Garage door openers are common elements in most Madison WI garages and proper garage door opener installation is the key to keeping the unit and the garage door operating smoothly and safely for a long time.
Proper garage door opener installation begins with the selection process. Choosing the right opener for the job is the first step in insuring worry-free performance. For most residential installations, there are two types of electric door openers to consider: chain-drive and belt-drive models.
CHAIN-DRIVE — These popular units are considered the most affordable, and come in versions to accommodate most residential needs. They are also considered to be the noisiest of the available door openers. They are ideal for heavy doors, including over-sized doors, one-piece wooden doors, wind-rated doors and heavily insulated doors. Some versions come with, or can be equipped with separators between the chain and track to dampen and reduce noise.
BELT-DRIVE – Also a popular choice, this type uses a rubber and steel notched belt to move the opener up and down. They are said to last longer with less maintenance but their primary claim is reducing noise. Initial cost is often higher than chain-drive models in the same size.
Size Matters When Choosing Garage Door Openers
When it comes to garage door opener installation, size isn’t an important consideration – they all go in about the same way. When it comes to operation and efficiency, it can be. There are three common sizes: 1/3 HP 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP. Garage door openers also come in 1 HP models for special demands.
- The 1/3 HP model is considered the standard for many residential installations and will handle most popular garage doors – but with heavily insulated or one-piece wooden doors, it may work slower and show signs of stain sooner.
- The 1/2 HP option is ideal for most common doors, including the heavier, bulkier ones because the additional power means less stress on the motor, chain or belt.
- The 3/4 HP garage door openers may not be as common in a residential setting, but provide enough power to handle most of the heavy, wide doors or in special circumstance as when wind may be an issue.
Garage Door Opener Installation Concerns
A garage door with a powered opening system is the largest moving piece in your house. It can be a convenience or a potential danger. Garage door opener installation can be the deciding factor. If the garage door opener installation is done wrong, it can:
- Damage the door
- Damage to the garage structure
- Damage the opener
- Damage components and connections
- Put users at risk
- Result in improper operation/malfunctions
Improper installation leads to excessive wear on all moving parts and can compromise the special safety features – features that have been mandated by law. Garage door openers should be installed at the same height as the door. If installed too high or too low, the motor will work too hard and the door will not open smoothly.
Garage Door Opener Checklist
Homeowners should monitor the operation of their garage door openers regularly.
- Check the electric eyes that control the auto-reverse safety system to be sure they are aligned properly – the law says they must be mounted six inches from the bottom of the garage door. Perform a monthly safety reverse test by deliberately interrupting the beam of infrared light while closing the door. The door should stop within seconds and reverse its motion.
- Lubricate the moving parts of chain and tracks regularly with a good lubricant – not grease that can dry out or WD-40 which isn’t a lubricant at all.
- HINT: Basic 30-weight motor oil in an old-fashioned oil can works really well to lubricate all the right parts.
- Check and adjust the opener’s sensitivity setting three or four times a year.
- Recommended sensitivity settings can be found in your owners’ manual – go online if you’ve misplaced your original copy.
- Sensitivity changes with weather – temperature and humidity
- During a Madison WI winter, the system gets stiffer and requires a heavier force to move the door efficiently. A winter setting may be 35 pounds. A normal summer setting may be 25 pounds.
- Check and replace the batteries in your remote opener controls and your keyless entry pad.
Garage doors have become one of the main entries into homes and proper garage door opener installation is the key to keeping the unit and the garage door operating smoothly and safely for a long time.
Northland Door Systems can help review a wide selection of garage doors and openers, finding the best garage door opener installation packages for your needs in Madison WI.