Your garage thing has been rattling around in my head for awhile, (not the way it has for you, I suspect!)
Check this out...
There is a manufacturer who sells a garage door opener that mounts on the garage door header and gear drives the torsion spring directly. No rails, rods, chains, etc. It doesn't care if your heat duct is 12" away from the door.
Here is the website, I saw a blurb about it in the latest issue of Handyman How To Magazine...The other products I am going to list here were also listed in this issue, and I think they are really cool! (No, there are no kickbacks on this, I just wanted to share 'em.)
The Garage Door Header Opener Wayne Dalton -DoorMaster 800-827-3667 www.garagedoorsafety.com
Water powered Garbage Disposal, approved for Septic Systems! HydroMaid 888-824-9376 www.hydromaid.com (Wait until June, they will have modified the unit to prevent cross-connections!)
A tool organizer for the top of your step ladder: www.theladdercaddy.com
Carpenter's Pencil Sharpener (I bought one, it works great!) www.chhanson.com
Handyman How To is the Official Magazine of The Handyman Club of America, to which I am a Life Member. Everything I listed above has been discussed in the latest issue... Their website is www.handymanclub.com. Check it out!