How Long Does a Garage Door Opener Last?

Genie ProMax Garage Door Opener replacing the safety beam sensors

Affiliate Disclosure: We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

A garage door opener is a motorized device that activates and deactivates a garage door with a switch or the wall on a remote. The opener has different types and models that can be used for a garage depending on your choice, ranging from the old inexpensive to the new affordable model.

A garage door’s life span depends on a few factors that must be considered before purchasing. However, the average life span of a garage door opener is within  10 to  15  years, and can last longer than that if well maintained.

What Are The Factors To Consider Before Purchasing  A Garage Door Opener?

A garage door opener is not the equipment that can be bought, test run, and returned to the hardware store as it needs to be purchased and installed after you might have considered the following factors. These factors are also the main determinants of its longevity.

1. The Door Type

Not all doors can work with all openers, as there are different types. The material of your door will dictate the type of opener to use.

  •  A wooden garage door will make use of a belt drive opener type.
  •  A metal garage door will make use of a chain drive opener type
  • An aluminum garage door will use a chain driver opener system

2. Consider The Type of Opener

If you are planning to set up a garage door and need a garage door opener, go for any of the listed types depending on your choice and budget, as all openers are saddled with a common responsibility of making sure your door opens and closes promptly without issues.

Moreover, if you want to replace an opener, you need to be able to identify your garage door opener type, as this will save you the stress of buying the wrong one.

  • Chain Drive Garage Door Opener: This type of garage door opener is an old model but fully in circulation, as many garage owners still prefer it to other new models because of its reliability. Unlike other models, a chain-driven garage door has a longer life span as the opener does not break down easily. Besides, it is easy to identify as it operates through a chain that connects the part of the opening system.
  • Belt Drive Garage Door Opener: This type of garage door opener uses a belt instead of a chain used by a chain drive opener. Most homeowners have their garage door attached to the house and use it because of its quietness, unlike the noisy chain-driven garage door. A garage door driven by a belt opener is easy to maintain as the belt is made of a wide rubber which requires less maintenance. However, the cost of purchasing this opener is high due to its high efficiency with little maintenance.
  • Jack Shaft Opener: This opener is a side mount-driven garage door opener directly mounted on the torsion tube instead of attached to the trolley, which the two former type works via.

The opener does not use a chain /belt; rather, it uses the torsion tube connected to the motor to open and close the door. When using this type, you can rest assured of safety as you are not scared of the chain or belt breaking suddenly as it does not use one.

The beauty of using this garage door opener for your door is the quiet operation, as you will not be aware of anyone entering your garage. It has a favorable maintenance cost as it does not require any maintenance except if you want to do a bit of it, such as cleaning the motor or the garage door itself.

The challenge attributed to this type of opener is the high cost of purchasing it and the incompatibility with all garage doors as it works with a garage door with a torsion tube and a radius track of 16 inches and above.

3. The Horsepower

Horsepower is the power your garage door opener motor has and functions to power the garage door.

As much as you have been able to select the type of garage door opener your door will be needed, there is a need to check the horsepower, too, as the horsepower of an opener will be the one to power the garage door.

Check out the chart below to identify the amount of horsepower your opener will need to power your door.


Type Of  Garage Door  Purpose Of  The Garage Door Needed Horsepower. Purpose Of  The Garage Door Needed Horsepower.
Wood Residential/One car garage 1 HP Double Car Garage  1+ HP
Steel Residential/One car garage ½ HP Double Car Garage  ¾ HP
Fiberglass Residential/One car garage ½ HP Double Car Garage  ¾ HP
Insulated Residential/One car garage ¾ HP  Double Car Garage  1 HP

4. Unique Features

When considering the type of opener to purchase, choose one with unique features, including security features such as rolling code technology, quiet operation, smartphone compatibility, keypad control, remote lockout, and battery backup.

5. Know The Size Of  Your  Door

The door size is another important consideration, as you will be able to identify the garage door opener you will need for your door. This consideration can be used in the place of identifying the horsepower for your door.

Measure the following areas to know the size of your garage door.

  • Height: Just as height is important in any measurement, so it is when deciding the size garage door opener you will need for your door. Take a measuring tape, and measure the distance from the floor to the top of the garage door(Get someone to help hold the measuring tape).

If your garage door height is between 7 inches and 8 inches, then be ready to get an extension kit with your garage door opener, but if it is above 8 feet, you will need a professional opener.

  • Measure The Sides: The space around the garage door on both sides is also a major determinant of the opener size you will need. A standard opener can be used for measuring 3.5 to 4.5 inches.
  • Area Above The Door: When measured, the distance between the door and the ceiling should give you a minimum of 12 inches for you b to install a proper garage door opener of any type without an extension kit.
  • Width: There is a need to measure the distance between your garage door opening to the back of the garage wall as the measurement will help you to identify the size of the garage door opener you will need.
  • Measure The Highest Point: Measure the distance from the ceiling to the highest point of the garage door when opened.

6. Speed Settings

A garage door opener will open the garage door within  12 to 15 seconds. Still, the speed can be adjusted based on you or the weather condition, so you must go for a garage door opener with functional speed settings when purchasing one.

How To  Maintain  A Garage Door Opener?

Most garage door openers need little or no maintenance, such as a belt drive type and a jackshaft type, but a chain drive garage door opener needs a lot of maintenance listed below;

1. Lubricate The Chains

A chain-driven garage door is known to make a hell of a noise; thankfully, the noise can be reduced by lubricating the chains, as it helps reduce friction between the chain and the metal door. The best lubricant for the chain is WD-40 or machine oil, which should be applied at least twice a year.

2. Lubricate The Door Rails

Lubricate the door rails, rollers, wheels, and other moving parts of the garage door, as the ease of movement will prevent the opener from doing excess work, thereby maintaining the opener’s life span.

3. Inspect  Your  Opener

Make Inspection a habit by checking the bolts and nuts holding the hardware in place as they loosen with time based on frequent use. Adjust the chain limits and retighten any loose bolts and nuts, as this will help lengthen the life span of your opener.

4. Clean The Sensors

The sensor is important to the right functioning of the garage door opener and the garage door itself, so it must be kept clean to avoid transmitting the wrong signal.

How To Know If My Garage Door Opener Needs Replacement?

Once your garage door opener clocks for 10 years, start being intentional about inspecting your opener as it might stop working due to old age making it a must-check to prevent it from failing during emergencies. 

Below are the signs that depict your garage door opener needs to be replaced;

1. Squeaking  Noise And Vibration

Once you notice a strange noise coming from your door, especially when it is a belt-driven or jackshaft opener, something is wrong with the opener and needs to be checked by a garage door technician immediately.

The other sign that calls for quick attention is the Openers vibration which could be coming from the engine placed in the opener; this could lead to the garage door collapsing if not attended to on time

2. Slow Door Movement  Or  Refusal To  Open

Whenever you open your door, and it takes 5 minutes to open or does not open at all, without the speed settings being tampered with, know there is an issue with your opener as it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately.

Moreover, if your garage door opens today and refuses to open tomorrow, it’s time for a replacement.

3. Limited Features

You need to change your garage door opener if you use an old model with limited features, such as security features, as your home might be in danger. 

Besides, you will experience a lot of inconvenience making use of an old model that depends on electricity, or the company is no more functioning, which will give you trouble getting a compatible product for any of the damaged parts, so it is best you change to a new model with a long life span guarantee.  


A garage door opener is a vital part of a garage door and has an average life span of 0f 10 to 15 years provided it is well maintained, and a few factors are being considered.

An opener must be inspected regularly as an unnoticed fault might lead to the garage door’s closure, which could be dangerous when you need to get your car out during emergencies.

Spread the love

Written by Timothy Amin

Timothy is a seasoned expert when it comes to garage doors. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, John has installed, repaired, and maintained countless garage doors of various types and styles.