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  • What is the Best Garage Door Opener?

    Has your garage door opener finally given out? Instead of automatically replacing it with a newer version from the same brand, you might be interested in comparing different options to help you find the best garage door opener for your Florida home.

    Because everyone’s needs differ, garage door openers are not one-size-fits-all. Many brands and models will get the job done, but your final selection should be based on the style and weight of your garage door, any safety and security concerns you have, smart home compatibility requirements, and other desired features. Here, we’ll help you sift through the most important qualities of a garage door opener so you know what to shop for.


    Most single- or double-car garage doors made of steel or aluminum pair well with a 1/2 horsepower opener. If your garage door is oversized or made of heavy wood, consider a 3/4 to 2-horsepower model.

    The simplest way to determine what horsepower you need to lift your garage door is to check your existing unit. If this opener worked well for many years, buy a replacement with the same horsepower. If it struggled to lift your door or failed prematurely, upgrade to a higher-power unit, especially if your existing one is a 1/3 horsepower model.

    Lift System

    There are three primary types of garage door lift systems – chain, belt and screw – plus two newer options introduced in recent years called direct drive and jackshaft. If budget is your top priority, a chain-driven opener is the best choice for you. If you’re concerned about noise, consider a belt-driven opener. For low maintenance, a screw-driven system is your best bet.

    As for top performance and durability, direct drive and jackshaft lift systems are best, although these cost more than their traditional chain, belt and screw counterparts.


    The lift system you choose has a significant impact on how loudly your garage door opener operates, but this isn’t the only factor to consider. The best garage door openers feature motor vibration isolation to help eliminate unwanted noise. If your home has a bedroom, nursery or other living space above the garage, vibration isolation can help reduce the disruption of opening and closing the garage door.


    The average garage door opens at a rate of seven inches per second. If you want yours to move faster than this, look for an opener with a higher operating speed. If the opening rate doesn’t matter to you, a slower speed may help reduce wear and tear over time. Be aware that an opener’s speed rating doesn’t indicate its quality.

    Power Options & Backup Batteries

    As you shop for the best garage door opener, you’ll find that different models run on AC or DC power. Both types plug into a standard power outlet and operate seemingly the same. However, DC models tend to be smaller and quieter and have softer stops and starts. You also need a DC-powered unit if you’re interested in battery operation.

    A high-end garage door opener with a backup battery can save you from getting stuck inside or outside your house during a power outage. This is not only convenient but can even be lifesaving if you have an emergency and must evacuate your home or get to the hospital during a blackout. Expect the ability to open and close your garage door up to 20 times on backup battery power.


    A vast majority of garage doors come with two primary safety features: infrared beam sensors and automatic reverse. These tell the door when an object lies in its path as it closes, at which point the door reverses directions to prevent an accident or injury. These sensors are only active on the close cycle.


    Garage doors are designed to protect your car and keep intruders out. Of course, this is only effective if the door is closed. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to accidentally leave the garage door wide open. That’s why timer-to-close is such a beneficial security feature. Models that offer this convenience allow you to go inside with your arms full – no need to come back out and close the garage door. It also eliminates the worry that someone could leave the garage door open on accident.

    Other security features, including rolling codes and lock mode, are more mainstream. Rolling codes make it virtually impossible for criminals to steal the code from your remote because it changes every time. Lock mode is useful when you leave town because it prevents remotes or keypads from opening the door. When you return home, you must enter the garage through the house and program the opener out of lock mode before you can use it normally again.


    Most garage door openers have two light bulbs: one in the front and one in the back to help illuminate every corner of the garage. These bulbs activate automatically when you open or close the garage door and remain on for a predetermined amount of time (usually 4.5 minutes).

    Motion sensor lights are another option. These come on automatically when you enter the garage or leave your car, eliminating the need to fumble around in the dark for a light switch.

    A less common safety feature is light activation when you cross the infrared beam. This is a popular feature amongst Florida homeowners who like to sit outside on summer evenings with the garage door open.

    Remotes & Keypads

    Most garage door openers come with two remotes, which are traditionally clipped to the visor in your car. If you have an in-car remote system, such as HomeLink or Car2U, make sure you buy a compatible garage door opener. Then, you won’t need to keep the remotes in the car, which improves security.

    Keypads are another popular way to enter and exit the garage. All garage door openers come with a control panel to open and close the door from the inside, but not all come with a wireless outdoor keypad. This offers convenience when working in the yard or coming home on foot. You can even program a temporary PIN number for houseguests or maintenance workers. When comparing keypads, look for a flip cover to protect against the elements and a backlight for ease of use in low-light conditions.

    Ease of Installation

    If you’re keen on a DIY installation, it’s helpful to select a garage door opener that’s easy to install. Features such as pre-programmed remotes, snap-lock rail systems, and online tech support and installation videos set some models apart from the rest. Of course, if you get stuck, you can always call in a professional for help with the installation.

    Smartphone Control & Smart Home Compatibility

    A high-end garage door opener with built-in Wi-Fi lets you monitor and control your garage door from anywhere. For peace of mind, you can set up activity notifications to receive alerts any time your garage door is opened, closed or left open. It’s even possible to establish customized schedules to automatically close the garage door at certain times.

    Built-in Wi-Fi also creates the opportunity for smart home connectivity. This makes it more convenient than ever to operate your garage door. For instance, you can coordinate your smart thermostat, locks and lights to react when your garage door opens and closes at certain times of the day, indicating that you’re either leaving or coming home. Check the compatibility of the garage door openers you’re considering with the type of smart home system you have.


    The final way to determine if you have found the best garage door opener is to assess the warranty coverage. There should be three categories: motor warranty, lift system warranty, and parts and accessories warranty.

    The motor is the most vital part of a garage door opener, so it should have the longest coverage. In fact, the best models have lifetime motor warranties. Lift systems are often covered for one to three years, though some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty. If a lift system fails, it’s usually easy to replace it without buying a whole new opener. A parts and accessories warranty – which covers remotes, wall switches, keypads and other components – should last for one to five years.

    Garage Door Opener Services in Jacksonville, Florida

    Whether you prefer a LiftMaster, Genie, Chamberlain, Craftsman, Linear or another brand of garage door opener, A1A Overhead Door Company can help. Tell us what your top priorities are from the list above, and we’ll match your needs with a model that will work flawlessly for you. For more information about garage door opener installation and other garage door services in Jacksonville, FL, please contact us at (904) 579-1123.

  • Understanding the Differences between Garage Door Openers

    What kind of motor drives your garage door? If you’ve got an older model, it’s probably a chain, belt, or screw driven opener. In recent years, the introduction of the residential jackshaft and direct-drive openers have changed things, though, including conventional wisdom regarding the standard options. How much do you know about these different options? Do you have a thorough enough understanding to know which one is best for you?

    • As you’d expect, chain driven models involve a chain. It’s similar to a bicycle chain, and it pushes or pulls a trolley that connects it to a metal bar. This bar is called a J-arm, and it’s attached to the garage door. Chain-drive garage door openers are the most affordable in the industry, and they’re durable and long-lasting, but they also tend to be noisy. This may not be an issue unless you’ve got a bedroom over the garage.
    • Belt-driven openers are very similar to chain-driven models. The difference is that they use a reinforced belt to push or pull the trolley, rather than a chain. The belts are made of different materials: typically fiberglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber. These belt-driven openers are quieter than chain-driven openers, but just as reliable. In fact, with periodic maintenance, you can expect your belt-drive unit to last for many years with no problems. You do pay for the extra quiet because belt-driven openers tend to cost $30-$60 more than chain-driven units.
    • If you are really interested in a quiet model, you might consider a direct drive unit. These are supposed to be the quietest type of garage door unit because the only moving part is the motor. An example of German innovation, they feature a motor that travels along a stationary chain embedded in an overhead rail. A J-arm connects the moving motor to the door. This type of unit costs about the same as a belt-driven model, and have lifetime warranties.
    • Screw-openers feature a trolley that rides on a threaded-steel rod. A motor rotates the rod, and because this design has fewer moving parts than most, it’s supposed to require the least maintenance. Screw-driven openers encounter problems, however, in regions with large swings in temperature. They’re also noisier than belt-driven openers, though manufacturers of this kind of opener are working on these problems. Working in their favor is the fact that they’re among the speediest of openers, opening a garage door at 10 to 12 inches per second as opposed to the 6 to 8 inches of most doors. All garage door openers close doors more slowly than they open them, at about 7 inches per second, for safety.
    • A jackshaft opener is different from other systems. This kind of system mounts on the wall beside the garage door and uses a system of pulleys and cables to turn the torsion bar and raise the garage door. Driven by a 24 volt DC motor, this type of system is reliable and quiet, and keeps the ceiling free for overhead storage. It’s also a good option for a garage with a high or low ceiling. This is the most expensive of the garage openers.

    How do you know which type of garage door opener is right for your home? If budget is a priority, consider a chain-driven opener. These are also good for large, heavy garage doors, like oversized or solid wood doors. On the other hand, if your primary concern is noise, a belt-drive opener may be a better bet. Of course, if your door is noisy as it goes along the track, a quieter opener may be a moot point. If your budget permits a direct-drive or jackshaft model, you might want to go with one of these, because they’re quiet and extremely dependable. If you’re looking for a nice, solid, middle of the road option, consider a screw-drive opener. They’re not as quiet as belt driven or direct drives, but they’re quieter than chain drives. Be aware, though, that screw-driven openers require regular maintenance to keep the rod from stripping the teeth of the drive. Because of this tendency to wear out, they’re not the best option for large or heavy doors.

    Whether you need a new garage door opener, or you’re ready for a whole new garage door, contact A1A Overhead Doors Company today. Our knowledgeable staff can help you determine exactly what’s needed, and complete your installation efficiently and professionally. Family owned and operated, A1A Overhead Door serves the entire metro Jacksonville area. In fact, we even go up to fifty miles into the outer countries. We are licensed and insured to cover both the client’s property and ours, and we’re proud to work with our clientele and will match or beat any competitor’s written estimate. For more information, you can call 904.579.1123 or contact us through our website.


  • Three Things to Consider When You’re Shopping for a Garage Door

    Garage door replacement is a smart way to boost the appearance, value, and efficiency of your home. If you’re in the market for a new garage door in Jacksonville, FL , then here are three things that you should be sure to consider before making your decision:


    Of course, appearance should be a significant part of the decision-making process when selecting a new garage door. After all, if your garage faces the road, then this aspect of your home’s exterior can have a big impact on your property’s curb appeal. For this reason, when considering your options, be sure to think about what garage door color and style might be best suited to your home’s style and color.


    One way in which one garage door can differ from another is in its insulating qualities. This factor matters because even if your garage isn’t one of the heated or air-conditioned areas of your home, choosing an insulated option for your new garage door may improve your home’s energy efficiency and contribute to lower home heating and cooling costs. How much insulation a garage door can provide can depend on its material. For example, aluminum and steel garage doors are usually less insulating than those made of other materials. However, there are many garage doors available that are insulated to provide better thermal efficiency. Typically, for any home that has an attached garage, choosing an insulated model for this home investment can be a wise decision.


    Installing a new garage door is a way to add better safety and security to your home. For example, by choosing a garage door system that includes an electronic keypad, your garage may be less at risk for theft. Also, if you live in an area that gets tornadoes or hurricanes, then investing in a garage door that is designed to withstand heavy winds can be a smart option that helps provide extra protection for your property.

  • How to Park in the Right Spot in Your Garage

    How to Park in the Right Spot in Your Garage

    Judging when you are far enough from your new garage door in Jacksonville, FL when parking in your garage isn’t always an easy task. If you struggle to park your car exactly where you want it when you get home, then watch this video for a simple trick to try.

    Start by getting your car where you would like to park it. Next, find yourself a tennis ball, some nylon string, and two eye hooks. Then, twist one of the eye hooks into the tennis ball before tying the string to the eye hook. Lastly, twist the second eye hook into the garage ceiling and then tie the other end of the string to the eyehook so that the tennis ball rests against the windshield. Now, you will know exactly where to stop when parking your car in your garage.

  • An Inside Look at Three Types of Garage Door Openers

    One of the most important aspects of installing a new garage door on your property in Jacksonville, FL, is deciding what kind of garage door opener you want to use. There are several distinctive types of garage door openers on the market, each of which has its own advantages. Here is a quick introduction to some of the most popular garage door openers. garage - opener

    Belt Drive

    If you’re looking for a garage door opener that is as unobtrusive as possible, you may want to go with a belt drive garage door opener. This type of garage door opener relies on a belt to put your garage door into motion, so it moves your door more quietly than an opener that utilizes a chain. If your garage is directly attached to your home, this may be the preferred option for you. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these openers are pricier than chain drive garage door openers.

    Chain Drive

    Perhaps the most popular type of garage door opener is the type that uses a chain. You’ve probably seen this kind of garage door opener in action before; it operates by using a trolley connected to a chain, which lifts and lowers your garage door. The motion of the chain does tend to make noise, which means that these openers are often used in garages that are not directly attached to houses.

    Screw Drive

    These garage door openers work very differently than those that use belts or chains. With a screw drive garage door opener, the trolley that moves the door up and down is moved by a rotating threaded steel rod. Screw drive garage door openers are designed to be simple in design and operation, so they don’t tend to break down as frequently as other types of garage door openers. They are noisy, which you should keep in mind when you’re deciding which type of opener is right for you.

  • Recognizing the Advantages of Replacing Your Garage Door

    If you are like many homeowners, chances are that you don’t think much about your garage door. However, when you are planning on upgrading your home, installing a new garage door will provide you with a great return on your investment. With services from a company that offers garage door installation near Ponte Vedra, you can pick out a new garage door that enhances the style, security, and efficiency of your entire home. Some of the benefits of replacing your garage door are as follows: garage - door

    Boost Home Value

    When you remove your old garage door and replace it with a brand new one, you can boost the overall value of your home. New garage doors enhance the curb appeal of properties, and can make homes much more appealing to prospective buyers. In fact, real estate agents can use new garage door installations as key selling points for their listings. If you want to get a great price for your house, consider a new garage door installation.

    Increase Household Safety

    An old garage door can be a key point of vulnerability for your home’s security system. If a criminal is able to gain access to your garage, he may be able to break into your home. With a brand new garage door installation, you can dramatically boost the safety of your household. For total peace of mind, shop for a garage door that includes the latest security features, such as keypad access and remote operation.

    Improve Energy Efficiency

    You may be surprised to learn that your garage door may be hurting the energy efficiency of your home. In fact, houses with older models of garage doors are much less efficient than homes that have newly insulated garage door installations. When you are shopping for a new garage door that will boost the energy efficiency of your home, seek out a product that boasts a high R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating properties of the door.

  • When to Replace Your Garage Remote

    Garage remotes make it easier than ever to gain access to the interior of garages. After you install a new garage door in Jacksonville , your garage door experts will help you set up your remote system. After many years of use, however, you may find that your garage remote is no longer performing effectively. Rather than installing a whole new garage door, you may be able to restore functionality to your system by replacing your garage remote.

    If you are wondering whether it is time to replace your garage remote, look for a few key signs and symptoms. One indication that you are ready to replace your garage remote is when you find that its signal is starting to become very weak. You may also want to replace your garage door remote so that your home is up to date with the latest technologies. Newer garage door remotes can connect to Wi-Fi networks so that they are integrated with smart home systems.

    garage - remote

  • What Are the Most Common Reasons for Garage Door Spring Problems?

    Your garage door spring is designed to secure your door as it travels up and down its track. When your garage door spring is broken, you will have a serious safety issue on your hands. Rather than ignoring your broken spring, take the time to schedule garage door repairs with a team of garage door experts in Jacksonville . To help you identify when it is time to schedule repairs, here is a look at some of the most common reasons for garage door spring problems. garage - door

    Broken Safety Cables

    In order to ensure your safety, your garage door springs are connected to a set of safety cables. If the mechanism that holds the springs in place ends up failing, the safety cables will provide your door with an extra layer of support and stability. When these safety cables break, your garage door spring may fall out of position. By fixing your safety cables, you can restore functionality to your garage door spring.

    Improper Spring Balance

    Garage door springs need to be balanced correctly in order to function properly. Over time, your springs may fall out of balance and prevent your garage door from opening and closing correctly. If you are able to maneuver your garage door manually, but are having trouble operating the opener, the issue could lie in the balance of your garage door springs. Neglecting to rebalance your springs could result in a serious safety issue for your garage door.

    Incorrect Bracket Adjustment

    A final cause of garage door spring issues is incorrect adjustment of the brackets that attach the springs to the end of the garage door panel. These brackets are designed to place a specific amount of pressure on your garage door springs. If you end up tampering with the brackets and changing their tension settings, you could wind up breaking your garage door spring. To adjust your garage door spring or brackets, always contact a garage door repair professional.

  • Get the Facts About Garage Door Maintenance

    Like any other system of your home, your garage door needs routine care and maintenance in order to remain in good working condition. By setting up garage door repairs before your door starts to show signs of damage, you can prevent mechanical and safety issues in the future. Garage door repair companies in Jacksonville will offer the preventive maintenance services that are required to keep your garage door running smoothly, throughout the years and seasons. Here is a look at some essential facts that you should know about garage door maintenance. garage - door

    Fact: You Can Often See or Hear Repair Issues

    When a garage door is in need of repairs, the problem is not often silent. In fact, you may be able to determine whether your garage door is in need of maintenance by looking or listening to your unit as it opens and closes. If your garage door is making unusual noises or appearing to vibrate while it moves, this may indicate that you need to set up professional repairs.

    Fact: You Must Lubricate Your Garage Door

    Your garage door moves up and down a metal track as it opens and closes. Over time, the metal components of the track and roller can grow rusty and worn. To prevent excess wear and tear to your garage door’s moving parts, make sure to lubricate its components once every year. Taking the time to lubricate your garage door will help you to prevent serious maintenance problems in the future.

    Fact: You Should Inspect Your Garage Door Safety Systems

    Another essential aspect of routine garage door maintenance is to check to see whether your door’s safety systems are intact and working properly. If the tension cables or auto-reverse features are not functioning correctly, your garage door could pose a significant safety threat to you and your family members. When testing reveals that your garage door’s safety components are broken or malfunctioning, always take the time to schedule professional repair services.

  • Resetting Your PIN for Your Genie Wireless Entry System

    When you schedule a new garage door installation near Jacksonville, your garage door opener may be connected to a Genie wireless keypad entry system. This video from Genie Company demonstrates what to do in the event that you need to reset your PIN. To erase the old PIN programming, press and hold the program button and the up-down button for five seconds. After you have erased the old PIN, you will be able to reset the programming.

    If you are having trouble operating your new garage door, contact your local garage door experts . From garage door installation to troubleshooting your opener system, your garage door company can provide you with a full range of services that will help you achieve the best functionality from your system.