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.
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.