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INDIANAPOLIS –  Most Americans don’t realize if they have a garage door, it can be the cause of big heating bills in the winter.  That’s if their garage door isn’t doing what it’s supposed to which is sealing up nice and tight.  And for many home owners, their garage is connected to their house.  We have the ups and downs of proper maintenance on your garage door, especially as it gets colder. 

Garage doors don’t just let you go in and out, but the heat and cold as well.  So, let’s talk about garage door maintenance. We begin with something anyone can do.

“Something that you can do is you can go to a local hardware store.  You can find some garage door lubricant.  It’s different from regular lubricant, so make sure it’s a garage door lubricant.  You can spray that across your torsion springs above your door.  You should also spray all of your hinges too,” says Kyle Chudyk, owner of Pro-lift Garage Doors Indianapolis.

Before lubricating, one door we tested was creaking.  Right after it was lubricated, it was smooth and produced almost no sound.  That in turn saves on wear and tear and saves you money.   The garage door lubricant is under $10, and the can will last you for a couple years. 

“Get up on a ladder with the garage door closed and then just give the springs a nice little squirt across the top.  It will soak down inside there and lubricate it.  Also, don’t forget to get all the hinges too,” said Chudyk.

Whether the garage doors go up and down smoothly or not, is not the only key to stretching your dollar.  Make sure you’ve got a nice seal when the door is closed.  You can look from the outside to make sure the weather stripping is in good shape.  If it’s not, they have them in some basic colors at hardware stores to replace if you need to. Plus, they are fairly inexpensive.  Doing that can prevent expensive heating bills.  That’s because a cold garage will chill your home. 

Something else that really stretches your dollar is not having to replace the opener, the springs, and the cable.   They can wear out much faster if not properly tensioned, but that’s one thing experts say, don’t try yourself.

“Messing with the torsion springs above the doors is not a good idea for most.  Those things are under a lot of tension and pressure.  You don’t want to mess around with those.  You need the right tools and you need to know what you’re doing,” said Chudyk. 

So how do you even know if the garage door tension and balance are right of wrong? 

You can check the balance by first disconnecting your garage door from your opener by pulling down the rope or chain which all garage doors have.  Then lift the door about half way and if stays, that’s good.  Then push it up and if it stays and it doesn’t rock it toward that opener, the door is balanced.   It all means there is no undue stress on your opener and everything else.  That will make it all last a lot longer because you don’t want it breaking in the middle of winter.