Considerations for Automating your Garage Door

When the weather’s less than spring-like, we would all very much welcome not having to get out of a nice warm car to open the garage door manually. If you’re looking to automate your garage door – here are a few crucial things you need to look at.

The number one thing to look at is the power to your garage door opener. It needs to be strong enough to handle the weight of the entire garage door. The bigger the garage door, the more power is needed to lift it. The best garage door openers use one of two kinds of motors, alternating current or direct current motors.

Direct current motors use less electricity and the speed can be controlled which makes it more efficient. On the other hand, the AC motors start slowly, then speeds up and slows down again as it reaches the ground, allowing for a softer start and stop.

Different Types of Automatic Garage Door Openers

There are three different types of drives that can be used in garage door openers; chain, screw and belt drives.

The chain-drive openers have been around longest.  They are rather noisy as they function with a metal chain and trolley. If you don’t mind the noise, then they are good value for money.

Screw-drive openers are fairly priced. Their noise levels are lower than a chain drive and they’re easy to maintain.  This type of drive uses a threaded steel rod to raise and lower the door. The latest models operate with a plastic lined track to increase agility and reduce noise. If you want to install a garage opener yourself, this drive is probably the best one to choose.

If you’re looking for a quiet drive, belt-drives are definitely the best option. They are similar to chain drives but instead of metal, they operate with a rubber belt.

Dangers of Automatic Garage Door Openers

A garage door opening system can have potential dangers when it opens or closes. To avoid anyone from getting hurt or scratching your car, make sure your system has automatic sensors to stop the door the moment it touches something e.g. a car, a person or anything else. A quick release mechanism is also a necessity. If something gets trapped underneath the door or if you lose electrical power, this allows the door to disconnect from the opener, making it possible for it to be operated manually.

Additional Considerations

You might want to consider the following features when purchasing a garage door opener:

  • Remote control – after all the whole point is not to have to get out of a warm car to open the door!
  • Lighting – choose a garage opener that comes with lights. This feature means as the door closes behind the car on entering, the garage will not be plunged into darkness as you are about to head into the house
  • Battery backup – giving power for a short time should there be a power cut making it possible for the garage door opener to still function
  • Full warranty – make sure your garage door opener comes with a warranty that covers separate components as well as the system as a whole