I cannot tell you how many times as a family, we’ve headed out on some kind of driving trip, gotten a mile or two away from the house, and someone asks: “did we close the garage door?”
Of course we did. We always do. It’s automatic; so automatic that we don’t think about it. And therein lies the problem: if we don’t think about it, then we don’t remember if we did it or now. And so, we turn the car around and go check.
But not anymore. In the era of the internet of things, it’s now possible to monitor and control your garage door via an app on your phone or other mobile device, and it’s comforting to see that one of the biggest names in garage door openers are offering an add-on device that will get even older openers on line.
The OHD Anywhere from Overhead Door is pretty easy to set up and use. We verified that it would work with our existing system from another manufacturer, and then set to work. There is one control module that can be mounted anywhere that’s relatively close to either the opener itself or the push-button for the opener that usually sits just inside the door from your kitchen, and one sensor that gets mounted to the inside of your garage door.
You start by downloading the app, powering up the control module, and connecting your mobile device to the wifi signal from the module. You name your controller and your garage door (which makes for a bit of fun if you like), then add your home wifi network password and it updates the module, which then resets and logs on, and from there on out, you can connect to it from the app from anywhere.
Installation of the module so it can control your garage door opener takes just a little bit of wiring (and the kit comes with extra wire so you have some flexibility as to where to mount the module). It short, you’ll either wire it into the back of your opener, or splice it into the wire coming from the button you usually use to activate the opener. The biggest determiner is which location has better access to power so you can plug the module in. For us, that was at the opener itself.
In simple terms, you connect two wires from the module to the back of the opener (but you can control up to three openers with the module if you have multiple garage doors), plug the module in, and mount it where it’s easy (it also comes with some mounting hardware to make this easy). The sensor gets mounted to the inside of your garage door in one of the upper corners using another bracket and a couple screws. With this all done, the open/closed status of your garage door will register on the app from anywhere, and you can open or close the door remotely. It works great!
You can even let others have access. And the best thing is having notifications turned on, so that every time the door opens or closes, you get pinged. That way, next time you’re a half mile away after leaving the house, and your spouse asks “did we close the garage door,” all you have to do is tell them to check their phone.
[Note: Overhead Door sent me a sample device for this review; my opinions are my own.]