For a Smart Garage, Start with a Great Garage Door Opener -
308 views | March 12, 2021

For a Smart Garage, Start with a Great Garage Door Opener

Learn how a smart garage opener is ideal for convenience and security, and most options make it easy to add to the existing garage door opener.

Most homeowners often overlook the garage door when considering possible enhancements with smart home devices. But a smart garage may be ideal for those that constantly utilize the garage space – and it's easier to install than most may think.

Turn that traditional garage door into a smart garage door through the aid of technology. Many smart garage door openers are compatible with most brands of garage doors manufactured after 1993. If the garage door has safety sensors, it's probably compatible.

The hardest part of installing a smart garage opener is making sure the Wi-Fi signal can reach the garage. Test the Wi-Fi signal strength before the purchase; this may save a few headaches.

In general, the installation may include downloading the device app to any mobile device and setting up an account. Next, attach a sensor to the garage door – with adhesive strips. The following step is syncing the existing garage door with the sensor to communicate, which may require a ladder to reach the motor. The final step is mounting the smart garage opener hub near a power outlet. Now check the app on the phone, and voila, a smart garage in a matter of minutes.

The garage can now be controlled and monitored from a mobile device. The user can now open and close the door from anywhere. There are real-time smartphone notifications when the door is opened, closed, or is left open. Set a daily schedule or preset times when the garage door will open. Control other integrated smart devices from the phone, like garage lights.

Smart device compatibility is an essential factor in the product decision; for example, some garage door openers are compatible with voice assistants that allow voice-operated control. The same can be said for garage lights; some manufacturers have compatible smart lights.

The myQ Smart Garage Hub by Chamberlain is one garage opener that provides these smart features. It provides smartphone garage door control. It includes phone alerts whenever the door opens or closes or even if it's left open. The user can create schedules or preset specific times. It's pretty simple to install as well. myQ also offers mobile-controlled smart lights for the garage.*

The myQ Smart Garage is a Key by Amazon partner. This feature provides secure in-garage Amazon package deliveries. However, the user must download the Key by Amazon App and be an Amazon Prime Member for this service.

What to consider when choosing a smart garage door opener

Compatibility

Before purchasing a smart garage door hub, it's important to ensure that the existing garage door is compatible with the device. Most manufacturers have made their devices compatible with most garage door brands manufactured after 1993. That year is important because of the government mandate that requires all residential models sold in the U.S. to have a reversing feature capable of moving a garage door within 2 seconds to reduce entrapment risk.1 So, if the garage door opener has safety sensors, it may be compatible.

Also, keep in mind that the existing garage door may need to be a sectional door. This type of door includes panel sections connected with hinges. To verify, check the door's compatibility on the manufacturer's website.

Features

The features are the main reason for purchasing a smart garage door opener. Without basic features, it may not be worth it. Some of those features include:

Device Control

Control the garage door from an app on a smartphone or tablet from anywhere. The app should also show the status of the door at all times. The app should also be compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

Device Alerts

Receive notifications when the garage door opens, closes, or is left open, and the alerts are sent to a mobile device.

Schedules

Scheduling allows the user to place the garage door on an automated schedule with preset times for the garage door to open or close.

Device Compatibility

It may be necessary for the device to connect to other smart devices or applications. Maybe the user wants to control the garage door with voice commands through a voice assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Research compatible devices before purchasing the smart garage opener.

Type of drive system 2

Chain-drive opener. It consists of a roller chain that connects the trolley to the motor. Chain-drives are loud because of the metal-to-metal system. However, they are less expensive than other models.

Belt-drive opener. It essentially operates the same way as the chain-drive, except it uses a rubber belt instead of a chain. The rubber belt decreases sound, making for a quieter garage door.

Screw-drive opener. In this model, the trolley connects to a long screw instead of a chain or belt, and it's very noisy.

Direct-drive openers. This model includes a chain-drive encased in a steel rail system, and the only moving part is the gear wheel on the fixed track. It is a very quiet opening system.

Jackshaft openers. Owners will install this model on either garage side, and the motor drives the pulleys and cables that raise the door—this drive design is for garages with higher or lower than average ceilings.

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In Conclusion

A smart garage opener is ideal for convenience and security, and most options make it easy to add to the existing garage door opener. With smartphone alerts and automated scheduling, the garage should be relatively secure. Alerts mean the homeowner will always know if the door is being opened. Scheduling means the door will automatically close every day or night at a specific time, so there is no forgetting to close it.

Smart doors are also more convenient than traditional garage doors in terms of controlling and monitoring. Standard garage remotes only activate the door within range; smart doors are Wi-Fi connected and can be remotely controlled and monitored from anywhere on a smartphone.

Thanks for reading. For more information on smart home products and how they may add convenience to your home, visit the FirstEnergy Home Learning Library.

FAQs:

How do I use a garage door opener?

Garage door openers come with installation instructions. After installation, users can control the garage door from a wall switch, remote control, or smartphone app, depending on the model.

Does my garage door opener need Wi-Fi?

If the garage door opener is a smart product, then the answer is yes. All smart products, including garage openers, connect to Wi-Fi to operate the smartphone app from any location.

What is a roll-up door?

It is a garage door that functions without a horizontal track system. The sections, or slats, roll up into a coil at the top of the door. Roll doors are common in commercial settings and some residential homes that lack ceiling space.

*FirstEnergy Home's review of this product is solely opinion. FirstEnergy Home did not receive compensation for the review. FirstEnergy Home, and any FirstEnergy affiliates, are not affiliated with the manufacturer of the product, nor is there any endorsement or sponsorship between the product manufacturer of the product and FirstEnergy Home or any of its affiliates.

© 2021 FirstEnergy Home


1Federal Register. Safety Standard for Automatic Residential Garage Door Operators. Retrieved from https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/07/13/2018-14909/safety-standard-for-automatic-residential-garage-door-operators
2Wikipedia. Garage door openers. Retrieved from Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garage_door_opener

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