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Selection Tips for Garage Door Openers

Almost all openers contain microchips and as such they are susceptible to malfunctions caused by power surges. If your opener suddenly malfunctions, it could have been a surge. Keep that in mind. The following garage door opener selection tips are courtesy of the Genie Company. They make swell openers. I know, as I have two 15-year-old models that work just great each and every day.

Drive System

Screw Drive is probably the most popular and reliable. Since it is direct drive, there are fewer moving parts. It is also quieter and smoother.

Chain Drive openers are still available. The old ones had exposed chains and were sometimes guilty of popping off the sprockets. Newer designs have eliminated this problem.


Pay attention here. Some openers come with a full lifetime warranty. In fact, some openers come with an In-Home Service clause where the manufacturer sends out a service person to your home! That is ideal.

Door Opening Speed

The common openers open and close at a rate of about 6 to 7 inches per second. If you are a type A personality, then consider getting a model that opens and closes twice as fast. Genie happens to have one that moves at 14 inches per second.

Safety Beam

Federal law mandates that openers be equipped with this device. There are optical sensors that are mounted on the door track that sense when someone walks across the path. Do NOT deviate from the directions with respect to the placement of these sensors!

Contact Reversing System

This is very important. My kids constantly park their bikes in the garage door path. Without this feature, they would be ruined. Be sure to check the adjustment of this feature regularly. If it loses sensitivity, a loved one or pet could be crushed by the door!

Timed Reversing System

Some openers will open the door if the door does not completely shut within 30 seconds. This is a great feature in case you forget to check the sensitivity I just mentioned!

Manual Emergency Release

This is a chord with a handle that detaches the door from the opening system. It allows you to operate the door by hand in case of a power outage, or if the safety features fail and something is trapped under the door.

Transmitter Security Codes

Make sure that the opener is equipped with a remote control that has rolling code technology. This offers the highest degree of security.

Multi Button Transmitters

This allows you to operate multiple garage doors with one transmitter.

Wireless Keypad

This accessory mounts outside the house and allows a person to operate the door if they know the numerical security code. These are great.

Hi-Tech Indoor Wall Control

Get an opener that allows you to turn the opener light on and off separately and one that has a vacation lock switch. These are handy features!

Easy Installation

Some openers are not user friendly. Look at the box and see if you can understand the instructions.

Onboard Diagnostics

Some openers come with sophisticated LED lights that communicate to you. They will tell you what is wrong with the opener. What a cool feature!

Power Cord

Most units come with a short electric cord for safety reasons. Don't be upset when you see the short pigtail chord. Do not use an extension chord to power your unit! Always extend a proper electric outlet to the opener.

Garage Ceiling Headroom

Pay attention to models that are engineered to fit in tight spaces. Not all openers will work in all conditions. Don't buy the wrong one or alter one to fit your space.


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