Garage door openers are a major convenience for most homeowners. After all, who wants to go out in the rain and snow every time they need to open their garage? Unfortunately, openers don’t last forever, and you’ll eventually have to replace yours. While there isn’t a specific lifespan for openers, you can get a general idea based on the type of opener you have. The lifespan of a Chain Drive opener is about 10-15 years. If you have a belt drive opener, it should last about 15-20 years. Screw Drive openers have a lifespan of about 10-15 years. Finally, a Sprocket Drive opener’s lifespan is about 10-15 years.
Types Of Garage Door Openers
The opener type greatly affects the lifespan of your garage door opener. Fortunately, there are several types of openers available, including chain drive, belt drive, screw drive, and sprocket drive openers. There are also opener remote controls and remotes, keypads and wall controls, and sensors.
Chain Drive – A Chain Drive opener uses a trolley that moves up and down the track. It uses a chain to lift and lower the garage door. With a Chain Drive opener, you have no external control, and the door is completely manual. If you have a Chain Drive opener, we recommend installing an intermatic garage door opener sensor.
Belt Drive – A Belt Drive opener uses a rubber belt to move the trolley up and down the track. It’s a quieter opener but requires consistent maintenance. With a Belt Drive opener, you have an external control panel, but you can’t have a keypad. If you have a Belt Drive opener, we recommend installing a belt drive garage door opener sensor.
Screw Drive – A Screw Drive opener uses a metal screw and a motor to move the trolley up and down the track. Since it’s not as consistent, it’s more suited for commercial use. With a Screw Drive opener, you have an external control panel with buttons and a keypad. If you have a Screw Drive opener, we recommend a screw drive garage door opener sensor.
Sprocket Drive – A Sprocket Drive opener uses a sprocket to move the trolley up and down the track. It’s a more consistent opener than a screw drive opener, but not as consistent as a chain or belt drive opener. With a Sprocket Drive opener, you have an external control panel and buttons, but no keypad. If you have a Sprocket Drive opener, we recommend a sprocket drive garage door opener sensor.
What Affects the Lifespan of a Garage Door Opener?
There are a few factors that affect the lifespan of a garage door opener.
- First, the type of opener you have. We discussed the different opener types above, so you can see which one is right for you.
- Next, the garage door type. Generally, a garage door with higher quality materials and a thicker weight will last longer.
- Finally, the climate you live in. Extreme heat and cold can damage your garage door opener, shortening its lifespan.
Garage Door Opener Maintenance Tips
Clean the outside: Regularly cleaning the exterior of your opener will keep it running smoothly and help it last longer. You can use a soft cloth with warm water and mild soap as a cleaner. Be careful not to get water into the electrical parts, as that could cause a short or an electrical malfunction.
Clean the inside: The interior of your garage door opener should also be regularly cleaned. You can use a soft toothbrush or a cleaning brush to get into the nooks and crannies. Follow the cleaning suggestion above to be safe.
Check the belt: Make sure the belt is clean, dry, and in good condition. If you see frayed or torn areas on the belt, it needs to be replaced. The belt will usually wear out after 10-15 years, so be on the lookout for signs of wear.
Check the chain/cables: As with the belt, check to make sure the chain/cables are clean, dry, and in good condition. If there are frayed or torn areas, they need to be replaced. Chains/cables usually wear out after 10-15 years.
Clean the sensors: The sensors are outside and exposed to the elements, so they need to be cleaned regularly. You can use an old toothbrush and mild soap to clean them. Be careful not to get water into the sensor, as that could cause a short and a malfunction.
Warning Signs That Indicate Your Garage Door Opener Needs to Be Replaced
You hear a clicking or ticking sound: If you hear a clicking or ticking sound while the opener is running, it may be due to a worn belt. A belt should last between 10-15 years, depending on the type of opener. If it’s time for a belt replacement, follow the instructions above. If the clicking or ticking sound continues, it could be an indication of more serious issues. Be sure to check the sensors for any issues, as well as the chain/cables, belts, and motor.
The garage door isn’t closing: If your garage door isn’t closing properly, it may be an indication of an issue with the opener. It could be as simple as needing a new belt or chain, or it could indicate a more serious problem. Check the sensors to make sure they’re clean and in good working order. Try to manually close the garage door to make sure the opener works. If it still won’t close, contact a garage door repair company.
How To Choose a New Garage Door Opener
When choosing a new opener, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, what type of opener do you need? We discussed the different opener types above, so you can see which one is right for you.
- Next, what type of garage door do you have? The type of garage door you have dictates which opener you should choose.
- If you have a tilt-up door (with springs and cables), a belt drive opener is a good option. For a standard door, a screw or sprocket drive opener would be a good choice.
- If you have a sectional door (no springs or cables), a screw or sprocket drive opener would be a good choice.
- If you have a cantilever sectional door (no springs or cables), a screw or sprocket drive opener would be a good choice.
How To Hire a Professional for Garage Door Opener Installation
Before hiring a professional to install your new opener, make sure you’ve checked the DIY installation. If you’ve determined that you still need a professional, there are a few things to keep in mind when hiring one.
- First, make sure the company is licensed, insured, and certified.
- Next, check reviews and references and talk with past clients.
- Finally, ask about maintenance options and warranties.