173. We are well established in our area and are proud to say our work is always done right! We can even send you a quotation by email.

Alternatively, you can come and meet us at our showroom. Feel free to use our Design Centre to choose the style of door that suits you best. Also, take a look at our image gallery to get ideas and inspiration.

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