A garage door that opens and closes remotely at the touch of a button is one of the few luxuries in life almost anybody can enjoy. But a modestly-sized automatic garage door can consume a surprisingly large amount of energy.
Consequently, more and more garage owners are turning to solar-powered garage door openers to provide guilt-free convenience. Powered by the same solar panels springing up on roofs and farms across the country, solar powered garage door openers can have a number of advantages over their conventional, mains-powered counterparts; however, there are also a couple of drawbacks to choosing them, so make sure you know what you're getting into before investing in one of these eco-friendly openers.
What are the advantages of choosing a solar-powered garage door opener?
Has zero emissions
The first and most obvious advantage of solar-powered garage door openers is their ability to function reliably without drawing any power from your home's main energy supply. Instead, they collect power during the day via one or more solar panels; this power is stored in a built-in battery when the door is not in use, allowing it to function even during nighttime hours.
Choosing a solar-powered opener can therefore significantly reduce the amount of mains electricity your home consumes, subsequently lowering your home's overall carbon footprint and environmental impact. For the more fiscally minded, choosing solar power can also put a substantial dent in your annual energy bills.
Operates during power outages
The inclusion of a backup battery allows solar-powered garage door openers to operate even during total power cuts, as long as the panels have had enough time and sunlight to gather sufficient energy. This is particularly useful if you live in a rural area that sees frequent blackouts/brownouts, or if you are elderly or otherwise infirm and would have difficulty lifting a heavy tilt door by yourself.
Not reliant on bright sunshine
The very first solar panels made widely available may have been fairly useless during overcast days, but modern panels are far more sophisticated and are capable of harvesting sufficient energy for your needs during the grimmest winter days. As such, a solar-powered garage door opener is just as reliable as one powered by mains electricity.
What are the drawbacks of choosing a solar-powered garage door opener?
Installing a solar-powered garage door opener is a little more complicated than installing a battery or mains-powered model, as panels must be installed and wired to the opener itself. This can make installing one a little more expensive and time consuming.
Modern solar panels are highly durable, but are still vulnerable to particularly high winds, falling branches and roof tiles. If your panels become seriously damaged, repairing and/or replacing them can prove costly.