When an overhead door in a residential setting is operated by an opener, the springs normally do most of the heavy lifting. This leaves the electrical opener to focus on directing the opening and closing movement. When an opener functions correctly, it only needs to exert very little effort. For the door to open and close in a harmonious and correct (and safe) way, both the springs and the opener have to balance and work together. This is why the height, condition, & weight of the door and its hardware, as well as the condition and pull of the springs, are important when considering an opener. Normally for the residential consumer, an opener only needs to have 1/2 horsepower capacity. In some instances, they do go up to 3/4, but in most residential applications, it is not necessary.

Other bells and whistles to consider on door openers are keypads, vehicle remote transmitters, lighting, and noise level. Generally, openers come with a single transmitter and wall mounted button. Additional remote transmitters and keypads are available for most models. Also, opener models will have a single light bulb that can be controlled by the wall button. Some models have double lights, and even LEDs, which are brighter, last longer, and do not use as much power. The type of opener – chain or belt driven – will have an impact on the noise level in the garage, if that is a concern in a residence. Also, if you want to get modern and technical, some operators are designed to work with an app on your smart phone, or in conjunction with your home security system. However, these high-tech openers can cost significantly more than your average opener, both for the original purchase and in the event of any repairs.

Safety is of the utmost concern when considering the installation and use of a door opener. The opener is a piece of machinery designed to open and close a door weighing hundreds of pounds, and it should never be a safety issue for your family or property at all. If your opener was installed before 1993 and it breaks, it needs to be replaced instead of repaired due to the current safety requirements. In addition, if an operator is older than 15 years, there are many life-limited parts that begin to fail in succession. Leo’s Overhead Doors does not repair these older operators because we can not warranty their continued safe operation. In our experience, at a certain point, the client is better served with the investment of a new operator with a warranty. Put another way, when we buy a car for 70 times the price of a new operator, do we expect that machine to be at optimum performance in 15 years, often after no routine maintenance has been performed on it?  Also, an opener should be equipped with current correctly functioning safety devices such as photo eyes or safety edges that ensure its safe operation. Only our trained technicians are qualified to install safety devices. To keep our clients and their families safe, we ensure that our technicians are highly trained, and our company maintains the highest standards to be industry certified.

Leo’s Overhead Doors offers several openers to fit our clients’ varying needs. For residential installations, we normally offer Linear’s line of openers, although if a certain client has a preference, we will be more than happy to order the opener that fits the need. We find that the Linear openers are very well suited to most residential applications, and our technicians can normally do those installations in under 2 hours, which allows for more flexibility in scheduling. Liftmaster also has a line of residential openers that we can offer to our clients as well. Leo’s often recommends them when a 3/4 horsepower with a heavy-duty I beam rail is required.

Leo’s Overhead Doors is also looking into offering the line of Sommer USA openers. Sommer’s line includes revolutionary new openers that are virtually noiseless and extremely durable, for use in residential applications where noise control is of utmost importance. These are at a slightly higher price point than either Linear and Liftmaster openers, but the higher cost buys you its German manufacturing and unrivaled quiet operation.

In addition, for commercial installations, we prefer NSW Lynx, which offers a line of rugged commercial grade openers labeled ‘Made in The USA’ that can handle the more robust needs of most commercial clients. Commercial or industrial facilities can have any number of over-sized (and extremely heavy) doors, weighing thousands of pounds each, to accommodate tractor trailers, dump trucks, and other fleet vehicles. These doors may need to be operated all throughout the day and night, and in situations like these, the openers can take some major levels of use. These openers must be in tip-top shape, of the right size and capacity, equipped with the correct safety devices and lights, and well lubricated and maintained. Contact Leo’s Overhead Doors for more information at 518-274-4455.