How Long Do Garage Door Openers Last? This is When to Replace One


An astonishing 1,500 times – that’s how many times the average garage door in US homes close and open each year. What you need to know in if you need to replace garage door opener.

If your household owns more than one car though, then you’re likely using your garage door opener more. Such is the case in Oregon homes, which on average, own at least two vehicles per household.

The more you use this motorized part of your garage door, the shorter its lifespan will be.

The big question now is, how long do garage door openers last anyway? What are the symptoms of a failing garage door opener?

We’ll answer all these questions in this guide, so be sure to read on to learn when to replace your garage door opener!

How Long Do Garage Door Openers Last on Average?

On average, automated garage doors openers can last from 10 up to 15 years. This considerable gap has to do with how often you use your opener. Garage doors themselves, on the other hand, can last from two to two and a half decades.

Old Age: The Top Reason To Get Your Garage Door Opener Replaced

A reversing system has been a requirement for all garage door openers made in the US since January 1, 1991. The need for an entrapment protection system was then added to the Improvement Act in 1993.

These systems are a safety part of garage door openers as they help keep crushing accidents at bay. These events are quite common, having landed 2,000 people in the US in hospital ERs each year, from 1990 to 2000. All in all, accidents caused by faulty garage doors still cause about 30,000 injuries each year.

By law, this part of the opener should have a two-second obstruction response feature. Meaning, it should make the door reverse two seconds after it senses an obstruction.

Old age, however, can blunt its sensors, while repeated use can scratch its photo eye component. In such cases, the reversing system will no longer be able to detect obstructions. It may still reverse in some cases, but it may take a longer time to respond.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to ring up your local garage door experts. Especially if you’ve never replaced your garage door opener ever. All those years of service may have already worn out your unit’s safety features.

Broken Springs

Your garage door opener has two torsion springs that guide the door as it opens and closes. The extension springs, on the other hand, bring your door up and down its tracks. These springs have a limited number of cycles wherein you can use them to safely open or close your garage door.

Once these parts have reached their maximum cycle, you need to get them replaced ASAP. This is a task best left in the hands of garage door service professionals.

Otherwise, the springs may snap. Keep in mind that these pack a lot of force, which can send them ricocheting and causing serious injuries.

If you only have broken springs, then you can simply have them changed. However, if your entire system is old, it may be better to get the whole thing replaced. The last thing you want is for a family member or a pet to fall victim to a collapsing garage door.

Excessively Loud Operation

Older garage door openers run on chain drives, which are chains that look much like those on bicycles. They pull the trolley (where the actual door connects to) back and forth the tracks.

As powerful as these roller chains are, they are traditionally loud. Couple that with old age and corrosion, and their noise can reach explosive heights.

If you have a chain-driven unit, consider upgrading to a quieter opener. Your more modern options include belt-driven and screw-driver-operated garage door openers. A belt-driven opener is the smoothest, most quiet operator of all your choices.

Old Garage Door Openers are a Security Risk

Oregon remains one of the safer states in the entire nation, but crime still happens here. In 2018, the Beaver State saw a total of 121,278 cases of property crimes. Larceny-theft was the most common, but there were also 16,556 cases of vehicle thefts in the state that year.

Keep in mind that many criminals are opportunists, while others are more organized. If the former sees even a small crack in your garage door, they can jack it up and use it as a chance to get access to your home. Whereas the latter may use a special decoding device to crack the code in your older garage door opener.

Either way, an older or problematic garage door opener can make your home a bigger crime target. You want to avoid being part of Oregon’s crime statistics, so it’s best to change your outdated opener.

One of the perks of modern garage door openers is their “rolling code” technology. This prompts them to change the code after every time you operate the garage door opener. As such, criminals will have a harder time cracking the new code.

Don’t Put Off Garage Door Repairs or Replacement

There you have it, all the possible answers to your question, “how long do garage door openers last?” Now that you know their average lifespan and that they can fail early, you can determine if yours is on its last legs. If you’ve noticed any of the signs discussed above, it’s best to get it replaced ASAP for your family’s safety.

Still unsure whether to repair or replace your malfunctioning garage door opener? Then please know that we here at Garage Harmony can help! Get in touch with us now so we can help you get all your garage door woes corrected before they cause serious damage.