August 16, 2019

How can you be sure your garage door opener is getting too old?

The right motor for your garage door opener

The simple answer when it comes to an electric garage door opener is that it should last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, there are other things that come into play. Government regulation changes and technological upgrades may mean swapping out your garage door opener more quickly is a good idea. As an example, based on the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires, the governor signed a bill making it required for residential openers to offer a battery backup. In addition, some inexpensive openers have shorter lifespans while some, such as the LiftMaster’s Elite Series tend to last longer than average.

Regardless of what sort of garage door opener you have, it isn’t going to last forever. After a certain amount of time, it’s also not going to offer the performance you desire. One of the things that effect that is how often it is used. As most homes have attached garages, the garage door is used as one of the primary options for accessing the house. As such, we want to look deeper at garage door openers.

How old is your garage door opener?

If you have lived in your house for a long time, you may not have a real idea of how long the garage door opener has even been there. That’s okay. There are ways to find out how old it is without thinking back or guessing.

Check in either of two ways:

  • The first thing to consider is whether your garage door has an automatic photoelectric reverse. If you do, there will be two sensors along the side of the opening for your garage door at about four to six inches (10 to 15 cm) from the ground. Don’t see sensors? That means your door opener was manufactured before 1993.
  • Another option is to get out a ladder and inspect the motor’s metal housing. The serial number, model number, and year of manufacture should be printed here.

Has it been more than 10 years? More than 15? Longer? If so, that means it is time to upgrade your garage door opener. The more you continue to use it, regardless of the reason, the quicker it is going to wear out. In addition, if you notice odd noises coming from the opener, the more it will typically wear. The amount you use the door opener and what maintenance you do (or have it done) effects how long it lasts, just as you would expect from any home appliance.

Feel like 10 or 15 years is not a lot of time? Consider this: the garage door’s spring system, whether torsion or extension, which is a counterweight for the entire amount of weight of your garage door will typically last only five to seven years.

If you aren’t sure that seems accurate, a International Door Corp specialist can give you a better idea of whether you need to change it out immediately or whether a tune-up will make it safer and more efficient for further use.

Others reasons to consider replacing your garage door opener

While age is an important reason to consider a replacement garage door opener, there are many others, including:

The manufacturer of the garage door opener is no longer in business

Five reasons you might upgrade despite age

Depending on how long you have had your door opener, it’s not impossible that the brand is no longer on the market. That’s one of the many reasons we recommend that you choose Liftmaster / Chamberlain garage door openers. The company was founded many years ago in 1954 and has a track record that can’t be beat.

You want to ensure the best safety for your family and yourself

Before 1982, garage door openers weren’t required to have several systems. At that time, an industry standard was created regarding garage door openers included automatic reversal mechanisms, but it was voluntary. That means that when the garage door is lowering and an object is in the way, the door stops in its tracks and reverses to go back up. Further legislation was put in place in 1993, ensuring that garage door openers are equipped with the photoelectric reversal systems. This time it was made mandatory. If you have a door opener that doesn’t have safety systems, it’s much more likely that an accident will occur when the opener is being used.

Keeping your belongings safe is important

Door openers made before 1993 used seven or eight dip switches which were all set as +, -, or 0. The problem is that those codes could be detected and thieves who found the combination could operate your garage door at any time they liked. In the time between 1993 and 1995, Liftmaster / Chamberlain put on the market a new coding system that introduced the possibility of millions of codes. Later on, in 1996, Liftmaster / Chamberlain began to offer the Security+ system, which changed that number to billions of potential codes that would be nearly impossible to hack.

You are tired of your loud garage door opener

Today, the modern door opener makes use of metal-reinforced rubber belts. There are also wall-mounted openers available which can sit next to the door, which are called Jackshaft door openers and offered for residential use. If you happen to have a room right above your garage, especially if it’s a bedroom, this sort of door opener will help with the noise that might otherwise transfer through the ceiling and into your living space.

A desire to simplify your life

Five reasons you might upgrade despite age

Liftmaster / Chamberlain introduced new technology in 2013 for garage door openers called the MyQ System. This revolutionary technology allows you to operate the garage door from anywhere in the world. You just need to download the MyQ app on your smartphone or tablet and use it to open or close it from your device as long as a Wi-Fi connection is available.

In addition, you can get notifications anytime someone opens or closes the door. Timers can be set up to automatically open and close the door at specific times of the day. This can give you the reassurance that your door is closed even while at work or on vacation. If you want that peace of mind, it's likely the right time to upgrade your door opener.

Are you ready for more information?

If you are located in Central Maine, you can contact us at 1-800-244-9253. We offer a full range of door openers by LiftMaster, including those with chain drives or belt drives, which can be installed by the door or centrally. These reliable and quiet door openers often come with an emergency battery that allows you to operate them even if a power outage occurs.

We can also offer you a quotation by email. In addition to that, those looking to swap out their garage doors can visit our Design Centre to see what style of door will best suit you and your home. If you want some extra inspiration, you can check out our image gallery for nearly countless examples.

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