How Do Garage Door Sensors Work?

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Those garage doors that magically go up and down save lives, save cars and save peace of mind.

Sensors save lives. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, three children each year are killed when garage doors trap them. It’s true that this is a national average and not Portland specific, but the statistic doesn’t include the number of traumatic injuries caused by similar accidents. In fact, incidents occurred with enough frequency that Congress enacted legislation that requires all garage doors manufactured after 1991 comply with entrapment protection requirements.

In short, entrapment protection comes in the forms of “electric eyes” and door-edge sensors.

Electric Eye

These eyes don’t really see you or your kids, pets or cars. Instead, the electric eye is a beam that crosses open garage door space. Sensors that shine beams are aligned near the bottom of each side of the garage door, and the aligned beams form one solid beam. An unbroken beam informs the door that it can proceed down safely; alternatively, a broken beam tells it to scurry back up because someone or something stands in the way.

Door-Edge Sensors

Two flexible, highly sensitive conductive elements string along the bottom edge of garage doors. During normal, safe operations, the elements don’t touch. If, however, the bottom door edge touches a person, pet or car, the conductive elements meet. This meeting, which occurs with even a slight touch, tells the door it must stop and reverse course.

For the continued safety of your family and belongings, you should perform checks monthly to ensure the system still works properly. Kids on skateboards and bikes and beginning drivers are notorious for accidentally knocking electric eye sensors out of alignment, which prevents the continuous beam that communicates with the door.

Use inanimate objects to test the door. If you have an electric eye, roll a ball, a skateboard or your least favorite garden gnome across the door’s path while it’s closing. You have a malfunction if the door doesn’t stop and retract. If you have a door-edge sensor, place a two-by-four or the same garden gnome on the floor. You know you have a problem if the door doesn’t retract on contact.

Unfortunately, sensors are connected to the logic board specific to each automatic garage door system, so you can’t retrofit sensors to garage doors manufactured before 1991. You can, however, contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland for information on installing new garage doors or to perform maintenance on malfunctioning sensors. Save a life, save a car and save a garden gnome with a garage door sensor that works as it should.

Introducing Thermocore™: Why Our Doors Are Better

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Protect Your Garage—and Your Home—from the Elements

Portland residents love to play up the city’s generally mild weather, and it’s true that our part of the world looks like paradise next to Alaska or Arizona. That said, Portland still experiences the temperature swings that accompany any four-season climate. To protect your home and your wallet from these unpredictable patterns, you need a first line of defense that works even when you’re out of the house. Our Thermocore-insulated garage doors offer protection like no other.

What Is Thermocore Insulation?

Thermocore is an industry-leading brand of “structural insulated panels.” Its products can be found in a variety of locations in residential and commercial structures, including:

• Roofs
• Interior and exterior walls
• Garage doors
• Outbuildings

Thermocore’s panels use special polyurethane foam that protects indoor environments from temperature shocks and drafts. Thanks to stud-less framing, the panels lack the “thermal breaks” that affect similar products made by other firms. In our garage doors, Thermocore’s customized panels fit snugly into virtually any configuration and provide years of energy savings.

Specs and Standards

The most powerful way to highlight the benefits of a Thermocore-insulated garage door is simply to point to the energy savings that the product promises. First, Thermocore’s R-values—the primary measure of energy efficiency—are off the charts: its latest products promise superior R-value readings of 17.5, a level that far exceeds that of competing products. Thermocore doors also promise additional benefits:

• Panel thicknesses of one to two inches
• Heights of up to 32 feet
• Widths of up to 40 feet
• Maximal air infiltration protection at wind speeds of up to 25 mph
• “Sandwich panel” construction that alternates layers of material for maximal insulating power

How We Use It

We proudly use Thermocore insulation for our most durable class of sectional doors. We offer several levels of insulating power:

• Light duty
• Medium duty
• Heavy duty
• Extra heavy duty

No matter which type you choose, you can count on powerful insulating power that keeps hot or cold air out and temperate air in.

Get Great Deals on Insulated Garage Doors in Portland

If you’re sold on the importance of a well-insulated garage door, you’re ready for the fun part. Since just about every Portland-area home is different, we’re proud to make a wide range of garage doors to fit your taste, budget and physical specifications. Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland to learn more about how Thermocore garage doors can transform your car’s overnight resting place into a cozy, efficiency-enhancing feature of your home.

5 Reasons to Appreciate Garage Door Windows

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Throwing a Little Light on the Subject

The backyard view through glass doors is relaxing. You love the way sunlight streams through the living room bays. Even lovely louvered panes receive an admiring glance. What about those windows in a garage door? They’re not exactly plate glass beauties, but they deserve respect. Here are five reasons to reflect on their clear advantages.

1. They dress up the house. Realtors call it curb appeal, and it’s an important part of your property’s value. Garage door windows add exterior style that gives your home personality. If your current doors don’t have these pleasing portals, stand outside, and look back at the house. Imagine the light reflecting off panes and frames that complement your home’s good looks.

2. The sun shines in. You don’t have to burn overhead fixtures when natural light beams through the windows. Bulbs in the garage might not seem like a major source of home energy consumption, but they add to the monthly bills. Windows let you live a little greener, and you won’t replace the lights as often if you aren’t constantly switching them on and off.

3. You see better in the dark. With light shining through the windows, you don’t have to open the garage doors and hope for a little ambient illumination while you replace burned-out bulbs. It’s also easier and safer to climb a ladder on a cold Portland day with the doors closed against the chill. If storms knock out the electricity, you can still see well enough to search boxes for emergency supplies without finding the flashlights first.

4. It’s convenient to peek out. If you hear a commotion in your front yard, running outside to investigate might not be your best option. However, a discreet peep through the garage door windows lets you see exactly what’s going on. Even if you’re just being a curious neighbor, the portals let you keep an eye on things from the privacy and security of your garage.

5. You can add a room. If you’re interested in extra space and another boost to that important property value, think about all the possibilities of a garage conversion. Those windows in the doors are smart assets when you’re ready to remodel that space into a home office, personal gym or hobby center. Create your space, hang some drapes, and boom, you have a new room.

Seemingly humble panes can really pack a punch. Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland. We’re happy to shed some light on your new garage door options.