Extra garage door opener remotes come in handy; however, choosing the right opener can be confusing. Each manufacturer makes its own replacement remotes, and universal remotes are also available. You must determine the features you need and the size of the remote. Full-size remotes clip onto the car visor. This is convenient; however, it may become a security risk if your car is stolen. Mini-remotes clip onto your key chain and operate just like a full-size remote.
Find the Garage Door Opener Information
Look for the manufacturer and model information on the motor unit found on the garage ceiling or on the external receiver near the wire antenna. Using the manufacturer information, you can purchase an exact replacement for the garage door remote by matching brand and model number and purchasing it directly from a representative of the manufacturer, your local hardware store or online. If you have an older garage door opener, this is the way to go. Many universal remotes do not work on older models, but the manufacturers still sell the remotes.
Universal Garage Door Remote Controls
Universal garage door remote controls are available that you can program for use with most brands of newer garage door openers. You still need to know the manufacturer to make sure the remote works for your garage door and to program the remote. You can program universal garage door openers to open one or two garage doors. With the addition of a light control switch, a universal remote also turns on the garage light or your home lights. If you have a newer garage door opener but you are unsure of the exact model, a universal remote will probably do the trick.
The number of buttons on your garage door remote is determined by how many devices you want it to control. If you have two garage doors and a remote-controlled garage light, you need three buttons. One garage door and one light or two doors requires two buttons. Garage door remotes are available with up to four buttons.
Programming the Remote
If you purchase the remote for your particular brand of garage door, programming is usually simple. You press, hold and release the buttons in the pattern specified in the instructions and the remote will automatically determine the right radio frequencies for your garage door opener. Universal remotes are a little more complicated. You have to first set the dip switches on the remote to indicate the garage door opener brand, then the radio frequency. Your universal remote should come with a full set of programming instructions.
You can also replace a garage door opener with a wireless keypad. Wireless keypads can open up to three different gates or garage doors, and are usually mounted outside the garage so that family members can open the garage without the remote. Wireless keypads require a security code to open the garage door. They are convenient if you have lost or forgotten your remote and for use by temporary guests or service persons.
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