Have you ever watched your garage door open and wondered how you or your garage door opener are able to easily lift the heavy door? The science behind it is called counterbalance and is the reason your door feels lighter than it is. The team at Neighborhood Garage Door Repair wants to share details on how counterbalance works for you.
What Is Counterbalance Anyway?
Simply put, the counterbalance is a weight that balances another weight. Or, in the case of your garage door system, it is a force that counteracts the weight of the door. That force is provided by the springs.
Garage door springs are wound as the door closes placing them under tension. The energy is stored in the spring until you open the door. As the door raises, the spring tension is released back into the door reducing the total required effort you or your opener uses to open the door.
Another component that helps your door lift easily is the tracks and rollers. It is harder to lift something straight up and the same is true of your garage door. As your garage door reaches the horizontal portion of the track the weight of the door is dispersed across the tracks making it lighter and requiring less work from the spring.
What Type Of Spring Does My Door Use?
There are two main styles of garage door springs. Torsion Springs and Extension Springs. Torsion Springs are the type most commonly used. If you have torsion springs, you will likely find them mounted horizontally at the top of your door.
Extension springs are identifiable by the cable that is attached to them. They are located along the horizontal portion of your garage door track. They are most often used in situations that don’t allow space for the tension spring to be safely placed above the door.
Proper Spring Tension Makes Counterbalance Work For You
You may notice that your torsion springs are still under tension even when the door is completely raised. Leaving tension on the spring helps the system work most effectively. If the tension is not set properly, the counterbalance will not distribute the force correctly.
If the tension is too loose it may cause your door to slam to the ground. Tension set too tight may keep your door from closing completely. If you have extension springs it is important to ensure that you have safety cables attached to them to prevent them from flying off and causing damage or injury in the event they break.
Setting the tension on garage door springs can be dangerous and trusting it to a professional is usually the safest course of action.
Call Us With Any Questions About Counterbalance
Counterbalance is an important part of your garage door system. If you are concerned your door is not using this force properly or you notice any issues with your springs, call the team at Neighborhood Garage Door Repair. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and assist you with all your garage door service needs.