We have been working on garage doors and garage door openers for a long time here at Prestige Door. Sometimes we have to have a chuckle because we feel like we have seen it all. But nothing has been so pivotal in changing the industry as has the advent of the DC powered garage door opener. And this isn’t a change that came long, long ago. No, it has been in the past 10 to 15 years that the dominance of AC power in garage door openers has come to an end.
Both AC and DC motors are specifically designed to do the same thing, which is to transform electrical energy into motion. Both get the job done in different ways. AC, which stands for Alternating Current, are very durable and for the most part require little maintenance over their lifetimes. Yet, even though they have been around for a long time and pass the durability tests, AC motors are losing their perch as the garage door opener dominator over the years.
A More Sustainable Choice
The reason for this is Direct Current (DC) Direct Current variants. What makes DC garage door motors so much better? First, DC powered garage door openers use less energy than their AC counterparts. We live in an era where energy conservation is paramount. Being able to burnish one’s sustainability credentials is important in today’s marketplace. Switching to different power sources contributes to that goal.
DC garage door openers also have mechanical advantages. While AC motors are very durable and long-lasting, they are not very flexible or versatile. DC motors can vary the speeds they operate at throughout the opening and closing process. As a result, DC motors are gentler on your garage door’s components, which in turn ensures your garage door and its components will last longer.
You can also expect DC motors to operate quieter than AC variants. A lot of this can be traced to how much less power they use. They run quieter and sip energy. In fact, some models are virtually undetectable from inside the house when they are in motion.
Full Backups and Constant Monitoring
There are many reasons to make sure you invest in a DC-powered garage door opener. Among them includes full duration monitoring. When the garage door opener is under constant monitoring, the gears can shift motion quickly if anything obstructs or otherwise impedes the action of the motor. While AC motors do have the capability to reverse quickly, DC motors do it quicker and smoother.
Many modern garage door openers also come with battery backup capability. Unfortunately, AC-powered garage door openers simply use too much power to operate, so the battery would have to be too large to operate it. DC openers running on battery power can be expected to run through anywhere from 20 to 20 open/close cycles before running our of power.
In the beginning, DC openers were prohibitively expensive, though that is changing. As OEMs begin to manufacture with the future in mind, prices have been dropping on these ubiquitous devices. And now, modern technology is making them more useful than ever before.
The Garage Door Opener, Reinvented
We live in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT). The internet is everywhere, so it should not be a surprise that the garage door opener would not be immune from a new paradigm in garage door technology. Once engineers began to look at how they could bring the garage door opener “online,” the possibilities are endless. Smaller, less energy-intensive DC garage door openers provide the best method for incorporating advanced technologies.
Since DC motors are smaller, the space savings can be used to place other components that make the opener more useful. Just imagine the amount of high tech wizardry that can now be stuffed into your opener. Some features you can count on in a modern garage door opener include:
- Internet Gateways: Did you ever imagine your garage door opener would have its own Wi-Fi signal? With remote operation, you can control your garage from the palm of your hand, from just about anywhere in the world.
- Monitoring Systems: Not only can you control your garage door from the palm of your hand, you can monitor it there as well. Are you concerned you might have left it open? Simply open the necessary app and check on it yourself!
- Automatic Features: You can also count on auto-close mechanisms in new DC-powered garage door openers. They will make sure the door closes on its own after a set period of time.
- Smartphone Control: As they say, there’s an app for that, and the same is true for your garage door opener. Find peace of mind by monitoring your garage from your phone and receive email notifications whenever it opens or closes.
There is simply so much you can do with a modern, DC-powered garage door opener. You can even integrate them with your home security system. What’s not to like about that? You should never have to ask yourself if your garage door is secure.
Whether you live in Akron, Canton, or Cuyahoga Falls, it is highly likely a garage door is part of your life, and the opener should not be taken for granted. Join us next time in Part II of our series when we take an even deeper dive into what to look for when you are purchasing a new garage door opener.