Is It Time To Switch Back To Manual Doors?

Posted on: 11 April 2018

In the race to make domestic life as easy as possible, it's easy to forget that all that technology has its own issues. This has led some to scale back in terms of powered appliances and gadgets. This is often an easy decision; for example, many families have started once again hanging laundry to dry on lines in the yard instead of using tumble dryers. However, there are times when it's not so easy. If you have an older powered garage door and need to replace it, you may think that switching back to a manual door might be a nice way to simplify. Think through the pros and cons carefully before making that decision.

Conserve Operation Power

A pro to using a manual door (the type you have to lift up by hand) is that it does save power. You don't have an opener inside that is on all the time and chewing up electricity, and you no longer have to worry about a remote and its batteries.

A mitigating factor to garage door power usage, though, is the fact that if you're using your current door as the basis for your decision, you're comparing old technology and not new technology. New garage door openers are much more energy efficient now. If you really want to make a solid comparison, find out the kilowatt hours used by new garage door openers. If that's still too much power usage for you, then you have a vote in favor of manual doors.

No Radio Interference

Garage door openers have, in the past, been subject to radio interference from nearby military base radio networks. It's still possible for these nearby networks to cause your door opener to malfunction. There's an easy fix (you just change the frequencies that your opener uses), but there's always the risk of it happening again if you get a new opener or the base switches frequencies. Manual doors would eliminate that problem completely. However, the military is very aware of the problem, and actively alerts residents when a change is about to occur. If you have had repeated issues that you think are linked to a nearby base and simply don't want to deal with those issues anymore, you may decide a manual door is a better choice.

Potentially Worse Fit

Keep in mind that manual doors may not have as tight a seal as automatic doors, depending on the style that you get. If you get a slide-up type of door, where segments of the door bend around a track as you lift the door up, you could be fine because you don't really have to change the weatherstripping or the configuration of how the door fits the frame. If you were looking at a door you raise up as one panel, then you need that door to not touch the frame at all; this can lead to bigger gaps and more thermal transfer between the door and frame.

Adverse Weather Events

What's the weather like in your area? Stupidly hot and humid summers? Icy, no-being-belongs-outside cold in winter? Remember that a manual door requires you to get out of the car to raise and lower it, depending on whether you're entering or leaving the garage. If you don't like standing outside in extreme weather, stick to powered door openers with a remote.

You can also contact garage door companies to take a look at their showrooms and catalogs. Once you find out the power consumption of automatic models you like versus the weatherproofing of the manual models, you'll have a better idea of how each type would affect your life. For more information, contact companies like AAA Garage Door, Inc.