An automatic garage door opener is a convenience that most people who have a garage on their property don't want to go without. Unfortunately, one that's gone past its prime can be almost as much of a hassle as getting out of your car to do the job manually (during a Pennsylvania winter, that's a pretty big hassle, indeed). If your Pittsburgh garage door opener is not functioning properly, or if it doesn't work at all, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a replacement or installing one for the first time.
Garage Door Safety Issues
To begin, if your opener was installed prior to 1982, there's a chance that you should replace it for safety reasons. In 1993, a new law was put into effect after several accidents were reported involving garage doors and young children. This law requires any new garage door system to contain one or more of the following features: an electric eye sensor, a door edge sensor, or a button that must be depressed the entire time a door is closing. A modern garage door will have one or more of these safety features and will reverse when it comes into contact with something or senses an obstruction while it is closing.
Types of Garage Door Openers in Pittsburgh
In general, there are only three basic types of automatic garage door openers; the one you choose will depend on the type of door you have and what you expect from you opener's performance. A chain driven opener is suitable for almost all situations and will be very dependable. Screw driven openers are a bit slower than others, but are preferred for doors that tilt up rather than roll on a track. Belt driven models are the quietest variety.
Each kind of opener can be purchased with different sized motors. The most common motors for an average sized single door is 1/4 horsepower. If your opener will need to lift a double door or a particularly large or heavy single door, a 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower motor is probably a good choice. Doors that are taller than 7 feet often require an extension kit to perform properly.
Having trouble with the garage? Use this link to fix yourGarage Door
Before you Install
Prior to installing a new garage door opener, Pittsburgh residents should make sure that the door itself operates well manually. Taking the time to clean the door off regularly will not only make it look better, but can also remove dirt and grit that can get into the unit's moving parts and create friction. You should also examine rollers, tracks, and other moving parts to see how smoothly they are functioning and use oil or an aerosol lubricant where necessary (though, if your door uses nylon rollers instead of metal ones, lubricating them is not recommended).
Warping or bowing in wooden doors is not uncommon in a place as moist as Pittsburgh, and it can seriously reduce a door's functionality. For metal doors, large dents can have a similar effect. If you can't get your door to run smoothly enough that a ten-year old can lift it, your problems might be more than surface deep, and a professional should be consulted.
Prices of Pittsburgh Garage Door Openers
To purchase and install a new garage door opener, Pittsburgh residents should expect a price tag in the area of $400 (though in more complicated cases, jobs can cost as much as $800). Repairing an opener starts at around $50 and can go as high as $500. To replace an existing garage door, prices range from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the size of the job.