Garage Door Opener

How It Works

A garage door opener uses a power unit and electric motor to lift and lower the door using a chain, belt or screw type drive mechanism. Counterbalance springs add lifting power while the metal tracks typically guide the door up and down along a consistent route.

A garage door opener remote control is programmed with a secure digital code to open the door with the touch of a button via radio signal. Modern garage door openers are equipped with “safety eyes”, which stop the door from closing when there are obstructions in the way.

What Can Go Wrong?

The most common problem with garage door openers is lack of power. If your garage door opener stops working, check to make sure that the unit is plugged in and that there are no breaks or ground fault interrupters (GFIs) that have tripped. If the unit has power, check that the safety eyes are properly aligned, working, and unobstructed. Check the tracks for blockage or obstructions. If none of these point to the problem, a circuit board or motor may have failed. Call a professional to troubleshoot the problem and make repairs as needed.

Environmental Impact

Motors for garage door openers come in three sizes based on Horsepower (Hp): 1/3 Hp (475 Watts), good for a small garage door; 1/2 Hp (650 Watts), preferred for double-doors; and 3/4 Hp (900 Watts) for unusually large or heavy doors. Direct current-powered garage door openers use less electricity and may include battery backup for power outages. Operating a typical 1/3 Hp garage door opener four times a day uses about 3.6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and produces about 5.5 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.


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