Not so simple
Automation is the most complicated part of a garage door, and selecting the right machine is not always an easy decision. There are wide varieties to choose from, and new technology is allowing for better upgrades on a daily basis, but this doesn’t mean that you need to install a new garage door. Far from it!
If you are installing a new garage door, selecting your operator shouldn’t be a problem, since the option of automation should be readily made available. If, however, you are installing automation only, do a bit of research first, starting with a garage door company. They would not only have done their research on the different brands and products, but would know the specifics your garage door would require, giving some useful tips along the way.
Your garage door type
Whether you have a fully retractable one piece horizontal, sectional door with horizontal and vertical tracks, canopy type with vertical tracks on the door frame or a wooden hinged door that opens out, it can be fitted with automation. Even the canopy type garage door with no tracks and a Pivot Action on the door frame that has been deemed by many as a garage door that is not suitable for automation can be converted to horizontal tracks. While some installations are more complicated than others, a reputable and experienced company will have the expertise to perfectly automate your door.
For your security
For maximum safety, you will need automation that automatically reverses if the garage door senses an obstacle. Since a garage door is a heavy object, you need the motor to stop immediately shouldsomething obstruct the door. New safety regulations require that the automation system incorporates a self-learning safety stop protection device that can “learn” the operating characteristics such as weight and force that should be exerted when opening and closing the garage door. This way the automation can react quicker should there be any kind of obstacle in the way, guaranteeing better safety for you, your family, and your pets. For added security, use remotes with rolling codes that transmit a different opening signal each time you press them. In addition, some models may have features with separate buttons for the garage light, and security locks that disable remote opening when you leave on vacation.
On average it takes about 15 seconds for your automated garage door to open. You need to know how much electricity is being used during this time, as well as when the motor is on standby. Check to see whether the openers use a direct current (DC) motor or a standard alternating current (AC) motor. A DC motor uses less electricity and allows better speed control. It will allow the door to close more slowly at the start and end of its cycle, while operating at full speed mid-cycle. This simpler drive mechanism results in an efficient, quiet, and more reliable system.
When choosing an operating system, choose one where the operating motor is able to handle the excess force of opening and closing the garage door. It’s no use if the motor is constantly working at the limits of its capabilities since this will only shorten the lifespan of your operating system, costing you more at the end of the day to maintain.
When the power is out
An emergency release is very important for when the electricity is out. You don’t want to struggle opening your garage door should this scenario occur. Your garage door automation should come with an emergency device that will allow you to open your garage door manually. Purchase a well designed garage door system that will allow this without compromising the security of your garage door.
Not a sound
Regardless of your garage door’s size, you need automation that will not wake the neighbourhood in the middle of the night. For quietest operation, select a belt drive operator with flexible rubber belts that dampen vibrations and eliminate the noisy clanking of chain and screw drives. Remember that a DC motor will also contribute to noiseless operation, as it enables soft starting and stopping.