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Smart home technology is an incredible convenience in contemporary homes, but for all the ease and peace of mind that technology gives us, power outages are still capable of putting a big frustration in your day. Even if your home isn’t a founding member of the Internet of Things, you probably have an electric garage door opener raising and lowering your garage door. What do you do when you need to get your car out of the garage but there’s no power?
It turns out that there’s an eminently low-tech solution – as well as a high-tech one – to the problem. Grab your flashlight, and let’s get that garage door open!
The garage door opener is the machine that does the work of opening or closing the door. They’re usually mounted on the ceiling of your garage, although some models are mounted on the wall. Most will have a red emergency cord that you’ll pull back on to disconnect the door itself from the opener.
Once that’s done, you should be able to open the garage door using the lift handles, usually on the bottom panel. It should be fairly easy to open, and if the springs are balanced, it will stay fully open. If you encounter significant resistance in lifting the door, there’s a problem. Get in touch with a professional garage door service team as soon as possible to troubleshoot it and take care of any safety risks from unbalanced steel springs.
Once the door is open, back your car out. To close and secure the door, pull it back down and use the red emergency handle to reconnect the door to the opener. You’ll probably hear the mechanism click back into place, and the door will no longer open by hand.
Alternatively, you can secure the garage door with a side lock, if your model includes one. Just be sure to unlock it before you reconnect the door to the opener when the power comes back.
That’s the low-tech approach, and it’s tried and true. There’s another option though, and it’s one that may make you the envy of your neighborhood: a battery back-up system from LiftMaster. Battery backup systems take up very little space, mount securely out of the way in your garage, and provide a cost-effective way to get as many as 20 uses out of your garage door during a power outage.
Whether you have a smart home or just want to be smart about your home, LiftMaster’s garage door opener battery backup system is a great choice to keep you moving in an uncertain world.
Vince Scarlato is Co-Owner of Cincinnati Door & Opener, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. His company sells and installs garage doors & openers, Windows & Doors and other home building products.