How Much Horsepower Do I Need for a 2 Car Garage Door

Garage door openers are one of the most essential aspects of a modern household. There are plenty of types with different horsepower ratings out there to fit different needs and garage door sizes.

This drives a lot of people to ask a common question, which is “how much horsepower do I need for a 2 car garage door?” Ideally, any medium-powered garage door opener should be capable of getting the job done.

So how much horsepower is in a medium-powered garage door opener, and is the size of the door the only aspect you should keep in mind?

In today’s article, we’ll tackle down all these answers to help you find the ideal garage door opener power for your needs. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

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How Much Horsepower Is Enough for a 2 Car Garage Door

There are plenty of garage door opener horsepower ratings out there. The most common one is the 1/2 HP rating. This one offers the minimum level of power needed to lift a 2 sectional garage door up.

However, if you want the door to operate more smoothly and require less maintenance and parts replacements with time, you need to consider a more powerful door, such as 3/4 HP and up to 1 1/2 HP.

Here’s a quick look at some of the most common HP ratings on the market:

  • 1/3 HP: The most affordable garage door openers. Not suitable for 2 car garage doors but can work quite well for a small garage door. Keep in mind that these don’t last as long as the others, especially if they’re inadequately used with a large or heavy door.
  • 1/2 HP: The most commonly used garage door opener because it balances between moderate power and low maintenance all the while not costing you an arm and a leg to buy or maintain.
  • 3/4 HP: They’re typically recommended for heavier garage doors, such as the ones made of thick wood instead of steel sheets. They can also be a good choice for a double garage door if you want less maintenance and a better longevity rating.
  • 1 HP to 1 1/2 HP: As you go up in the horsepower rating, the upfront costs of the garage door opener increase, but you save more money in the long run by paying less for maintenance, as the door mechanism isn’t stained or overworked.

Factors to Consider Before Picking a Suitable Horsepower Rating

As you can see, there are plenty of horsepower ratings for garage door openers on the market.

In this section, we’ll help you narrow down your scope by providing you with a quick overview of the other aspects you need to consider while choosing a suitable horsepower rating.

Type of Garage Door Opener

The general design of any garage door opener depends on a standard system, which is a motor that drives a carriage or a trolley along a rail that is connected to the door.

As the motor moves, the puling/releasing system moves, controlling the garage door as engineered.

Different types of garage door openers may vary in efficiency and price, and therefore, may require less or more horsepower to operate:

  • Chain-Driven: chain-driven systems are the most affordable but they’re quite inefficient and tend to require more horsepower. If your 2 car garage door is chain driven, expect it to require a lot of maintenance if you opt for a motor lower than 3/4 HP.
  • Screw-Driven: These systems rely on a threaded steel rod that rotates to move the lifting mechanism like a screw, hence the name. These openers are much more efficient than chain-driven because they use fewer moving parts and produce less noise. A 1/2 HP should operate as a 3/4 HP chain-driven one.
  • Belt-Driven: belt-driven door openers are more efficient than chain systems but they cost quite more. They’re also as quiet as screw-driven mechanisms, but they tend to be a little pricey.
  • Directly-Driven: As the name suggests, this modern system connects the motor directly to the door without requiring trolleys or carriage. This means that no power is wasted on supporting the weight of additional parts, so they’re most efficient but also the most expensive.

Garage Door Size and Material

Most standard garage doors between 8 to 10 feet wide require a 1/3 HP mechanism to operate. However, when things come to a 2 car garage door, the size becomes a more serious aspect.

To fit 2 cars horizontally you’ll need at least 14 feet wide door, including a heavier trolley system. Such a large door requires at least 1/2 to 3/4 HP to operate properly. If the door is a heavy wooden one, you might need a 1 1/2 HP garage door opener for a smooth operation.

The Garage Door Openers Longevity and Speed

The heavier the door, the slower it’ll open and close. Larger doors can take quite some time if they’re hooked with a low HP motor, especially when they go up.

The more power that the pulling mechanism requires to lift the door up the louder the door becomes. Also, the moving parts start to break down a lot sooner with a low HP motor.

So, if you want your garage door opener to operate with high efficiency and require little maintenance, you should opt for a high HP one.

Your Budget

Since different garage door openers come in various efficiency and price ranges, it’s necessary that you keep your initial purchase budget as well as maintenance budget in mind while picking a choice.


There you have it! A complete guide with everything you need to know to answer the question “how much horsepower do I need for a 2 car garage door?”

As you can see, the minimum amount of horsepower to lift such a door can go as low as a 1/2 HP motor. However, opting for a more powerful motor with a higher horsepower rating will help in maintaining the longevity of the garage door.

Always make sure that you keep other features and aspects in mind while deciding on a door opener motor to ensure a faster opening and less downtime due to maintenance.

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