If you call up a garage door company about a problem with your garage door, one of the questions they may ask is "Does your door use Extension Springs or Torsion Springs?" What does that even mean? All garage doors use springs to counter balance the weight of the door. Without the springs you wouldn't be able to even lift most doors.
EXTENSION SPRINGS: Extension springs are located parallel to the horizontal track across the ceiling on both sides of the door. They lift the door through a series of cables and pulleys.
TORSION SPRINGS: Torsion springs are mounted to the header above the top the door. You can see them from inside the garage when the door is closed. Torsion springs lift the door using torque applied to a shaft.
Which spring system is better? In our opinion, and in the opinion of many overhead door companies, torsion springs are the way to go. However, in some instances extension springs may be necessary due to low headroom. Torsion springs are stronger and more durable. They offer smoother and more controlled movement, which helps keeps the door balanced correctly. A torsion spring setup uses less moving parts, with less parts there's less that can go wrong or wear out. Torsion springs generally cost more than extension springs, but the additional cost is well worth it. With all that said, extension springs are used in hundreds of thousands of garages. If for some reason, your garage can't accommodate a torsion spring, an extension spring will be just fine.