When it’s time to choose an opener for the garage door, the decision is not easy. And the question is always the same: which opener is the best for your garage door? Viewed from a slightly different angle, this question could be modified to: which opener for which garage door? You see there are light, medium, and heavy-duty openers on the market. But you wouldn’t choose based only on whether you want an opener for light, medium, or heavy-duty tasks. Although the typical daily cycles of the garage door matter to the selection of the opener, they are not the only factors that shape your decision. Here we are going to see when it’s important to get a heavy-duty garage door opener.

Heavy garage door? Get a heavy-duty garage door opener

OpenerAll electric garage door openers are built to last for a rather long time, but some are more durable than others. Your decision to get a heavy-duty opener depends on the garage door. Let’s see why.

Even lightweight aluminum garage doors are heavy. Of course, wood garage doors are heavier. But then the weight of the garage door is determined by many factors – the size, the thickness, the material, etc. As you most likely suspect, double garage doors are much heavier than their single counterparts.

So, does the size and weight of the garage door influence your decision about the opener? Yes & no.

The paradox here is that the weight of the garage door is balanced. And that’s done by the garage door springs. The opener is not burdened with the garage door weight; the springs & cables take care of that. That’s why, any problem with such parts will strain the opener. For example, if the springs and the cables snap, they won’t hold the weight of the door and the opener will be strained. To get back to our subject, the weight of the garage door is still a major consideration before you select an opener. Let us examine why.

openerStandard AC openers for standard size residential garage doors have ½ horsepower motors. Anything heavier than a standard size may require a higher garage door motor horsepower. The springs and cables might balance the weight of the garage door, but the motor must have the power to move it automatically. That’s why, if you check the opener brands, they offer products with ½ hp, ¾ hp, 1 hp, and 1 ¼ hp.

Do you use the garage door often? You still need a heavy-duty opener

How often do you use the garage door? If you use it frequently, you also need a heavy-duty opener. The weight is not the only consideration; the number of garage door cycles matters too. So, if you come and go many times a day, there are many drivers in your family, or the garage door is the main entrance of your home, it’s best to get a heavy-duty opener.  

Choose the right AC or DC garage door opener replacement

Now, if you opt for a garage door opener replacement, the question is which horsepower to get! The secret to choosing an opener with no regrets in the near future is to take several things into consideration. For example, are you planning to have the garage door insulated? If so, it will become a bit heavier. Are the garage door cables and springs in good condition? If not, their inability to balance the garage door properly for the long run might strain the opener. Of course, in such situations it’s important to have the frayed cables and loose springs replaced than investing in a heavy-duty opener.

Modern garage door openers run either with AC or DC motors. When it comes to AC openers, it’s easy to choose. You choose a ¾ or 1 horsepower opener to make sure the motor is strong enough to handle the automatic operation of the heavy garage door. The difficulty lies when you want to get a DC motorized opener. With such advanced openers, you don’t clearly see the horsepower but you must ask for a motor equivalent to the ¾ or 1 ¼ hp you want. With DC openers, you usually see a sign like HPS (horsepower similar) or HPc (horsepower comparable) to the AC horsepower equivalent.

So, before you decide on whether or not you need a heavy-duty opener, check the garage door and take into account any possible improvements you may want to do in the near future.