The best time to replace a garage door opener is before it stops working. Keeping track of how old your opener is, as well as symptoms of potential functionality issues with your opener, can help you figure out when your opener is coming to the end of its lifespan and requires replacement.
You Recently Replaced Your Garage Doors
Garage doors are made of all kinds of materials, from wood to steel to fiberglass to aluminum. Each material has a different weight to it, which in turn affects how much weight your garage door opener has to move when your door opens or closes.
Garage door openers are not all the same; there are different models designed to move larger and heavier doors, as well as ones for smaller and lighter doors. If you have recently replaced your garage door and decided to use a different type of door, the opener you're currently using may no longer be adequate, especially if the opener is already old.
Since much of a garage door's weight is carried by the springs, your opener may still be able to open and close the door, but with greater difficulty. If you aren't sure, ask a garage door specialist to inspect your opener and see if it needs to be replaced to work well with your new doors.
Garage Doors Move Erratically and Make Loud Noises
If your doors make a lot of noise when they move, and if they seem to shake and jerk around as they move rather than gliding smoothly, this can point to a few different problems. One common issue is that the tracks need realignment or that rollers need to be lubricated. Another could be spring failure.
However, if everything else looks good, the garage door opener could be the culprit. One possible problem is that the gear inside the opener that controls the chain has worn down and occasionally loses its grip on the chain. It could also point to a failing motor or even a failing logic board.
Either way, doors that start to move and make sounds like this point to a problem that could potentially be dangerous; if a door slips, it could cause injury and damage. If the rest of your opener's components seem fine, it may be time to have your current opener itself replaced.
Opener Only Works Intermittently
If your opener starts working intermittently, and you can safely rule out an issue with your remote and potential power-related problems, your garage door opener could be failing. Intermittent functionality typically points to something like a logic board problem rather than a parts problem, especially if it opens and closes your door just fine when it does work.
Depending on the extent of the problem, and the age of your garage door opener, it may be worth it to simply have the entire opener replaced rather than replacing individual aging parts. In addition, if the problem could have been caused by something like an electrical issue, you may want to have the circuit on which the garage door opener runs inspected for issues.
Contact a supplier of residential garage door openers to learn more.