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What HorsePower is best for my garage door opener needs?

This is a commonly asked question. What horsepower garage door opener do I need for my garage door?


Many people believe more horsepower is better and in a majority of cases that is true, but not always. Garage door openers are designed to replace the human force to open and close a garage door, and if your garage door is properly balanced then it should only be lifting 8-10 pounds. Liftmaster does have weight ratings for their garage doors that we can use as a guideline

According to Liftmaster the following is the recommended garage door opener horsepower by garage door weight:

Garage door weight Recommended horsepower
Up to 150 pounds ¼ or ⅓ horsepower
Up to 350 pounds ½ horsepower
Up to 600 pounds ¾  horsepower
Up to 700 pounds 1 horsepower
Over 750 pounds 1 ¼ horsepower


You will notice that the opener do not list a minimum weight just a maximum weight. Does this mean that a 1 horsepower garage door opener will not safely and effectively open a door that weighs 200 pounds ? No, but what you can determine from this is that you do not need that much opening power for a lighter garage door.

The weight becomes more critical when you get to the heavier larger garage doors. If you have a very heavy wood door or a commercial garage door then you need to use an opener that is rated for the weight of the garage door you have. Heavier doors need more support than lighter doors, so it is important to look at the opener rail assembly for heavier doors. One piece opener rails are stronger and will last longer than sectional opener rails. The components inside the openers and motors for the larger horse power are stronger and will in theory last longer than the motor and components in smaller garage door openers.

Is bigger better ?  

The short answer is to make sure the opener you choose is strong enough and rated to lift your garage door.


The list above is Liftmasters ratings, check the rating for the garage door opener brand you are considering installing.












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