If your garage door opener is old enough to remember the Ed Sullivan Show, then it's probably the time to think very seriously about getting an update.
We’ve put together five reasons why this is the safest course of action. It all comes down to making sure your garage door system is safe, as well as being able to take advantage of new technologies that will simplify your life.
Improve your safety with a new garage door opener
If you have an attached garage, you likely use the garage as the main entry point for your home. If you use your attached garage to park a car, to have a workshop, or to access lawn and garden accessories, you are definitely making use out of this living space. That doesn’t even count kids coming and going from school.
Taking all of that into consideration, it's evident that the garage door opener is very safe and not liable to hit or injure anyone. Did you know that before 1993 door openers had only one automatic reversal system, the one we call "mechanical"? This system meant that if the door touched something on the way down, it would reverse right away.
There were many accidents involving children across the U.S. and Canada due to negligence with this system. That is why authorities added a second safety system, this one using photo eyes. This system consists of 2 units placed on each side of the door, about 4 to 6 in. (10 to 15 cm) from the ground with one sending a beam of light to the other. If anything runs under the garage door and breaks that beam, the door reverses.
If your garage door is older than a decade, there is a very good chance it lacks that second safety system – and that could be dangerous.
Keep your home safe from intruders
Did you know that the signal of a garage door opener can be "hacked" by others with a handheld remote programmed using DIP switches set in either a +, 0, or ‑ position? This is how many criminals get into homes to burglarize them.
However, since 1993, most door openers have used the much more advanced technology of rolling codes. This means that each time you press on the remote, an entirely new code is generated for the subsequent use. In 1993, Chamberlain Group (including the brands Chamberlain, LiftMaster, and Craftsman) started equipping its remotes with the Security+ system which allowed for many millions of codes. This was followed by its Security+ 2.0 system in 1996 offering more than 1 billion possible codes.
Now we have connected homes
These days, we’ve even gone beyond the remote, and now we have smartphones, tablets or laptops to open and close our garage doors from anywhere. Chamberlain Group (LiftMaster and Craftsman) have offered the technology MyQ since 2013.
And since August 2017, new garage door openers have come with Wi‑Fi technology, meaning you can use your voice to open and close the garage door. This all makes a garage door safer against intruders.
Reduce noisy garage door openers
If your garage door is older, then it likely uses chain belts to raise and lower the door. This can be very noisy. Today, there are door openers that use rubber belts (reinforced with metal fibers similar to the way car tires are made) that are proven to be much quieter.
If you want to make the door even quieter, there are nylon rollers that you can use to replace the chain. In addition, there is even a vibration isolator system which uses rubber placed between the opener motor and the metal brackets holding it to the ceiling to further quiet operation.
Avoid getting locked out in a power outage
Many models of new garage door openers come with a backup battery in the event of a power outage, specifically the models 8500, 8500W, 8550W and 8360W from LiftMaster. In the event of a prolonged outage, you are able to use your door opener 20 or so times. That could come in handy!