At A Better Garage Door we’ve been in the business for some 22 years now and have seen a bit of everything. But perhaps no garage door-related phenomenon has been as unexpected or had the kind of far reaching implications for the industry as the rise of the DC powered garage door opener. As recently as 10 or 15 years ago the dominance of AC-powered openers was unquestioned and there seemed no reason to doubt things would stay that way.
The Doors They Are A-Changin’
Both AC and DC motors are designed to do the same thing: transform (electrical) energy into motion. Both do their job well but do it in different ways. AC (Alternating Current) garage door motors are durable and typically require minimal maintenance over their lifetime. Yet in spite of this DC (Direct Current) garage door openers are steadily gaining market share. Why? Actually there are a number of good reasons including:
- Energy savings: A DC powered garage door opener uses less energy than its AC counterpart.
- Variable start and stop speeds: AC motors are durable and long lasting as mentioned above but one thing they are not is versatile. In contrast a DC motor is able to vary the speed with which it starts the opening process and concludes the closing process. As a result the DC motor is gentler on the door’s components and you can expect your door to last longer.
- They’re quieter: As DC motors typically use far less power they almost always run quieter than standard AC garage door openers. Some are practically undetectable from inside the house when they’re in motion.
- Full duration monitoring: Fully duration or constant monitoring allows the door to shift gears and reverse quickly should anything obstruct or otherwise impede its motion. AC motors also have the ability to reverse course but DC motors are able to do so more quickly and smoothly.
- Battery backup capability: A number of modern DC garage door openers offer optional battery backup in case of power outage. This option simply isn’t on the table with AC powered openers because they require so much power to operate. A DC powered motor running on backup batteries can typically go through as many as 20 open/close cycles in a 24 hour period.
As a result of all these advantages DC powered garage doors are slowly but surely displacing AC openers and, if anything, the trend is only accelerating.
The Garage Door Opener Joins the Digital Age in Loveland, Denver and Beyond
It was only a matter of time before smartphones, WiFi and digital technology found their way into the garage. Once engineers started to look for ways to bring the garage door ‘online’ they realized that the smaller, less energy-intensive, battery backup-capable DC garage door motors provided the best chance to do so. The smaller DC motors allowed more space for other things to be tacked on and once the floodgates opened the high tech accoutrement poured in. Some of these new digital age features include:
- An Internet gateway: Many new DC powered garage doors feature an Internet gateway that allows remote monitoring and operation of the door as well as mobile apps that will allow the same control from your iPhone, Blackberry or Android device.
- Garage door monitoring: These apps tell you what’s going on with your garage door at any given time. Think you might have left it open? Your monitoring app will let you know. Want to know when people are opening and closing the door? The app can inform you of any activity.
- Auto close mechanism: If you don’t use a garage door monitoring app you no longer need worry about whether you left the door open. New, auto close mechanisms will make sure the door closes automatically after a set period of time to ensure the safety and security of everyone.
- Smartphone control: There are a number of apps available today that will provide you total control over your garage door regardless of where you are on planet earth. Took off for Timbuktu and forgot to close the door? No problem. Log into the door remotely and close it from half a world away and receive an email confirmation that the door has been closed.
Of course the usual high tech extras also apply including the ability to program your garage door into the home security system, smart control panels that will tell you everything from the time to the temperature inside the garage and of course that high-tech staple; wireless keyless entry.
Whether you live in Denver, Erie or anywhere else DC powered garage doors are here to stay. Small, quiet, versatile and tech friendly the DC garage door opener is paving the way for greater integration of the garage door into the digital life of the home.