Why you should replace an aging garage door opener

February 6, 2020

You know your garage door opener is old, but it’s working fine, so why replace it?

Actually, there are several reasons why you should replace that old garage door opener. The most important one is safety.

Garage door opener safety changed a lot in the 1990s

Garage door openers manufactured before 1990 did not have safety sensors of any kind. If you put a garage door in motion to close, the only thing that would stop it would be if you pressed the button again. You need only look at the statistics for children injured or killed during those years to know this system didn’t work.

Since 1993, all garage door openers were made with a reverse feature in which the door would stop and reverse if it came in contact with anything on the way down. Newer models have a laser beam sensor installed just above the floor. The door will stop and reverse if the beam is broken.

The thing is, those old garage door openers were sturdy machines designed to last, so the garage doors of many older homes are still raised and lowered by openers that have no safety mechanism or a reverse feature that no longer works.

We recommend you replace your older garage door opener that has no or nonworking safety features even if the opener still works. Your garage door opener also should display safety certification by the UL Standard for Safety.

Security is crucial with attached garages

Garage door openers of old were controlled with a remote that synced with the unit through a fixed code, which thieves quickly learned they could intercept by sitting outside your house with a code reader when you activated your door. While the dip switches could be changed by the homeowner, most didn’t know this was necessary until their garage was broken into.

In 1996, manufacturers began equipping remotes with a rolling code, in which the synced code changes every time you use your opener. For homeowners with attached garages, this is a key security feature that keeps their home and family safe, in addition to their garage.

We recommend you upgrade your remotes from fixed to rolling code by getting your opener retrofitted for the technology. However, if your opener is old enough to lack other safety features, you should replace the whole unit.

You’ll appreciate the quiet operation

Take a look at that old garage door opener mechanism. If it looks like a bicycle chain, it probably makes a lot of noise when you open and close the door. All older garage door openers used a chain drive to operate and the metal on metal is loud. Newer models are available with a screw drive or belt drive, both of which are quieter, albeit a little more expensive.

If you are looking at the lower priced chain drive openers to replace your old unit, that’s okay too. Modern garage door openers use motors that are AC (alternating current) powered rather than the old direct current powered motors, so even with a chain drive they are much quieter than the old versions.

Keep up with technology

Today’s garage door openers offer so many conveniences, it just makes sense to replace your aging unit. From keyless entry to internet-based control, consider the following features that accommodate busy families:

  • Built-in battery backup that keeps your garage door opener functioning in a power outage.

  • Keypads that use a code or fingerprint to allow secure keyless entry.

  • Smart technology that provides access to the garage door through any smart device—open or close the door from anywhere using your smart phone and receive text alerts if your garage door is opened.

If you have an older garage door opener, or you aren’t sure that your garage door opener is safety certified or operating properly, contact our experts for an inspection. We can provide repairs and suggestions for upgrading or replacing your opener to keep your family safe and secure.

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