Midway Garage Doors: Garage Door Opener 101

Garage Door Opener

There’s no question that an electric garage door opener simplifies your life. There’s no need to get out in the heat of summer, or the biting cold of winter and manually open the door. There’s no need to get soaked in the rain just so you can park in the garage. Garage door openers are durable, and they really don’t need to be replaced all that often, but you will find that they do need to be maintained and sometimes repaired.

Ultimately, an old opener may fail completely and need to be replaced. When that time comes, it’s important to know a few things about garage door opener terminology. You might be surprised to learn that most requests for service are actually related to openers and their accessories, rather than to actual garage door repairs.

Understanding the Opener

We’ll begin our introduction with a quick explanation of the garage door opener types on the market, and what makes each different.

Model – There are two primary models on the market today. One uses a metal chain drive, and one uses a rubber belt, instead. Belt-driven openers are quieter, but metal chains last longer.

Type – You’ll find two types of openers on the market. The first is AC, or alternating current. The second is DC, or direct current. AC models are cheaper, and thus more popular. DC models are more expensive, and can operate a little erratically. However, they can be equipped with backup batteries.

Power Level – You’ll find a couple of motor options. Most garage doors are fine with a .5 horsepower motor, because a properly balanced garage door weighs just 8 to 10 pounds. A .75 horsepower motor is overkill for most garage doors, but they are available.

Trolley – The most common type of trolley used for pushing or pulling the door is a one-piece system that is very sturdy. The other option is a three-piece system that requires bolts to ensure stability.

Components – You’ll find a range of major components in operation with your garage door. This category includes things like the gear system (most gears are plastic). Again, if the door is properly balanced, they will work well. However, too much pressure will cause premature wear.

Electronics – All garage door openers are electronic, and use a logic board to control motor operation. If the logic board shorts out or is damaged, it must be replaced, as it also controls all safety mechanisms.

Accessories for Your Opener

There are quite a few basic accessories standard to all garage door openers. These include:

Remote Controls – Most garage door openers come with a secure remote control that enhances basic home security. Since 1993, all garage door opener remotes have been required to use a rolling code so that they cannot be hacked.

Control Panels – Some garage door openers have a full control panel, while others have a simple button control. Either way, it will be found near the interior door from the garage into the house, and not only allows opening/closing the door from there, but allows you to prevent the door from being operated remotely if you’re gone for some time.

Automatic Reversal Systems – All garage door openers are required to have an automatic reversal system that reverses the motion of the door if an object is detected in the way. Most openers use a system of two lenses, but a mechanical system is also used, which reverses direction if the motor encounters unexpected resistance.

In addition to these, there are optional accessories on the market:

Wi‑Fi Connectivity – You can now open and close your garage door without using the actual opener. An app on your smartphone or tablet allows you to activate the door by Wi‑Fi, ensuring better convenience.

Exterior Keypads – Exterior keypads mount to the outside of the door, and allow you to open it with a four-numeral PIN. It’s more convenient than carrying around a key, and it is also secure, due to the use of a PIN.

Laser Parking Accessory – Laser parking accessories mount to the ceiling of the garage and use a laser light to guide you to the proper parking position. It’s more compact than other solutions (such as a tennis ball and string), and is quite practical.

Mini Remotes – Mini garage door remotes attach to your keychain for better portability, and are not as prone to theft as one that you keep attached to your sun visor.

Ready to Learn More?

Is there something we didn’t address? Is there a topic you’d like to explore in greater depth? If so, feel free to get in touch with us. You can call us at 330-889-0062.

We’re also happy to send you a custom quote, or even pay a visit to your home to explain your options when it comes to replacement garage door openers. We can offer advice and guidance, help you compare models, and find the right solution for your budget. We can also help if you decide it’s time to replace your garage door. Peruse our Design Centre, or see real-world examples in our image gallery.

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