Like most mechanical things, garage door openers aren’t made to survive forever – but how long can you expect yours to last?
The Expected Lifespan of a Garage Door Opener
Much like the garage door itself, your garage door opener is a crucial component of the total mechanism. On average, you can expect your garage door opener to last somewhere between 10 and 15 years. The lifespan of your opener depends on several factors including the frequency of usage and the frequency of maintenance and repairs.
Types Of Garage Door Openers
There are three main types of garage door openers on the market: belt driven, chain driven and direct driven. Each type of opener is examined below.
Belt driven garage door openers operate via a rubber belt, as the name suggests. They are centre mounted and attach to your garage door via curved garage door arms. Belt drive openers are practically silent during operation – which appeals to homeowners who have attached garages. Belt drive motors are a terrific choice if you hate the noise involved with the operation of a garage door.
Chain driven garage door openers are similar to belt driven openers, however they operate via a chain and sprocket instead of a rubber belt. This type of opener emits slightly more noise than their belt driven equivalents, but it is still not clearly noticeable. Chain driven openers are a more cost-effective option, with components more readily available (e.g., gear drive, chain, etc.). Like belt driven openers, chain driven motors are also centre mounted and attach to the door via curved garage door arms.
Direct drive openers connect directly to the torsion springs on your garage door. The main difference is that there is no need for a belt or chain, and they are positioned conveniently on the side of the door. These openers are used on roller doors, as well as sectional garage doors. The orientation of the opener affords homeowners greater space in the centre of their garage’s ceiling. Compared to belt and chain drive openers, there are far less options on the market for homeowners to choose from – but they also have less components that have the possibility of breaking down.
Factors Impacting The Lifespan of Your Door Opener
Your garage door opener plays are crucial role to the function of your garage door and can cause further issues if not well maintained. To avoid future problems, it is essential to focus on some key areas to ensure your opener continues to function properly.
How Long Ago It Was Installed
Knowing the age of the system is a good reference point to determine whether or not it should be replaced. If your garage door opener is more than 10-15 years old, a replacement or upgrade should be considered. If nothing else, newer garage door openers are far more efficient than their predecessors.
Frequency of Maintenance
Maintaining a regular service pattern for your garage door system will give it the best chance of having a prolonged operational lifespan. A simple balance check of the door once a month helps to ensure that the door is not putting unwarranted stress on the opener. Lubricant should be applied to the door and opener at least once annually, aiding in guaranteeing the smoothest possible operation. Your garage door and opener should be visually inspected regularly, which helps to identify potential problems before they become costly repairs. We recommend that you have your garage door serviced at least every two years, as tensioning the springs and ensuring the door runs smoothly reduces the workload place on the opener.
Frequency of Use
Most components on a garage door system are measured by a life cycle. A cycle, by definition, is a full open and full close of the garage door. This means that the more a door is opened and closed, the shorter the lifespan of the opener will be. In recent times, homeowners are entering through their garages more often than they are through the front door, naturally shortening the life cycle.
Make / Model
Additionally, the brand of garage door opener installed at your home can affect its lifespan. There are a few garage door opener manufacturers that tend to last longer than others. For example, the Merlin brand of opener has an exceptional reputation due to long-lasting, low maintenance characteristics – even with frequent usage, this could translate to between five and ten years of additional lifespan.
How Will I Know When To Replace My Door Opener?
There are some indicative signs that you can detect when your garage door opener needs replacing.
Once you have hit the recommended lifespan of your door opener, you’ll want to replace it. Upgrading this component will improve the overall efficiency and function of your opener, while reducing the frequency of repairs. Additionally, homeowners will experience the benefits of new, innovative door opener technology.
Excessive noise generally indicates there’s a problem with your opener. Lots of creaking and clanking suggests that your opener is struggling to operate the door smoothly. A professional service technician should be called to service or replace your opener so it can be used quietly once more.
A garage door that cycles too slowly is a safety risk. Your opener may not be able to lift your garage door anymore. This slow movement can be a precursor to the door not opening at all, so it is recommended that a professional conducts a service on your door sooner rather than later. This servicing is beneficial as it ensures the safety of your garage and household.
It’s Rattling or Shaking
Over time, it is not uncommon for the opener itself to begin to wear down and break, which can cause the entire door to shake as it moves along the tracks. This is a sign that your door needs to be inspected by a trained professional. Depending on the level of damage, you may be able to repair your current opener and clean the tracks. Alternatively, you will need to replace the opener entirely.
How To Prolong The Life Of Your Garage Door Opener
Homeowners can prolong the expected lifespan of their opener by following a few simple actions regularly. Checking key components can mitigate the need for unexpected and costly repairs or replacements.
- Conduct visual inspections of springs, rollers, cables, track and pulleys
- Keep the garage’s interior free of objects that could cause damage
- Lubricate moving parts for smooth operation
- Try to maintain a cool and dry interior
- Ensure the door is balanced properly
- Do a reversal test
Why Choose Jims Garage Doors?
Jims Garage Doors are a team of fully specialised, skilled technicians who are trained in all aspects of garage doors. From brand new installations to maintenance and repairs of existing systems, our team has the experience and expertise to work on all makes and models of garage doors.
From our Maddington office, we service the Perth Metropolitan and Greater Peel regions, across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. We stock and service an extensive range of products and accessories from all the major brands, giving you the freedom to choose a door that fits your needs.
If you are in need of any garage door services, the team at Jims Garage doors are eager to assist you with any queries, questions or problems you may have. Get in touch with our service team today!