After 25 years providing garage door repairs in Broomfield and nearby communities, A Better Garage Door's experienced team has 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Now that we know all about DC Garage Door Openers let’s take a look what else is out there.
Choosing a garage door opener can seem like a monumental task, especially with many local options and a mélange of information on the web. But taking some basic guidelines into consideration, consumers in the Commerce City and Arvada areas can feel the weight of choosing the right opener lifted.
Choosing a drive mechanism will often solve two of the most common problems homeowners consider when choosing between garage door openers: cost and noise.
There is a range of power for your garage door opener and it helps to understand a bit about what those letters and numbers mean.
While looking for a garage door opener, you’ll see HP (horsepower) as well as HPS (horsepower similar) and HPC (horsepower comparable) ratings.
Because HP technically isn’t the correct term for non-AC (alternating current) motors, using these horsepower equivalency ratings is just a way to make it easier for consumers to compare the motor power of garage door openers. For all intents and purposes, HPS 1/2 and HPC 1/2 are the same as HP 1/2 (or 1/2 of one unit of horsepower).
Now that you understand a bit about drive and power, you should consider the dimensions of your door and how that will help you make a decision.
Lighter doors: Truth be told, 1/2 HP openers get the job done in most situations and are the most common model. If your door is lightweight aluminum or a quite simple model, 1/2 or even 1/4 models could serve you quite well!
Heavier models: to avoid wear and tear and costly garage door repair, consumers with especially heavy doors may want to consider the next step up and get a 3/4 HP door. If your door is heavy solid wood, taller than seven feet, longer than a one-car opening, or a particularly well-layered energy efficient model, you may want to consider this next option.
Folks with heavier or oversized doors should also consider using chain drives over other types of drives. Heavier doors can put a strain on rubber belts and on the plastic fittings that screw drives fit into.
Industrial. 1 HP models are typically necessary only for extra-large, long, and/or heavy industrial doors.
Garage doors are now well-equipped with safety features. Most are standard-issue. For example, openers should stop and reverse downward if an infrared motion detector is interrupted or if the door comes into contact with an object.
Openers may come with overhead lights, so you’re not fumbling around in a dark garage after exiting your car.
Also, an added feature of the jackshaft drive is that it has an automatic deadbolt option that activates automatically when the door closes.
One feature that combines safety and technology is rolling code, where the opener selects a new random code each time you activate it. This means less chance for interference or theft of your opener code.
Smart features that work right through your dashboard or phone are increasingly available. These can even afford extra peace of mind to homeowners, even allowing them to see if the door is open or closed.
As always, to avoid unnecessary garage door repairs, reliability is important. Often the less parts that go into a system, the less maintenance it will need. Simpler models such as chain and screw drives have stood the test of time, but they also use metal fittings, which require routine lubrication and maintenance.
Still, with proper consideration and care, the right garage door opener can greatly improve your quality of life. A good garage door opener can also save you money. Check out Four Ways a New Garage Door Opener Can Save You Money for some tips.