How Winter Weather Affects Your Garage Door Opener

The chilly temperatures that often come with winter can have major effects throughout your entire home. But nowhere are these effects felt more than in your garage. Near-freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on not just your garage door but also your garage door opener. The following highlights some of the effects that cold winter weather can have on your garage door opener.

Extreme Cold Can Slow Your Opener Down

Take a look at your garage door opener on a particularly chilly morning and you may notice that it runs a bit slower than usual. This sluggish operation can be traced back to a number of issues affecting not just your garage door opener but also the garage door itself. Cold weather can cause the electric motor powering your garage door opener to work more sluggishly than normal, resulting in slower door movement.

Heavy grease and similar lubricants can also thicken as temperatures plummet, making it harder for your garage door opener's internal components to move fluidly. This adds more strain on the motor, resulting in sluggish movement when opening or closing the garage door.

Blinded Photo Eyes Can Cause Trouble

Your garage door opener relies on its photoelectric sensors, commonly known as photo eyes, to detect objects within the garage door's path. Covering the photo eye lens breaks the infrared beam between the two sensors, preventing the garage door from closing as it assumes there's an obstacle in the door's path. If condensation forms on the photo eye lens or the lens is blocked by snow or slush, the garage door will not close until the lens is unblocked.

Keeping the area near the sensors free of snow and slush will help prevent blinded photo eyes. If your photo eyes are constantly fogged from condensation, then it's likely that moisture has somehow leaked into the housing. Your best option is to replace those sensors with newer components.

Moisture and Ice Buildup Can Also Create Problems

Your garage door can also have a tough time opening and closing through no fault of its own. For instance, excess moisture from melting snow can cause wooden garage doors to swell. Not only does this make the garage door heavier than usual, but the swollen panels can also interfere with hinges and joints, making it harder for the garage door opener to lift and lower it properly.

Frozen hinges and ice buildup on tracks and other garage door components can also make your garage door opener's job tougher. Ice buildup can also freeze your garage door's weatherstripping to the cold ground, effectively sealing your garage door shut. Fortunately, a little heat from an ordinary blow dryer or heat gun can help fix these issues.  

For more information, contact companies like the Raynor Door Company.