Garages are a favorite and vital, though often under-appreciated, part of your home. These appendages help protect vehicles and stored items. Some garages are a part of a house while some garages are a separate building. One of the essential elements of a garage is its door. Having a well-made, sturdy garage door is very important. When deciding what door to install on a garage, a homeowner may find it helpful to consider a few factors. One of the money-saving considerations for a homeowner to scrutinize is the horsepower (HP) of the garage door opener.
Types of Garage Door Openers
Garage door openers are available in a variety of forms. Standard door openers have motors that move a part of the door opener, and that part pulls or cranks the door so it opens and closes.
Some door openers use a metal chain to help move the garage door, and others use a belt instead of a chain. A garage door opener that uses a belt may make less noise than an opener that uses a chain. Another type of opener uses a steel rod that rotates to move the garage door, while other openers operate by having the motor move, which drives the garage door. The type of opener, plus the weight and material of the door will often determine which HP engine to use.
Door OpenerHP Hints
When choosing the HP for a garage door opener, it may be beneficial to consider the size of the garage door. Some garage doors are made to accommodate single-car garages, and some are made for double-car garages.
For single car garages, a 1/3 HP garage door opener could be enough if the garage door is not very heavy. Although a 1/3 HP door opener will work just fine, even with a heavier door, for a few years, it is wiser to pay a little more and install a 1/2 HP motor that will stand the test of time.
The1/2 HP motor is the most popular option and can open and close garage doors for many single and double (hollow core) doors. The 1/2 HP is the standard motor installed with most new construction. However, most new construction projects use cheaper hollow-core doors to save money. A garage door for a single-car garage may require less HP if it is not solid wood or insulated. For garage doors that are very heavy, a homeowner should consider installing a door opener with a 3/4 HP motor.
If a homeowner has a two-car garage, they may want to consider installing a garage door with 3/4 HP to smoothly open and close solid wood, well-insulated and double doors. A garage door opener with 3/4 HP is durable and should be able to handle opening and closing very large, wooden garage doors for 15-20 years when properly maintained.
The Bottom Line
Your garage door is the most prominent feature of the front of your home. An attractive,well-maintained garage door offers curb appeal and adds value to the home. Using a strong, durable opener with the appropriate HP will keep it operational for many years.