FAQs

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Why should I use a professional installer?

The installation of a garage door is not a do-it-yourself job. A garage door is the largest moving object in your home and because of the large number of small parts; its installation is highly technical. Connecting the springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door. One of the other services a professional installer can provide is the disposal of your old door, if you are replacing a door. Professional installers can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties, so we recommend a professional handle the job for you.

Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage is uninsulated?

A garage door opening is a very large hole in your garage. Insulated doors will help to reduce the amount of outside temperatures that enters your garage, thus keeping it more comfortable for you. This is important for a number of reasons: If your garage is attached to your home, any air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area. If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room. An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than an uninsulated door.

I hear a lot about R-value. What is it and is it important?

R-value is a measurement of thermal efficiency of a door, or how well it insulates. Insulation is an important factor to consider when purchasing a garage door. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your garage, or if you have a room directly above or adjacent to your garage, you will want to purchase a door that offers a high R-value. If your garage is not attached to your home, or you are not concerned with insulation, you can purchase a door with a lower R-value or no insulation at all.

Why is quality so important, aren’t all doors made the same?

Due to size and the frequency a garage door is used (often used more frequently than the entrance door), it is important to purchase a door that is attractive and has options that can accent your home however more importantly a garage door should provide durability, security, insulation value, and be safe to operate year-in, year-out. While inexpensive non-insulated, or partially insulated doors may look good from the outside they can wear quickly, become a safety hazard, and ultimately will not provide the key benefits of durability, security or insulation value.

What horsepower garage door opener do I need to lift my door?

Before installing a garage door opener, you should be able to open and close the door easily with one hand. The door should be lightweight and operate smoothly in both the up and down direction. If the door sticks or binds, the door is out of alignment and will need to be serviced by a professionalIf you open the door half way and then release it; the door should remain in place completely supported by its springs. If the door begins to fall towards the floor or starts to rise upwards, the door is out of balance and will need to be serviced by a professional. Generally speaking, If you have a two car garage door, a (1/3) or (1/2) horsepower garage door opener is sufficient. For a heavier door, like a carriage door which is three and ½ inches thick or thicker, we recommend a (3/4) horsepower model. The (3/4) horsepower system is designed for use on sectional doors only. Remember that the easier it is to open your door manually, the easier it will be for your garage door opener to operate the door, and that means your garage door opener will last longer.

Which model is better: the chain drive, belt drive or screw drive?

Each type of garage door opener has its advantages. Screw drive models are best used on one- piece doors that tilt rather than go up on a track. Screw drives run slower than the other two model types and are the easiest to adjust for shortened applications. Chain and belt drives work well in all applications. The belt drive is the quietest garage door opener and is recommended when there is a room adjacent to, or above the garage. The chain drive model is the garage door opener that has been in production the longest and provides dependable performance year after year. All of our garage door openers are very reliable and require very little maintenance.

My garage door goes up about one foot when I press the button on the garage door opener. What is the problem?

There are two issues related to this problem. First, the garage door springs may have weakened over the years and this has caused the up sensitivity in the garage door opener to sense that the opener is straining to lift the door. This causes the opener to stop as it goes up. A simple adjustment to the up sensitivity may temporarily solve the problem. It is recommended that you call American Empire Garage Door to adjust the spring tension on the door in order not to put an addition strain on the opener and cause premature wear. The second issue is that the spring may have actually broke (see picture below).  In that case, please refrain from using the garage door opener until the spring can be replaced.

What is the typical lifespan of a spring?

Our replacement springs typically last approx. 10 years. This figure is for normal use of door. Excesive use of door will decrease the life of the springs. Extended life cycle springs can also be requested at an additional charge.

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