September 13, 2019

Garage door opener backup batteries: are they worth it?

If you’re wondering whether or not a battery backup for your garage door opener is a smart idea, the answer is yes, it definitely is. This is particularly true if you deal with power outages on a regular basis. However, the reasons that a backup battery is a smart decision may not be entirely clear, so we’ll discuss everything you need to know below.

Battery backup

Why should you invest in a backup battery?

Why should you consider investing in a batter backup? Well, if you live in California, it’s already a law that all new garage door openers or newly installed systems, come with a battery backup. That law was enacted in July 2019 but was originally signed in September 2018.

Why is the government getting involved? In the case of California, it’s directly due to the increase in brush fires and forest fires the state is experiencing. In 2018, several deaths occurred that could have been avoided if the homeowners had been able to flee through their garages, but with the power out, the openers would not work.

Don’t think that this issue is limited to California alone, either. As climate change continues to alter weather patterns, drought will become more and more common. Couple that lack of rainfall with increased temperatures and more severe storms, and you begin to see that all of North America is at an increased risk for similar situations.

Garage door opener manufacturers, such as LiftMaster and Chamberlain, will respond by making a wider range of systems that include backup battery functionality from the beginning.

Finally, think about this – how will you get into your garage if the power fails and the only way in is through the garage door? You won’t. Exterior garages at apartment complexes and high-rise condominium properties often have garages where the only access is via the main door. A battery backup could mean the difference between being able to get in and being stuck waiting for the power to come back on.

Balance and its role in your safety

In addition to being able to open the garage door when the power is out, you also need to make sure that your door is properly balanced. Without a correctly balanced door, even an electric garage door opener might have issues. If you have a single garage door, chances are good that it weighs in around 125 pounds, or 57 kg. If you have a double garage door, it probably weighs around 250 pounds, or 114 kg. That includes not just the door sections, but also all the hardware, glass, and other components.

Obviously, you cannot lift a 250‑pound door very easily (or at all in most cases). A counterbalancing spring system helps to reduce the weight. When properly balanced, a 250‑pound door will only weigh about 10 pounds (five kg.)

Double Garage Door Opener

Not sure if your door is balanced? It’s easy to tell. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Close the garage door.
  • Pull the emergency disconnect cord.
  • Try to lift the door with the interior handle.

Were you able to lift the door easily? If not, it’s out of balance. Contact us immediately – never try to rebalance a garage door on your own. Make sure to recheck your balance every couple of months, too.

Consider the Battery

As you might guess, the battery used with any garage door opener is a critical consideration. If you have a newer Chamberlain or LiftMaster model, the battery will be located in one of two places – either integrated into the motor housing itself or installed close to the motor. These batteries include enough power to open and close the door about 20 times before they need to be recharged. Not only that, but they also operate your photoeye reversal system! Once the battery has been discharged, it will take about four and a half hours to recharge.

Battery backup

LiftMaster Battery Backup Models

Check your garage door opener. If it is made by Chamberlain/LiftMaster and there is a battery backup logo on it, then you either have a battery backup already, or your system is ready for one to be installed. If you opt to install one, make sure that your opener is a DC model, not an AC model.

Belt-Drive opener Wled

Installing or upgrading to a battery backup model is simple. It also gives you access to additional functionality, such as the MyQ system, which ensures that you’re able to operate your garage door with your smartphone, from anywhere on the planet where you have Internet connectivity.

Want to know more?

If you live in or around York or Mechanicsburg, contact us today . We’re experts in garage door openers and we can walk you through everything you need to know. We can help you choose the right opener system for your home and will always take into account your budget and your needs. We look forward to helping you find the ideal battery backup system!


It's cute to have a battery backup. But when the cost is 2 batteries at $40 each every 1 to 2 years, it's a feature I can do without, and since most people have another way of getting into the house or can simply release the emergency release, this luxury can be ignored.

Hello M.Zajdler, we understand your point here about your situation. But it can be helpful for other people to have a backup battery, as mentioned in the article.

I dont think having a battery backup to access the MyQ system is going to help when your internet modem is also dead.

Hello M.Zajdler, with the backup battery ou will be able to access the MyQ system with your LTE mobile service, even if your modem is dead.**

Can I recharge it with a car battery charger? The battery is almost 4 years old and went totally dead in 2 days after a power outage. Or will it recharge if I keep it plugged in inside the motor housing?

Hi M.Koivu, a charged backup battery is important for your safety. Can you give us a call at 717-767-1419?

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