If you live in an area that is prone to have power outages, then you will definitely want to invest in a garage door opener that has a backup battery. There are several reasons why it is necessary, which we have outlined below.
The importance of a backup battery
As of July 1, 2019, the state of California began requiring any newly sold or installed garage door openers to have a backup battery when they are being used in a residential property. The governor signed the bill into law, and now all of the builders must comply.
The reason this became a hot topic requiring legislation was due to the many unfortunate deaths that occurred in some of the recent forest and brushfires plaguing he state. Some of these people were unable to open their garage doors and escape their homes because the electric garage door openers trapped them due to the loss of power to the home.
While this may not seem like a necessary function for those homeowners that do not live in California, there is no guarantee with the state of Climate Change and the increase in droughts around the country. The combination of high winds, dry vegetation, and reduced rainfall can make forest fires spring up in places not usually prone to them.
It is also very important to add a battery backup to garage door openers that provide the only entrance or exit to the garage from the outside. A house fire could trap a person inside the garage, and if the garage door is the only way in or out, it is imperative that it be working at all times.
If you are in the market for a new garage door opener, you may soon find that all the options will have battery backups sooner rather than later. California has a huge population, and it may end up being more cost-effective to the large manufacturers of garage door opener like LiftMaster and Chamberlain to go ahead and make all of their openers compliant than to simply make a particular set for California sales.
Keep your garage door balanced
The job of an electric garage door opener is to replace the work that you would need to do in order to manually open the door. An average metal garage door weighs around 125 lb. / 57 kg. If it is a double door, then it likely weighs about 250 lb. / 114 kg. For those of you that have solid wood doors or other types of fancy hardware, the weight could be much higher.
Your spring system counterbalances that weight and makes it feel like 8-10 pounds. This generally means you can lift it with just one hand without much strain. If your door is not balanced, ease of lifting will not be the case.
If you want to know if your door is properly balanced, you can do this simple test.
- Pull the emergency release handle and disengage the garage door opener.
- Slowly lift the door using the lift handle which should be located on the lower half of the door.
- The door should lift easily if it is properly balanced.
- If it does not lift easily, it is time to contact us for a bit of repair work.
- Repeat this process every two to three months to ensure that your door continues to stay balanced and easy to use.
The rechargeable battery
You can expect your battery backup to work similarly to any other type of rechargeable battery. The location of the battery may be slightly different depending on which model of Chamberlain or LiftMaster door opener you have purchased. In most cases, the batter will have enough charge for you to get the door open around 20 times before it goes dead. Charging a completely depleted battery should take about 4.5 hours. One thing to note: the photo eye reversal system will also be fully operational while using the battery backup as well.
Those of you that have newer models of Chamberlain or LiftMaster garage door openers, you may notice the logo that indicates there is a battery backup. Good news! You are already good to go. You either already have the battery backup or you have the capacity to install one.
In order to install a battery backup, your electric garage door opener must run on DC current as opposed to AC current.
In addition to having an easy to install a backup battery, these new models of garage door openers also come the with latest in garage technology: MyQ. You will have a smartphone-compatible door that can be controlled via an app, your laptop, or even your tablet. It can also be integrated into your smart home system.
Ready to learn more
If you are anywhere near Lindsay, contact us right now at 1-800-780-3883. We know garage door openers, and we are here to help you choose the most suitable device while taking into account your needs and your budget.