Your garage opener is one of those things you probably don’t give much thought about until you need it. Unfortunately, just like any other appliance, your garage door opener can break or stop working. There’s usually few warning signs for when it completely stops, but there’s a couple things to check if you are curious how much length you have left on yours.
It’s Loud and Annoying to Use
Biggest, and easiest warning sign to notice. If your garage opener is very loud, or even rattling and shaky, something is probably on the way out. This can range from the springs, to the opener chains, to a wide number of other parts. Best practice says to try opening the door manually, slowly, and keep an eye on all the moving parts to see if anything seems off. This can be quite hard to deduce on your own, so a service call might be in order. Sooner rather than later, lest it cause other parts to fail.
Your Door is Already Broken
If your garage door is already broken or not working properly, it might be time to upgrade the opener as well. If the door is fully getting replaced, such as if it’s bent or sagging, then you’ll be getting a new opener as well so this is a non-issue. However, if there are parts needing to be repaired that you know of… there’s a non-negligible chance the whole opener is on its way out and should be replaced whole cloth.
It’s Over 15 Years Old
If your garage door opener is over 15 years old, you should probably replace it. That’s the upper limit of most systems, and you’re rolling the dice basically every day from there on. The parts inside are going to wear down, and you will probably have already started to notice issues with sound—even if you may have gotten used to it. It’s also safer to replace an old opener than to have it break while you are using it.
What to Look for in a New Opener
First and foremost, make sure it is compatible with your current garage door. Depending on the age of the door and certain sizing issues you need to be very sure everything is compatible, especially when installing it yourself. Otherwise, if you’re interested in installing a smart opener that you can schedule and control via your phone, now’s the time. Local garage door specialists are your best bet when making these sorts of decisions, even if you want to embark on a DIY installation.
Things to Avoid When Buying a New Opener
The main thing to consider is that cheap openers don’t tend to last very long. It might end up costing quite a bit less in the long run to spend a little extra on a better opener. Ordering from the internet can be a bit dicey as well, make sure to crawl through reviews and find common issues and see how often people seem to own them.
Openers are fairly complicated, and heavy-duty, pieces of equipment. If installed incorrectly they can fail quite badly, potentially damaging equipment in the garage, such as cars, or anyone unlucky enough to be underneath it. It often can be a good idea to schedule an appointment with garage service pros if you have any question about what you’re doing.