Designed to provide you with convenient access to your home, your garage door opener should last between 10 and 15 years, before necessitating your need for a new one. However, if any of the following problems exist, then you may want to consider purchasing a new garage door opener long before it reaches its expiration date.
Your Opener Was Manufactured Before January 1, 1993
In 1992, a new set of rules were established for automatic garage door openers, by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These rules required that all openers manufactured on or after January 1, 1993 conform to the various entrapment protection requirements laid out in the legislation, which included safety reversing mechanisms in the form of safety sensors (aka electric eyes).
Pay careful attention to the opener’s safety sensors, which are located on both sides of the door, roughly six-inches from the floor. These sensors are an important safety feature. They prevent the door from operating if anything is detected in the door’s path. Should something or someone interfere with the beam running between them, they instruct the door to immediately stop, and reverse direction.
If your opener was manufactured before January 1, 1993, then it’s past time that you replaced it with a new one. This will prevent entrapment. It is also a good idea to install the push button high enough that small children can’t reach it. Keep remotes away from them as well. You should regularly check your opener’s safety sensors to ensure they’re working properly.
To test the door’s safety reversing mechanism, you should: Place a 2×4 on the floor of the garage in the door’s path. Press the garage door opener button. The door should automatically reverse direction upon striking the 2×4. If the door fails to automatically reverse direction, then the opener should be disengaged until it can be professionally adjusted, repaired or replaced.
When Your Neighbors Are Always Complaining
While some noise is to be expected, especially if you have a chain-driven garage door opener, noise that wakes the neighbors from their restful slumber is a bit excessive. If this is your truth, a new opener will certainly be quieter. New openers use much quieter technology. You can find openers featuring chain, belt or screw drives. LiftMaster® now offers a computer-controlled drive that uses none of the traditional drives. This technology is perfect for small spaces as well.
When You Want Increased Home Security
Older openers were unfortunately quite susceptible to thieves. Fixed codes could easily be stolen using a radio frequency identifier device. This thankfully isn’t something you need to worry about today. Today’s openers feature rolling code technology which changes the code each time the door is operated. This technology prevents break-ins and enhances your home’s security. Some openers also offer exterior touch pads for easy accessibility and smartphone capability that allows you to check the door’s status remotely.
After You Upgrade Your Garage Door
If you made the decision to upgrade your garage door, you may want to consider investing in a new garage door opener as well. The opener’s motor will determine how much weight your opener can reasonably accommodate. If your current opener isn’t well-suited to your new door, then you may need an opener with a bigger motor. Replacing both your door and opener at the same time avoids the very real possibility of motor failure. It can also save you money in the long run.