Most people use the same garage door system for years or even decades. As long as there is no problem with opening and closing the garage door, you probably won’t think about replacing it.
However, everything has its lifespan, so there will come a moment when you should wonder how long do garage door openers last. It is not hard to spot a problem with a remote controller. On the other hand, you can easily overlook the garage door opener until the first signs of malfunction appear.
The Garage Door Opener Durability
The garage door opener is a motorized mechanism in charge of opening and closing the garage door. You can mostly spot it on the ceiling or the wall just above the garage door.
Unfortunately, this motorized part can’t last forever. Although the expiration date varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, most garage door openers have a warranty of three to five years. You can use it for much longer, but over time, its performance begins to decline.
Keep in mind that the estimation of 15 years for maximum duration means that you use the door five or six times a day.
If you are the type of person who takes a car from the garage in the morning and returns it in the evening, you are in luck. Under such conditions, your garage door opener can last twice as long as planned.
On the other hand, if you use the car several times a day and open the garage door for different reasons, you can plan to replace the garage door opener after a few years. The frequency of use of garage doors is one of the primary factors influencing this device’s durability.
In most cases, the garage door opener provides reliable operation of the door for 10 to 15 years, depending on its quality and how often you use the garage. After that period, the first signs appear that it is time to replace it.
Factors that Contribute to Opener Life Expectancy
One of the factors that determine the life expectancy of the garage door opener is the type of opener you have. Although they all have their advantages and disadvantages, the belt drives door opener has proven to be more durable than a chain or screw drive. On average, it can last up to three years longer than other alternatives.
The crucial thing you can do to extend the duration of the garage door opener is regular maintenance. That includes preparing the garage door for summer and winter, lubricating the springs, rollers, and door tracks.
You can also check if the garage door balance is optimal. Therefore, if you set aside little time for weekly routine garage door care, you can extend its duration by a few years.
Moreover, the best chance for the garage door opener to work all the time of use properly is to provide a professional inspection at least once a year. What a technician needs to do is a visual checking of the springs, rollers, cables, and the opener.
If necessary, you can call service to additionally lubricates moving parts and perform door balance and reversal test, as well. Plus, as the years go by, you should pay extra attention to the unusual functioning of the garage door, the weird sounds, and vibrations it starts producing.
Signs of Malfunctioned Opener
In most cases, the garage door opener will show a few warning signs before it stops working entirely. So, you should disconnect it and switch to manual control as soon as you notice something unusual with the door.
On the other hand, the garage door opener regulates how far and with what force the door closes. Although repairing the opener is sometimes possible, most manufacturers suggest replacing the malfunctioned device with a new one. Some of the indicators that the garage door opener doesn’t work well are:
1. Unusual noise
As the years go by, the engine loses power, and it becomes increasingly difficult to lift the door. If you suddenly hear a creaking, clanging, or squeaking while opening your garage door, you should definitely call someone to check it out.
2. The door’s slow movements
It is not safe when the door opens and closes too quickly since it can cause injuries or damages. After using your garage for a long time, you can soon notice if the process takes longer than usual.
So, if you press the remote button and need to wait for a few minutes for the door to open or close, you will know that the opener doesn’t work correctly.
As it stops working correctly, the engine in the opener begins to vibrate. At first, this is almost imperceptible, but the engine may loosen gradually. Don’t forget that your old opener has armatures that you also need to replace.
The vibrations may even cause the garage door opener to free itself from mounting in the wall and end up on the roof of your car. Before that happens, you should avoid any damage by replacing the opener with a new and safer one.
4. The door can’t open
There are many potential reasons why this happens. However, if you hear a humming noise and the engine tries unsuccessfully to open the door, the problem is in the opener. In most cases, it doesn’t have enough power to move the garage door. Therefore, it is time to replace it.
When it takes ten minutes for your garage door to start opening or closing, even though you use it as always, the opener likely overheats. Once the door begins working properly only from time to time, it is a moment to replace it.
If you notice that the door is unbalanced or challenging to open, then the problem is in the springs or door tracks rather than in the opener. In that case, the door usually opens halfway since the damaged springs can’t lift it.
Reasons for The Garage Door Opener Replacement
Even if the garage door works properly at first glance, there are reasons to consider replacing the opener. One of the most significant causes is the year of its production.
Remember that there is a label on the opener with the date of its installation. This piece of paper always contains useful information about that particular model and manufacturer that you can use to know when it is the time for inspection and repair.
You probably don’t have information about the garage door opener installation if you have bought a house with a garage and have not changed it since. However, if more than 15 years have passed without the garage door opener being changed, it is time to call a professional.
This precaution can be beneficial since checking the door functionality and safety can save you from possible injuries and your property from damage.
Don’t overlook the safety features that the newer models of the garage opener provide. It primarily includes photo-eyes and sensors to security checks like PIN code or an app you control from your smartphone. In other words, the modern garage systems provide benefits that mechanisms installed 15 years ago can’t.
Also, older models of garage doors are not safe because they are easy to break. Traditional opening mechanisms have only a few codes that an experienced burglar can break for a few minutes. Nowadays, the garage door-related app sends you a notification as soon as the door opens.
There is one more common reason for a homeowner to decide to replace the garage opener. It is the noise that increases over time. Older garage door opener models creak and are very laud, which is especially true for the chain drive openers. With a new model, you can avoid this annoyance.
Simply said, replacing the old garage door opener can make your life easier. Most of them depend on the power supply, but when an electric outage occurs, you will have a problem. Nowadays, there is almost no garage door opener on the market without a backup battery.
You will also have a big problem if the company from which you acquired the garage opener no longer exists. The warranty becomes invalid even though it is not expired. Moreover, you will have trouble getting the necessary parts when you need to repair something on your old garage door.
That also means there is no longer an authorized service for your garage door model. The best solution is to replace the garage opener with a newer model of a reliable company that has been on the market for a long time.
If you have an old and faulty garage door opener, it interferes with the daily opening and closing of your garage doors. Also, it can be noisy and potentially dangerous.
Although the warranty usually covers only three to five years, the garage door opener can last up to 15 years if you repair and maintain it regularly. However, you should consider buying the new one since technologically advanced openers provide excellent safety features and make less noise.