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What Horsepower Does My Opener Need?

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Many people overlook the horsepower of their garage door openers. It's trivial, right? The springs do all the work so what does it matter? Well, it really depends on how often you're looking to replace your garage door opener. Sure you could put a 1/3 HP opener on a fully wooden double door, but be prepared to need a new opener every year (or sooner!).

See, the thing is, you want to make sure that you are pairing the right HP with the right type of garage door. In this post we are going to walk you through the various levels of power available for your garage door opener. Our hope is to educate you so that you can make the most educated decision when choosing your next garage door opener.

TL;DR
  • 1/3 HP: Used for lighter doors and is cheapest
  • 1/2 HP: Most common opener used for average weight
  • 3/4 HP: Used for heavier doors like wood
  • 1+ HP: Used for industrial and oversized doors

1/3 Horsepower

These low-power openers can really open any garage door as long as the door is well-balanced. Again, since springs on well-balanced doors do all the work, your opener is really only there to assist. If you're looking for the most inexpensive option to get the job done the 1/3 HP opener is your best bet. Like we said before, though, they'll wear out much quicker than more powerful openers. Be prepared to replace these openers once a year.

1/2 Horsepower

These openers are by far the most common. It can handle most doors easily, but will be trumped in efficiency by higher power garage openers. These openers are recommended to be used on doors of average weight and, as we've said before, will last much longer if you maintain proper balance of your doors. It's so important to minimize the amount of strain placed on your opener. That's what the springs are there for. These 1/2 HP openers are what you'll find in 90% of homes with aluminum or carriage doors.

3/4 Horsepower

Once you begin to get into much heavier doors you'll want to upgrade to a 3/4 HP opener. If you have or are thinking about insulating your door, you are going to want to look at picking up one of these more powerful openers. Wooden doors are also another common application for the 3/4 HP openers- especially during seasonal changes where the wood absorbs additional water weight.

1+ Horsepower

These bad boys are the end-all-be-all of garage door openers. They are gaining popularity because of their efficiency as well as their quietness. Even though these doors are commonly used for commercial and oversized garage doors, they are becoming more popular for residential use. For example, Ryobi recently came out with a multi-feature 2 HP opener, which is insane, but you can trust that you'll get every penny's worth out of it. This tier of garage opener power is for those that don't take their garage experience lightly.

There you have it! All of the confusion around garage door horsepower has been cleared up! If you are looking to upgrade your opener or need some help installing one you've purchased, feel free to give us a call and we'll be happy to help!

And of course, always remember, if you’re in need of a garage door repair or maintenance check, feel free to visit Allen Garage Door Service or give us a call at (972) 855-8199