Garage door openers have been around for a very long time, and though many devices from yesteryear are still operational, not all are safe. Garage doors are among them. If your home or space is relying on an opener dating before the early 1990s, it is simply unsafe. That alone is reason to upgrade, be we have more reasons to make such a move.
A Second Word on Safety
Roughly 70% of homeowners rely on the garage a main egress into the home, yet that same number doesn’t always think about the operational safety of that door. Whether you are opening and closing it to park the car, get into your workspace, allow kids to go in and out freely or access storage, you should be thinking about the safety of the system.
All garage door openers manufactured before 1993 were not as safe as those that came later. This era of opener had only mechanical automatic reversal systems. What that means is that the door only stops if it comes in contact with an object or person.
Sadly, this did not stop many doors in Canada and the U.S. from inflicting serious harm, which led authorities to require redundancy in the form of photo eyes. This is a system in which two units are placed on opposite sides of the door facing one another. They are both about 4 to 6 in. (10 to 15 cm) from the ground and one fixture sends a beam of invisible light to the other. Should something break the beam, the door automatically stops and goes back up.
If your door opener does not have the two types of safety, it must be upgraded
Then There’s Security
An outdated garage door opener also has an outdated remote control opener. It is one that is programmed with DIP switches set in either a +, 0, or – position and which is very vulnerable to unscrupulous criminals who know can capture the signal and use it to open the doors whenever they like.
Openers made after 1993 use what are called “rolling codes”, so that when you push the controller, a new code is created and becomes nearly impossible to steal. In fact, in 1993 the Chamberlain Group (including the brands Chamberlain, LiftMaster and Craftsman) made remotes with the Security+ system allowing for many millions of codes to be created, and a few years after that created the Security + 2.0 system more than one billion possible codes!
Connectivity is Cool, Too
Another reason to upgrade is because of connectivity. Today, we want our devices (smartphones, tablets or laptops) to be able to operate parts of our homes, including garage doors. The Chamberlain Group (LiftMaster and Craftsman) models have offered the technology MyQ since 2013, while their latest innovations include door openers with Wi-Fi technology, enabling owners to use voice commands to open and close the garage door.
Peace is a Positive
Naturally, few of us like the cluttering and clanging of outdated garage door openers and their chain drives. These are systems made of chains and steel cables, and are some of the loudest around. The good news is that updated garage door openers rely mostly on rubber belts (reinforced with metal fibers similar car tires) which promise almost silent operation. When they are equipped with white or black nylon rollers (instead of metal rollers) this only enhances their soundless operation. Some even features a vibration isolator system that utilizes rubber between the motor and brackets that connect the unit and the ceiling which can reduce sound almost completely.
Finally, a great reason to upgrade is that you will no longer find yourself unable to open the door in the event of a power outage. The best of the modern openers can have a backup battery option, with models such as the 8500, 8500W, 8550W and 8360W from LiftMaster allowing owners to open the door 20 times without any power supplies.
Ready to Get Started
If you are eager to upgrade your garage door system, get started by contacting us, toll free, at 1-800-425-0662. We are skilled professionals where garage doors and openers are concerned. We can be your one-stop resource when you need advice and information about the right solutions and we’ll provide a free, online quotation, too. You can also visit our showroom or sample many of our options using the Design Centre or get a lot of ideas and inspiration from the image gallery.