garage door openers

What to Consider Before You Purchase a Garage Door Opener

Before purchasing a new garage door opener, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the mechanics available in the market. It is also important for you to understand their distinguishing factors. Read on to learn more about various garage opener types, their features, and how you can pick one that goes hand in hand with your garage door installation.

Features of a Garage Door Opener

Different types of openers have various features. Here are some of the features you get.

1. Remote Control

One of the advantages of investing in a garage opener is the remote-control feature. That means you can open or close the door by the press of a button – both from inside and outside the garage.

2. Security Light

In most cases, garage openers come with security lights that make it easy for you to see when coming in or going out of the garage. Besides, the lights have motion sensors, so you don’t have to worry about switching them on and off.

3. Vehicle Compatibility

As technology around garage openers has continued to evolve, car manufacturers have not slacked either. Some have adopted an in-built smart technology. With the technology, you don’t need a remote to open or close the garage door. You can simply issue a voice command or use touch gestures.

4. Backup Battery

It can be devastating if you couldn’t use the door opener whenever there is a power outage in your home. However, that’s a tale of the past since modern door openers come with battery backup.

5. Holiday Mode

Sometimes, you might have to go away from your home. It could be a few days or weeks. With a high-quality garage opener, your door can remain completely closed the whole time you are away. That means extra security since burglars will have a hard time breaking in.

Types of Garage Door Openers

Having understood some of the features you get, it’s now best to get acquainted with the various garage openers you can find. Take a look:

1. Chain-Drive Opener

These openers are among the most common. As the name suggests, chain-drive openers have a chain that links the trolley and the motor – more like a bicycle chain. The chain pulls the trolley connected to a metal bar fixed on the garage door.

Notably, chain-drive openers have a slimmer chance of breaking down. Besides, they are rather affordable. However, the pull or push impact produces a vibration, which you might find quite disturbing. Another downside is that a chain-drive opener is slower compared to other types, not to mention the vibration can cause your door to tremble. That might mean spending some extra money on garage door repair.

2. Belt-Drive Garage Door Opener

The belt-drive opener is more or less a variant of the chain-drive opener. The only difference is, instead of a chain, a belt-drive opener used a belt. The belt links the trolley and motor to the metal bar.

The belt could either be made of fiberglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber. In terms of reliability, belt-drive openers are just as reliable as chain-drive openers. A major advantage of using a belt-drive opener is noise reduction. Belt-drive openers also require little maintenance, giving you value for your money. However, you will have to part with more money at the beginning.

3. Screw Drive Opener

The screw drive opener is an ideal alternative to chain-drive and belt-drive openers, especially if you have a massive garage door. The screw drive opener has more power, meaning it can lift an enormous door with ease.

Besides supporting expansive doors, screw drive openers are easier to maintain since they have fewer moving parts, so you don’t have to worry about high garage door repair costs. They are also noiseless.

However, these openers have a downside too. For instance, they are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and they cost more.

4. Direct Drive Garage Door Opener

Direct drive openers stand out for being noiseless. The reason for this is that they only have one moving part since the chain is stationary. They are also durable, giving you value for your money. If you are a do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiast, this opener is ideal since the mechanical components are easily replaceable.

Nevertheless, finding a direct-drive opener can be hard since they are rather scarce. You might also have to spend quite a lot of money on repairs in case of damage.

5. Jackshaft Opener

Commonly referred to as wall-mounted door openers, jackshaft openers are modern systems. They are connected to the torsion bar of the garage door to lift and lower the door. This type of opener is suitable for any garage door, including high lift and vertical lift doors.

Unlike most door openers, jackshaft openers are installed on the side of the garage door against the overhead. That saves you space in your garage, which you can use for storage. Newer versions of the opener have state-of-the-art features, like Wi-Fi and smartphone control, through which you can get real-time alerts when you are away from home.

However, compatibility is a big challenge – jackshaft openers only work with small garage doors. The initial cost is also high.

Settling on a Garage Door Opener

Before taking out your checkbook, you have to settle on one type of opener. Here are some of the factors to consider when making that decision.

1. Door Size and Weight

Like we have mentioned earlier, some openers only support tiny doors, while others support massive doors. For instance, if you have a heavy door, you have to forego a jackshaft opener, albeit the attractive features.

2. Horsepower

When shopping around, take some time to look at the opener’s horsepower rating. Anything with a horsepower range of 0.5 to 1.5 will do the job for a residential garage.

3. Noise Level

Some openers are noisier than others. If you are sound sensitive, it would be best to go for quieter models.

4. Speed

Unless you don’t mind waiting in the driveway, consider an opener that opens the garage entryway quickly.

5. Additional Features

Besides the must-have features like horsepower and speed, there is nothing wrong with wanting an opener with extra features. You can consider additional features like rolling code security technology, smart home connections, and so much more.

Parting Thoughts

Above everything else, you have to decide how much you are willing to part with. When accounting for the cost, remember to include other expenses, like garage door installation and garage door repairs. But most importantly, don’t compromise on quality in an attempt to save a few pennies.