Garage door openers make your life easier by opening your door with just one push of a button. But for you to enjoy such convenience, it’s crucial to get the correct garage door opener sizes. This way, your opener will have enough power to lift your door safely every single time.
In this garage door opener size guide, we will help you find the right option that matches your door’s size and weight. Make sure you read the points below before you shop!
How to determine garage door opener size
If you’re in the market for a new garage door opener, you should do the following steps first:
Check the size and weight of your door
The first thing you should do is check the size of your door since this will directly affect the garage door opener horsepower (hp) you’ll need. In general, the wider your door is, the higher horsepower you’ll need. Here’s our quick rundown about what HP suits your door best:
- 1/3 horsepower. This can handle most single-car garage doors that are about 10 feet x 8 feet in size. However, a 1/3 hp opener is only suitable if your door is uninsulated and made of lightweight materials. Otherwise, you may need a more powerful opener.
- 1/2 horsepower. This is a tad stronger than a 1/3 hp door opener and is usually suitable for most single-car residential garage doors. If you have heavy single doors or average-weight double doors, this would be a good choice.
- 3/4 horsepower. If you have a two-car garage door, you’ll likely need an opener with at least ¾ horsepower. It can easily lift doors up to 16 feet wide and 8 feet tall.
- 1 horsepower. If your two-car garage door is made of heavy materials or you have a much wider door, you should definitely put your money on a 1 hp opener. This way, you can open and close your garage door easily without putting too much strain on the motor.
Consider your garage door material
The material of your garage door will also dictate the opener you should get. For example, doors made of heavy materials like wood are much heavier and you’ll need an equally powerful opener to do the lifting.
Meanwhile, if your garage door is made of fiberglass or lightweight steel, you can use a standard garage door opener that matches the door’s width.
If you’re planning to install insulation on your garage door, make sure that you factor in the additional weight before you buy a garage door opener. Insulation will make your garage door heavier, which will need extra horsepower to lift.
Choose a drive type
Garage door openers use different drive types, which will affect how well they handle different kinds of doors. For the most part, you can choose from a belt, screw, or chain drive.
For light doors like a single-car type, you can use any of these drive types. However, you should know that chain drives tend to be noisier than screw or belt types.
If you have a two-car or heavy garage door, you should only use screw drive or chain drive openers. Take note that a belt drive isn’t durable enough to withstand heavy loads. If you use it on a heavy door, the belt can easily snap and require garage door opener repair, which is an additional expense on your part.
Additional features to look for in a garage door opener
Aside from finding the right size, you should also look for other features that will make your garage door opener worth the price. Here are some that we recommend if possible:
- Built-in WiFi that lets you open the door from a mobile device
- A small keychain remote
- Programmable features (opening/closing at a specific time)
- Soft-start/stop to reduce strain on the motor
- Motion-sensing security lights
- Vehicle compatibility to let you use controls on your car to open the door
Dealing with garage door opener repairs
Your garage door opener will eventually require repairs due to natural wear and tear. However, due to its electrical components, it can be difficult for most homeowners to know how to repair a garage door opener. In this case, you’re better off calling a professional technician to do the job.
Here are some of the most common door opener issues that will require expert garage door repair:
- The opener isn’t working at all. If your opener suddenly stopped working for no reason, you should call a technician right away. This way, you’ll have an expert troubleshooting your garage door opener and repairing it at the same time.
- The opener is making weird noises. Your garage door opener should only make a quiet hum during operation. If it starts making unusual noises and vibrations, you should call a professional to take a look at it.
- The opener doesn’t open/close the door fully. In some cases, the door opener will only close or open the door partially. This could mean several things, including incorrect device settings, faulty sensors, or poor track alignment.
- The opener motor runs with no door movement. This is often a tell-tale sign that your garage door opener’s drive belt is broken. If yours has a different drive type, this situation could be due to a faulty trolley mechanism. Whatever the reason is, you’ll need a certified technician to fix it for you.
Getting the right garage door opener size will ensure that you have the right power to do the heavy lifting. This way, you’ll have a hassle-free experience in opening or closing your garage door. Paired with professional maintenance and repairs, your new garage door opener will provide years of operation.