Tips & Tricks

Garage Door Openers: How Much Horsepower Do I Need?

By April 23, 2022 May 23rd, 2022 No Comments
How to choose a garage door opener. Gold Label Door

Your garage door opener is responsible for lifting one of the largest and heaviest pieces of equipment you own, so it’s important to buy one with the right amount of horsepower. As we’ll discuss below, more horsepower is not always better and there are several factors to take into consideration as you shop. If you’re ready to buy a new garage door opener, we’re here to help. Let’s discuss the different types of garage door openers, so you can decide which one is best for your garage.

What Are Your Options?

There are many different garage door openers on the market and they come with varying amounts of power. It’s important to pick one with the right amount of horsepower (HP) so it lifts your door effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of motors on the market so you can choose the right amount of HP for your garage door.

1/3 HP

This option provides you with the least amount of power and it’s usually the most affordable choice. 1/3 HP motors can easily lift garage doors that aren’t very heavy and they can even handle heavier doors that have been well-balanced. They tend to wear out more quickly than those with higher HP, especially if you’re using your garage door opener to lift a heavy door.

1/2 HP

This size is the most popular choice and it can accommodate garage doors that are between 8 and 12 feet wide. It’s a great choice for both single and double garage doors of average width and it comes at a price point right in the middle of the road. Many people choose this type of garage door opener for their residential homes since it provides extra power and lasts longer than a 1/3 HP motor.

3/4 HP

This maximum level of HP is a great choice for lifting very heavy doors that are made of wood. It’s also necessary for oversized doors that are over 14 feet wide, since they’re much heavier than standard garage doors. You’ll pay more for 3/4 HP, but you’ll receive a very durable, long-lasting garage door opener that has the capacity to lift the heaviest equipment.

How Much Horsepower Do You Need?

If you’re ready to replace your garage door opener, you’ll need to consider several options so you can purchase the HP that meets your garage door’s needs. Here are a few important factors to consider.

Garage Door Size

Measure your garage door’s width to get an idea of the HP you’ll need to lift it. A standard garage door is typically between 8 and 12 feet, and a 1/3 or 1/2 HP garage door opener can handle the weight. If your garage door is oversized and beyond 12 feet wide, you will likely need to purchase a garage door opener that has 3/4 HP.


Consider the type of garage door you’ve got. Is it made of steel or aluminum? If so, a 1/3 or 1/2 HP opener will be able to lift it with little difficulty. If your garage door is made of a much heavier material like wood, you may want to consider getting a garage door opener with a higher HP to handle the heavier load.


As mentioned above, the door’s material will greatly affect the weight your garage door opener will need to lift. Other factors that affect your garage door’s weight include insulation, windows, double doors and the thickness of your garage door.


A 1/3 HP garage door opener can lift most residential doors, but it’s going to have to work a lot harder than one with 1/2 HP. Consider the price points of both options and remember that one with less HP will likely wear out much faster and you’ll have to replace it sooner than one with more power that costs more upfront.

At Gold Label Door, we like to consider ourselves the experts on garage door maintenance and repair. If you’d like our input on a new garage door opener, we’d love to help. Contact us with all your questions and we’ll get you set up with a garage door opener that will last you for years to come.