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How to select the right amount of horsepower for your garage door opener

Garage One - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Shopping for a new garage door opener? If so, in addition to selecting the type you want (chain drive, belt drive, screw drive or direct drive), one of the choices you’ll need to make is in regards to horsepower. You have options, both in terms of cost and amount of power (the heavier-duty openers come in at a higher price point). So how do you determine how much horsepower you need? It starts by knowing what’s available.

Garage_One_Garage_Doors: inside of an empty garage with a garage door opener

Categories of garage door opener by horsepower output

Most commonly, the garage door openers you can buy come in at one of three output levels:

  • 1/3-hp — Generally only used for single garage doors that aren’t too heavy. Your most affordable option.
  • 1/2-hp — The most commonly selected horsepower rating. Compatible with both single and double garage doors.
  • 3/4-hp — Typically only used for oversized or heavy garage doors. The priciest choice but also the most durable.

How much horsepower is enough?

In theory, 1/3-hp should be enough to open any garage door but 1/2-hp is typically what we recommend to homeowners in Brampton, Hamilton, Vaughn and elsewhere in the GTA. To understand why, you need to know a bit about how these devices work.

All garage door openers are meant to work in lieu of human strength. This means that the majority of lifting power doesn’t actually come from the opener but rather from the counterbalance system of springs, pulleys, and cables that is attached to the door. A perfectly balanced door therefore can easily be lifted by a 1/3-hp opener.

However, problems arise when garage doors become unbalanced, an event that naturally occurs with use and as parts wear down. When this occurs, more power is required to open the same door. If your opener only produces an output of 1/3-hp, it will soon need to be replaced due to the added strain of the unbalanced door. An opener that has an output of 1/2-hp will be able to withstand the extra demand when it becomes necessary.

Installing your garage door opener

Garage One knows garage doors! We’ve provided our garage door repair and replacement services to over 50,000 homeowners and businesses in Brampton, Hamilton, Vaughn and many other parts of the GTA.  All our work is guaranteed and we’re open 24/7 to ensure that you’re never left stranded in an emergency. To get a free quote on garage door installation or any of our other services, contact us today.


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