Homeowners seeking additional security on their property will absolutely adore electric gate openers — a mechanism to automate the main gate, providing remote access. No longer you will need to make small errands every time a guest visits, which is also why it adds convenience and ease to your life.
Since they aren’t something that people buy often, most homeowners aren’t familiar with what they should look for when purchasing an electric gate opener. So, here we have illuminated everything you need to know before heading to the market. Let’s get into it.
Guide to Choosing the Right Electric Gate Opener
What Is the Gate’s Design?
A hefty gate composed of iron or wood, through which you cannot see, usually demands tremendous power to move therefore look for decent gate ideas. For these types of closed boarded gates, a motor possessing 230 v or more power is used. This limits your options as these gates are harder to open.
Open patterned gates, on the other hand, aren’t much hassle to deal with and different types of motors with varying powers can be used for them.
What Are Its Width and Weight?
Electric gate openers come with a power profile, showcasing the maximum size of the gate that the machine can pull without overworking. Manufacturers have put up these limits to maintain the efficiency and longevity of these devices.
For instance, if the gate weighs 700 kg with a 4m length then a kit with 350 kg @ 2m/ per leaf limit is what you should look for. Similarly, every weight and length category should be matched with the power profile of the device to maintain maximum performance.
Putting up a weak motor against a colossal gate would only cause it to burst into flames. That doesn’t mean the device was faulty, but rather you failed to match the motor with your needs.
Does It Slide or Swing?
The gates either slide or swing, and gate openers are chosen accordingly. The former usually comes with a chain, which operates the gate’s movement. The swinging gate is just like any other door in your house that uses swing arm operators for dragging the gate. However, there are modern operators as well that adjust according to the gate’s orientation, making the installation trouble-free.
How Much the Gate Is Used?
Not all electric gate openers are constructed the same — some are meant to endure heavy use, while others falter after continuous mechanical movement. The units are made with the frequency of use in mind and exhibit varying resistance to usage.
For instance, the residential units harbor weaker parts that are ideal for low-frequency visits. On the other hand, commercial gate openers are a whole different story. They are strong and can handle heavy gates with wide leaves, making them perfect for many visits per hour. Here the operators that are meant for residential use will fail miserably. So, it is crucial that you purchase the right operator that can easily cater to your specific needs.
How Quickly Should It Open?
A factor that holds paramount importance but is often overlooked — speed also matters hugely. But again, it all depends on your needs and for what purpose you require an electric gate opener. For example, if the gate is adjacent to the main road where there’s less space to pull over, it is best if the gate can open as quickly as possible. It will become a nuisance otherwise.
It all comes down to the duty cycle speed of the motor — the time required for the operator to pull in and out the mechanical arms of the device. More duty cycle speed would mean higher speed and vice versa.
What About the Curb Appeal?
Depending on the design of your gate and power demand, the gate operators sometimes affect the overall curb appeal. You wouldn’t want visitors to have a bad first impression of your property, would you? It becomes a more important factor when you are intending to sell the property in near future.
You can either go with a gate-mounted or underground operator. The former is expectantly easier and much cheaper to put up, whereas the latter calls for digging holes beneath the gate footprint, which isn’t always a feasible option. However, if the ground is suitable for the digging, the underground units are what we highly recommend, so that you can preserve the curb appeal.
Tips to Buy Electric Gate Openers
The following are some tips that will surely help you out in making a sane and educated decision:
- Use solar power to minimize electricity consumption.
- Consider having battery backups like amazon rechargeable batteries just to avoid any power jams.
- Make sure the operator comes with a stop and reverse feature.
- Keep the controls out of the reach of the gate’s leaves to avoid accidental contacts.
- Make sure the device is outfitted with infrared photo beams to detect obstacles.
- Fix the gate’s movement before putting up a gate opener to maximize the performance.