When you come home, you probably don’t even think about the technology behind your garage door. You press a button, it opens, and you drive in. However, the humble garage door represents decades of technological advancements, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
When a Detroit-based entrepreneur founded the first garage door company in 1921, the manufacturing of sectional garage doors began. This led to the creation of the first graduated-track closure system and a graduated spiral drum for torsion-spring counterbalance.
Although the industry took a hit during World War II, the post-war years saw a huge demand for garage doors as more people moved into single-family, semi-detached homes in North America. The result of this boom was that the industry began creating doors out of durable, lightweight materials such as fiberglass and steel.
Over the years, technological advancements continued to take place within the garage door industry. Today, there are two areas in which garage doors will evolve: automation and materials.
Smart Home Revolution Clicked Automation
The popularity of “smart” homes has risen in recent years. “Smart” homes contain devices that can be connected to and controlled from your home’s Internet network.
Garage doors are very much part of the smart home revolution. There are a number of smart garage doors and openers now on the market.
How do these smart garage doors and openers work? They connect to your Wi-Fi network and include access to an app that enables you to open and close it from your smartphone. You don’t even need to be sitting in your driveway to shut your garage door – you could be miles away, remember that you left it open, and hit the button that will seal the door to protect your home.
In addition to the convenience factor, smart garage doors, they provide a sense of security. The apps can tell you who has come in and out. Moreover, if you’ve got other smart appliances in your home, they can communicate with the smart garage door opener. For example, your smart thermostat can “talk” to your garage door opener to learn when you’re home so it will only heat or cool your property when you’re inside. That saves energy (and money).
Materials Choices for Change
When garage door manufacturing began, wood was the material of choice. Developments in chemistry and manufacturing have changed that.
In recent years, plastic garage doors have come onto the scene, and they’ll become a mainstay in homes. Plastic doors are durable, lightweight, and unlike metal or wood, they don’t rot or corrode. They also resist UV rays, so they won’t fade.
There have also been advancements in insulation. Insulation is important because it contributes to the energy efficiency of your home. Manufacturers are working on creating thin yet powerful forms of insulation that will keep your home warm or cool while being environmentally friendly.
While the role of the garage door won’t change, technological advancements will ensure this humble gateway will keep you safe and environmentally friendly.