August 16, 2019

Garage door openers: how old is too old?

The right motor for your garage door opener

Nothing lasts forever, as they say. With household appliances and equipment, it can be hard to keep track of how long things are expected to last. Garage door openers usually provide about 10 to 15 years of life when properly maintained. Excessive use or a lack of maintenance can lead to a need for earlier replacement. Of course, there are also many other non-essential reasons to consider an early upgrade.

Longevity is primarily affected by product quality. A low-end opener is not going to provide as much use as a high-end model. Our LiftMaster Elite Series provides longevity and quality operation for those who want something more than the basic model.

Interesting Fact: The governor of California signed a bill that made backup battery power a requirement for garage door openers installed in residential properties after the severity of the wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

By the numbers…

The best place to start is to attempt to locate some kind of sticker or installation stamp that includes the original installation date. You may also be able to determine this by checking to see if your opener has the reverse sensors at the bottom of the door rails. All systems made after 1993 had to include photoelectric sensor reverse systems, so that gives you a ballpark at least of how old your door is.

How many times the garage door is opened and closed on a daily basis will also affect its lifespan. Doors that are used more frequently are likely to break down faster, simply due to the consistent wear and tear. A new opener system will be more efficient and offer new technology for an even longer lifespan. If your door is more than 10-15 years old, it can’t hurt to consider an upgrade.

There are some exceptions:

  • If you use the system excessively, it will probably have a lifespan closer to 7-10 years.
  • If your system is making weird noises or acting strangely, but not quite old enough to be “old”, it’s still worth considering a replacement. Have the system looked at by a technician to determine the best course of action.
  • Systems that are not taken care of with routine maintenance will also not last as long as the systems that are properly maintained.

10 to 15 years doesn’t seem like a long life for a garage door opener, but it actually is one of the longer-lasting parts of the whole garage system. The springs need to be replaced every five to seven years, for example. A A‑1 Overhead Door Systems technician can help you figure out a more exact age on your garage door opener system. With their assistance, you can determine whether you need to replace the opener or just have it serviced for the time being.

Five reasons you might upgrade despite age

Five reasons you might upgrade despite age

Even if the opener is less than 10 years old, there may be cause to consider installing a newer system. There are a variety of situations where you could decide to upgrade early, but here are five of the most popular.

  • Improved safety features: The photoelectric reversal system was not always required in garage doors, so they were much more dangerous in previous years. Furthermore, current and future safety improvements will make it easy to choose to upgrade, despite how old your existing system may be. Door systems that don’t have safety features like this are very dangerous and need to be replaced.
  • Better security: Older systems had a limited-digit PIN code, which was really easy for criminals to hack. Newer systems are so well-encrypted that it is nearly impossible to crack them, with LiftMaster/Chamberlain offering new Security and Security+ systems that prevent robbery and protect your garage.
  • Manufacturer out of business: Having an opener that is no longer being made or guaranteed by a company is bad news. If you learn that a company is no longer operational, you may want to invest in a new opener from a company with a strong reputation and history in the industry. That’s why we choose LiftMaster and Chamberlain, who have been serving the industry for over 60 years.
  • Convenience: Technological advancements like built-in Wi-Fi and smartphone connectivity make these newer garage door openers very desirable. The new MyQ System by LiftMaster/Chamberlain offers instant access to, and control of, your garage door, no matter how far away you are. The free app runs on Wi-Fi and makes it easy to know that your home is safe.
  • Improved operation: Newer models are inherently quieter than older models. Technology is constantly working to reduce noise produced by regular operation, upgrading to optional premium rubber belts and motors that are ultra-quiet. Jackshaft and other wall-mounted models offer another way to dampen the noise.

Can you tell me more?

If you’re located near Leominster, MA, contact us today. You can call us at 1-800-409-3667 or request an online email quote so that you can look over your options carefully. Our experienced team is also available to answer any questions you may have. If you’re uncertain about your upgrade, our image gallery is a great place to find the inspiration that you need. Perhaps you’re thinking of a new door too? Check out our Design Centre for all your custom designing needs.

You can enjoy both of these services by visiting our local showroom. We carry LiftMaster products, with many models available. There are also different installation options and styles, making it easy for you to find exactly what you need. Many newer openers even include a power backup in the form of a battery so that the door will operate even if there is a power outage.


I have two craftsman garage door opener’s. One is dated 1997 and one is probably before the 1993 date. Both work great. Do you know which remote door openers I would get?

Hello Ms Berard Krahling! Thank you for thinking of A-1 Overhead Door Systems for your garage door openers' remote. Here is a solution that could work for you: For your before 1993 opener, here is what you should for your family safety: Please, do not hesitate to contact us anytime for more advise: Leominster: 978-342-3344 / Toll free: 1-800-409-3667

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