The garage door is the largest door in a home, and it is also the heaviest moving object in the house. If your garage door opener is old and out-of-date, this large, heavy, and frequently used door may be inconvenient, unsafe, noisy, obsolete, or all of the above.
Here are four reasons for considering investing in a new garage door opener.
Most households use the garage door as the main entrance to the house. Some surveys of households find that as many as 70 percent are using the garage as the main door for entering and exiting the home.
While many people do not actually park their car in the garage anymore, some people do, and opening and closing the garage door for parking is still a main function for this entryway for many people. This can add up to thousands of uses of the garage door opener each year.
Beyond parking, garage doors are frequently used by children going to and returning from school and play, household members taking out the trash, bringing in the newspaper, or getting the mail, and dad or mom setting out to mow the lawn or trim the hedge on Saturday morning.
The garage door is also often opened so someone can work on a car or engage in a home fix-it or craft project.
Given how much the garage door is used in most households, having a garage door opener in top-working condition becomes an important convenience.
Safety is really the number one reason for upgrading to a new garage door opener.
Garage door openers made before 1993 do not have automatic door reversal features. These safety features do two things.
First, if the door touches an object, person, or pet while it is closing, the door senses this and automatically reopens. This important safety feature does require occasional adjustment to keep working properly, but if the opener lacks this important feature, the garage door is truly a hazard.
Newer garage door openers also have a photo-eye which sends a laser beam of light from one side of the door to the other at about ankle height. When this beam of light is broken, for example, by a pet or child running under the closing door, the opener automatically reopens the door, preventing a potential crushing accident.
Another aspect of safety in garage door openers has to do with how secure they are against intrusion by burglars. Older remotes use dip switches ñ small switches inside the remote – which can be changed to adjust the radio frequency code needed for activating the opener. The codes used in older remotes are vulnerable to being copied by enterprising thieves, making unauthorized entry possible.
Garage opener remotes made after 1996 use a rolling code which changes every time the opener is used, making it virtually impossible for someone to match the radio frequency needed for opening the garage door, preventing break-ins.
Older models of garage door openers use a chain drive or cable for ratcheting the door open or closed. These clunky drive systems cause noise and vibration whenever the door is used. Newer models are made with a steel reinforced rubber drive belt which is quieter and causes less vibration.
The type of motor used in the opener also effects the noise level. Many garage door openers use an AC (alternating current) powered motor, but DC (direct current) motors are now available, and they offer the advantage of quieter operation and more reliable service.
The newest models of garage door openers can be connected to the Internet, allowing you to open or close the door from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. The opener can also send you text alerts if there is a problem with the door or if someone is going in or out.
These new smart garage door openers make it possible to let a visitor or delivery person into the garage anytime, no matter where you are. They also eliminate worries about whether or not you closed the door, because you can check from your phone and close the door from anywhere over the Internet.
If your garage door opener is underperforming in any way, maybe it is time to consider an upgrade to a new and improved model. Contact your garage door service professional and find out more about installing a new garage door opener on your garage door.