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What are the differences between an AC garage door opener and a DC garage door opener?

    What are the differences between an AC garage door opener and a DC garage door opener?
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    To address this question we must first understand what AC and DC mean. AC means alternating

    current and DC means direct current. In AC or alternating current the current changes direction.

    AC current can travel further distances and the voltage can be bumped up and down.


    AC power utilizes transformers to control the amount of power delivered and the direction the power

    flows. AC power is a stronger current, but it cannot be stored. In DC power, the power only

    flows in one direction. DC power is found in batteries and the voltage is constant and cannot be

    changed. DC power does not travel very far without losing its strength and DC power can be



    AC Garage Door Motors


    AC motors have been used in the garage door industry much longer than DC motors. AC motors

    are typically larger, heavier and louder motors requiring more components to control the


    amount of electricity delivered to the motor.  AC motors can require costly repairs to keep them

    functioning properly. 

    craftsman-chain-drive-ac-opener genie-chain-oepner-ac

    AC motors, in most cases, are so large and heavy that they do not allow

    for the newer components today’s consumers want in their garage door openers. These new

    components include battery backups and MyQ technology.


    DC Garage Door Motors

    DC motors are becoming the standard in garage door motors. DC motors are smaller, lighter

    and quieter than AC motors. AC motors use an electronic circuit board to control the amount of

    power delivered to the motor. These circuit boards can allow the motor to have a soft open and

    close feature.


    This function speeds up and slows down the motor at different phases in the

    open and close function, allowing the soft open and close. Genie first used a DC motor in a

    garage door opener in 1994 while Liftmaster did not use DC motors until 2000. DC motors once

    utilized brushes in its motors, but now DC motors utilize brushless designs, making them last

    much longer.


    In our technology based society, people are wanting more and more options to

    make life simpler. Some of these technologies include the MyQ technology which allow the

    owner to open and close the garage door from a smart phone or tablet. It can also include

    controlling lighting and other household appliances as well as locking and unlocking the house.

    This technology requires added space in the garage door opener unit. The smaller and lighter

    weight DC motors in garage door openers allows for the adding of these functions. Many

    people also want the convenience of having a battery backup system. The battery backup

    system allows the owner to open and close the garage door using the opener during periods of

    power failure.


    These batteries add additional weight and require additional space inside the

    garage door opener, DC motors allow the space for batteries while keeping the units small and

    light weight.

    AC and DC motors in garage door openers perform the same task effectively, but as we have

    discussed, AC motors are large and heavy and use more power. In our opinion, DC motors are

    the future of garage door openers. DC motors will allow for the adding of future features that

    people will be looking for in new garage door openers.


    Our society has become obsessed with  technology, and this is only going to get worse.

    DC motors will allow for the adding of more features in the future. DC motors are also improving daily

    with smaller motors delivering the needed power to open and close the garage door. The technology is

    also increasing the life of DC motors with minimal or no maintenance.