For those that live in regions that is likely to have power blackouts, a garage door opener with a backup battery may be a smart move. There are numerous reasons why it is important which we have laid out below.
California makes battery backups mandatory
As of July 1, 2019, the state of California started requiring all newly sold and newly installed electric garage door openers to have a backup battery when they are placed in a residential household. Builders had to start complying the moment the governor signed the bill into law.
The purpose of this new law was due to the numerous unfortunate deaths that happened due to the recent forest and brushfires troubling the state. Some of the deaths happened because people were unable to open their garage doors and flee their houses because the electric garage door openers trapped them when the power went out.
People that do not live in California may find this feature unnecessary, but there isn’t a guarantee that climate change won’t increase the droughts around the country. This combination of high winds, dry vegetation, and reduced rainfall can make forest fires a common occurrence in states not usually prone to having them.
When a garage door doesn’t have another form of exit other than the garage door, a battery backup is important as well. A simple house fire could trap you or your family members in the garage with no way to escape. You need to be able to rely upon your garage door opener at all times and in all circumstances.
Those currently shopping for a garage door opener may find that most of the options created by the major manufacturers like LiftMaster and Chamberlain, which come with battery backup versions. This is because California is such a large state with a huge population, and it is easier to make all garage door openers compliant instead of having a specific line to serve California customers.
Garage door tips
The function of an electric garage door opener is to take care of the effort that you would need to expend in order to manually open the garage door. The ordinary metal garage door weighs around 125 lb. / 57 kg, and if it happens to be a double door, then it will weigh closer to 250 lb. / 114 kg. Solid wood doors, windows, and other types of fancy hardware can make the weight much heavier.
The spring system is the mechanism that counterbalances the weight of the door, and it makes the door feel like it only weighs 8 to 10 pounds. It makes it possible to open your garage door with just one hand, but if things are out of balance, it will be much heavier
This simple test will let you know if everything is balanced and working properly:
- Pull the emergency release handle to disengage the garage door opener.
- Slowly and carefully lift the door using the handle, which is located on the lower half of the door.
- If you can lift it easily, the door is properly balanced.
- A door that is hard to open needs some repair, it is time to contact us and have a technician take a look.
- Repeat this test every two to three months to make sure that your door stays balanced and easy to open.
Your backup battery
The backup battery that is installed in your electric garage door opener is a rechargeable battery that is very similar to ones you already have in various appliances and devices found in your home. Depending on the model of garage door opener that you have, Chamberlain or LiftMaster, the location of the battery may be slightly different.
In general, you will find that your battery can open and close the door up to 20 times on a single charge. It will also keep your photoeye reversal system operational. A completely dead battery will need nearly 5 hours to recharge.
Garage door opener models
If you recently purchased one of the newer models of Chamberlain or LiftMaster garage door openers, you may see a logo that designates there is a battery backup already installed. This is good news because it means you are already protected in the case of a power outage. You either already own an opener with a battery backup or you have the ability to install one in your opener.
One thing to note: an opener with a battery backup must run on DC current as opposed to AC current. Here are a few models to consider:
These openers have easy to install backup batteries, but they also come the with latest in garage door opener technology: MyQ. This is the “smart” garage door system that allows you to incorporate opening and closing your garage door with the rest of your smart home activities. You can control your door with your smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop.
Talk to the Experts
If you live in South Western Ontario, then you are in a perfect spot for visiting our showroom, and there is always the option of contacting us right now. We know all there is to know about garage door openers, and we are here to help you pick the one that is best for you!