Thinking of installing a garage door opener, or improving the one you have? Want to know more about how the work—and what’s important to know before you buy?

Here’s some basic information about garage door openers, plus a reminder from the Federal governent that it’s essential to get one that reverses automatically—to keep your family safe.

We know: Garage Door Opener Basics

How do automatic garage door openers work?

There are generally three types of automatic garage door openers. The basic difference is the mechanism used to power the drive that raises and lowers the door. There are:

  • Chain Drives (most common)
  • Belt Drives (most quiet)
  • Screw Drives (slowest)

What’s the price range for automatic garage door openers?

Most range between $100 and $200, with some over $200. You usually can install the door yourself, or pay to have it installed.

What should I know about the technology?

It’s made big improvements in the last decade. Doors are quieter, safer and more secure. The remote code set up system has become much simpler than in older models. And many of the new systems lock automatically when the door closes.

What’s the thing about a ‘reversing’ garage door opener?

Probably the most important safety feature in new garage doors is that they automatically stop and reverse if they touch anything on the way down. That’s important because older, nonreversing doors have been a safety hazard to small children, who get caught when the door descends.

What should I do if my old door works fine, but doesn’t have a reverse mechanism?

Get one. You can usually add the feature to your old door. But the safety of some doors can’t be improved, in which case you should get a new system.

Here’s what the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends:

  • If your current door opener is not certified as meeting the voluntary ANSI/UL standard 325-1982, disconnect it. It’s not safe.
  • Some old openers are equipped with a mechanism that only stops the closing door when it strikes an object, but does not reverse the door. These and some other older doors can’t be repaired.
  • The CPSC requires all garage door openers manufactured or imported after January 1, 1993 to be outfitted with an external entrapment protection system. So if your door has been purchased within the past ten years, you should be in good shape.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use ©

Sponsored by