Garage Doors 101

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Garage Doors 101

Welcome to part 1 of 2 of the Garage Door and Openers 101 Master class! This post and the next will give you the knowledge for when you decide to take the next step in getting a new garage door. Lets get started! 

Garage doors may seem simple to operate and control; however, there are some things that you may not know. Garage doors aren’t an item that you buy all that often, so for those of us who only need to buy a garage door once or twice in our life, what are we supposed to look for? 

Fast Facts

Did you know that almost all the garage doors sold in the U.S. are sectional and overhead doors? Overhead doors are those that retract up along the garage's ceiling. A sectional door typically means that they are made up of four sections that average a height between 18 and 24 inches.

On average, a residential garage door is between 6 and 8 feet tall and between 4 feet and 18 feet wide, depending on the function of the garage.

When designing or choosing your garage door, you'll wan to think about insulation. If you do decide to have an insulated garage, which is often recommended, it will most likely be insulated with polyurethane or polystyrene. The R factor for the insulation ranges between R-6 and R-18.  If you are wondering what an R factor is, you are not alone. The R Factor stands for thermal resistance, or by definition, "the quantity determined by the temperature difference, at a steady state, between two defined surfaces of a materials or construction that induces a unit heat flow through a unit area". All in all, the higher the R Factor, the better the insulation.

The most common material for the exterior of a door is steel; other materials include wood, PVC, fiberglass and many more.

The Anatomy of an Operator

There are a lot of little parts working together to make sure that your door will open and close as it should.

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    1. First is the motor and gears, the motor is typically about ½-hp or horsepower and 6-amp or ampere machine which is a unit of electric current equal to the flow of on coulomb per second. This 6-amp machine is hooked to a 120-volt outlet. This is what it takes to move a stopped door, and it also slows down the door during movement so that it doesn’t crash to the floor.
    2. Next we have the drive guide, which is a track or T-rail that guides and shields that chain, screw or belt as it moves the door from open to close.
    3. Our next part of the operator is height adjustment, which are settings that determine the distance the door will travel.
    4. And lastly is the invertor and battery. To allow smaller, more efficient motors, most garage-door operators use DC current. Which is the unidirectional flow of electric charge, so a battery.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Master Class about Openers!

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