Everything you need to know about garage door openers

No doubt you already know the basics: They make your life easier! But do you know anything else about garage door openers?

Having some basic knowledge will help if you ever need to contact a garage door specialist about issues with your electric garage door opener. For this reason, we’ve written this helpful article so your problems will never get lost in translation!

Opened Garage Door

Let’s start with the door opener

First things first, there are different types of electric door openers, starting with different models:

  • The two most popular are chain drive and belt drive. Belt drive door openers are quieter than chain drives.

Then we’ve got types:

  • AC or DC. Most people opt for AC openers as they’re cheaper. DC openers can be equipped with backup batteries and are characterized by starting and stopping slowly, while speeding up in the middle.

After that, you might hear garage door specialists talking about the level of power:

  • Like cars, the level of power is measures in horse power. Most people go for either 0.5 or 0.75, however 0.5 should be plenty of power if your garage door is properly balanced.

Next up, we have trolleys that pull or push the door.

  • Again, there are two types, a one-piece, which is sturdier, and a three-piece, which you have to ensure is solidly bolted together.

There are other major components, such as the gear system.

  • Gears are made from hard plastic and are very durable. However, they will wear down quickly if your garage door is not well-balanced.

And finally, the electronics.

  • Like most appliances, electric door openers use a logic board that controls all the safety aspects and the signal to open or close the door. If you’re experiencing electrical problems with the door opener, it’s likely the logic board that’s blown. This can happen following a power surge.

Following the actual door opener, we have the accessories

Remote controls

  • Used to open the garage door from the comfort of your car (or home), remote controls are equipped with rolling code technology that ensures no-one else can pick up the signal and access your garage.

Control panels

  • Some door openers come with control panels that are installed near the access door leading to the house. They’re useful as they allow you to block remotes from accessing the garage door if you’re going to be absent for long periods of time.

Automatic reversal systems

  • Again, these are now standard with all garage door openers sold in North America. An automatic reversal system is a safety feature that prevents the garage door from closing if it detects something in its path or a resistance.


  • Some garage door openers carry Wi-Fi technology that allows you to operate and monitor your garage door from an application on your smartphone or tablet.

Exterior keypad

  • A great addition that provides access to the home through a 4-digit PIN. Ideal if you lose your keys a lot or don’t want to give keys out to your kids.

Laser parking sensors

  • Helping you to park safely in your garage without scuffing your vehicle.

Mini remotes

  • Less visible than a remote clipped onto your visor, mini remotes can simply be carried on your keychain and attract a lot less attention.

For more information

Contact us at 1-800-425-0662, our team of garage door experts will be more than happy to explain all the features of garage door openers to you. We can even send you a quotation or come out to your home to help you in person.
Thinking about changing your garage door? Browse through our image gallery for inspiration and then “try on” a garage door for size using our Design Centre tool.

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