Like any mechanical device, garage door openers wear over time and reach a point when they no longer operate. By understanding the life expectancy of home components, the owner can budget for replacements and repairs appropriately. Life expectancy is an estimate of the functioning life span of any particular garage door opener, based on quality of the device and its use.
The average life expectancy of a garage door opener is 10 years, according to research published by Utah State University. As of 2011, replacement costs average about $400, depending on quality and capacity. The average life expectancy is based on a properly installed garage door opener with an adequate capacity to handle the door.
Similar Home Components
Garage door openers fall in the same life expectancy category as water heaters, toilet mechanisms and garbage disposals. For a homeowner this can mean expenses of more than $1,500 about a decade after the home is constructed. With the exception of paint and sump pumps, the garage door opener is one of the shortest-lived components of the home.
The Garage Door
Lasting from 20 to 50 years, your garage door will outlast the garage door opener by decades. The designs of the garage door and opener are standard, so replacing the door opener should not require major modifications.
Routine maintenance includes lubricating moving parts such as chains and adjusting the chain tension. Safety considerations are also a part of garage door opener maintenance. Check that the electric eyes mounted at the base of the door are functioning and cause the door to reverse and open if something passes through the door opening. The garage door opener should also reverse and open if the door strikes anything during the downward motion of closing.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.