by Matt Keating
Choosing the right garage door opener may not seem like a complicated decision, but Joel Belyew, president of Precision Door Service of Indianapolis, says there are innovative options and certain features homeowners need to consider.
NOISE: “Do you really need the entire house to vibrate and wake up the kids every time it opens?” Belyew asks. “No. Garage door openers today go anywhere from loud and obnoxious, to virtually silent.”
POWER: This can be somewhat overrated. Every garage door is equipped with a counterbalance system (springs) that when working properly, should render the doors weight neutral. While you don’t want an underpowered unit, there is also rarely a need to go over ¾ to 1HP. Some manufacturers know that consumers are drawn to things like higher HP and equate that to quality and use that to their advantage.
BATTERY BACKUP: If you get home in a thunderstorm and the power is out, wouldn’t it be great if your garage door still opened with a push of the remote? The likelihood of this happening may be low, but it’s a feature you’ll be glad you have if you ever need it.
WIFI CONNECTIVITY: Some homeowners want WiFi Connectivity, but how connected, if at all, do you want to be? The options are anywhere from not WiFi connected, to smartphone access, or ‘Amazon Key’ compatible. The Amazon option allows Amazon delivery drivers to open your garage door, put your packages inside, and then close the door behind them. “We now even have an opener that has a built-in HD camera that can record events such as Amazon Key delivery, if you are concerned what the driver might also do once they have access,” Belyew said.
AUTO-CLOSE: Have you ever left the house and wondered if you had closed the garage door? Or even worse, you came home after being gone all day, only to realize the garage door was open? Or maybe even when you go to leave in the morning, and realize the garage door was open all night? “This is my favorite option,” Belyew stated. “WiFi gives you the ability to check if ‘you remember, you forgot,’ but auto close is working independently for you. Some garage door openers are equipped with this feature and allow you to choose the time it will remain open, before closing itself.”
SIDE MOUNTED: These are also known as jackshafts and are both low maintenance and space efficient.
DO IT YOURSELF VS. PROFESSIONALLY INSTALLED: “When it comes to garage door openers, many handy homeowners are capable of a working installation,” Belyew said. If you know what you are doing, you could save up to $200 or $300, but is it worth the frustration and safety risks? “We have heard many stories and seen some carnage, continued Belyew. “The most overlooked value of using a professional is that they know everything about how the door works, and they understand the relationship between the door and the opener.” An improperly working door is often the cause of garage door opener failure. If that primary problem isn’t addressed, the new opener could meet a similar fate.
“If you do go professional, do your research and be wary of the ‘cheaper’ bid,” said Belyew. “Skilled labor isn’t cheap, and cheap labor isn’t skilled.”
When it is time to choose a new garage door opener, Precision Door can help you evaluate the best options for your door, your budget, and your lifestyle. Visit them online at precisionindy.com for more information.