October 7, 2016

How to Select a Great Garage Door Opener

How to Select a Great Garage Door Opener

Do you need a new garage door system? Don’t know how to choose an opener? Rather than running out to the store without information, read on and learn how to select a great garage door opener.

Pinpoint your needs

Which features are most essential when it comes to operating your garage door? Accessories like keypads and remotes can make your door opener convenient and user‑friendly. The location of your garage is also important. If it is part of your house, we advise selecting a quiet opener, which will reduce vibrations and noise. A little research can mean getting the perfect automatic opener for you and your family.

Measure for clearance

Next, you will need to measure the space above your garage door to make sure an opener will fit. The minimum amount of space needed for a trolley door opener is two inches. If there isn’t sufficient space above the door, please contact us. Our experts will come examine your garage door to find a solution.

Can a door opener be installed on a sloped garage ceiling?

Yes it can! Many trolley door openers can be used on sloped garage ceilings. However, a jackshaft opener may be a better option. These side‑mounted openers are fitted next to the garage door. As for clearance requirements, jackshaft openers need at least 3 inches above and 8 inches beside a garage door. These openers are relatively small at about 6 inches by 16 inches. But even with their small size, they still offer important safety mechanisms like sensors and door reversal systems.

What are my options for door openers?

Today, there are 3 types of door openers available on the market:

  • Chain drive trolley openers: inexpensive and most widely available.
  • Belt drive trolley openers: quieter than other types.
  • Jackshaft openers: practical for garages with high or sloped ceilings.

Please note that there are two popular styles of trolleys: one‑piece and three‑piece. When possible, we recommend one‑piece trolleys since they are sturdier. Three‑piece units need regular maintenance because daily use of the door will cause the bolts that hold the unit together to loosen.

How do I choose the size of the motor?

Motor strength depends largely on the weight and size of your door. Expressed in horsepower (HP) the two most common strengths are ½ HP and ¾ HP. Most homeowners need a ½ HP motor. For those with solid wood doors, very large doors or doors that weigh more than 300 pounds, we recommend a ¾ HP motor.

Garage door openers run on one of two types of current: direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). DC power is most commonly used for openers and offer ⅓, ½ or ¾ HP. For those who want a backup battery in case of a power outage, a DC unit is needed. AC openers do not operate at a constant speed. They start off slowly, speed up, and then slow down again. Their power is in newtons (N); 800 or 900 N is similar to ½ or ¾ HP.

What about accessories?

Today’s manufacturers offer countless choices when it comes to accessories. Once you purchase a door opener, it’s time to see which accessories are included. In addition, many compatible accessories can be added. One recent improvement is that every opener on the market must now be equipped with two different safety reversal systems – photo‑cell beam and mechanical.

Technology – what’s new?

In today’s fast‑paced world, even garage door openers must keep up. Recent advances in technology let us monitor our garage door with apps like LiftMaster’s MyQ. Wi‑Fi enabled door openers can be accessed anytime from your cellphone, tablet or laptop. You’ll never again worry that your kids forgot to close your garage door!

Are you looking for a new garage door? Why not explore our online Design Centre! This great online tool lets you see how our stunning doors will look on your house. Find something you like? Complete our online form to get a free, no obligation quote. We look forward to serving you. If your garage door or door opener needs to be repaired, please schedule a service call online or call us directly at 717-901-4056. We pledge to serve you in a professional and timely manner – no job is too complex for our team!

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