How to Choose a Garage Door Opener

garage door opener

You’ve invested money in a new garage door. Now it’s time to invest in a high-quality automatic garage door opener. After all, you want to be able to get in and out of your garage with the utmost of ease, right? However, with so many types on the market, shopping for an opener can be a daunting task. Here we explain drive types, horsepower, options, and accessories to help you narrow down your search.

Garage Door Opener Drive Types

Chain Drive: This opener is the most common and the least expensive. As the name implies, it utilizes a chain to pull or push a trolley, which moves your door up and down along its tracks. Chain drive openers, however, are by far the nosiest option. If you have an attached garage, you may want to consider choosing a different model.

Belt Drive: If you have living space directly above or adjacent to the garage, then a belt-driven opener is your best choice, as these systems offer the quietest operation.

Screw Drive: This type of garage door opener rotates a threaded steel rod to operate the door. In general, there are less components in a screw driven opener than above alternatives, often resulting in less maintenance over its lifetime. The downside is that these openers can be nosier than a belt drive – although they are still a lot quieter than a chain drive.

Wall Mount: If the height of your garage doesn’t allow for a traditional, ceiling mounted opener, a wall mounted opener is a great choice. The LiftMaster® 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener features a quiet 24V DC motor and MyQ capability (a separate gateway is required).

Other Things to Consider

Horsepower: Garage door models range from lightweight, uninsulated aluminum to heavy, insulated steel, full-view glass or solid wood. While a 1/2 horsepower garage door opener should be sufficient to operate all but the largest/heaviest door, higher horsepower (3/4 or 1 1/4) openers can move a door with less strain, thus lasting longer.

Battery Backup: The best thing about this feature? When, and if the power goes out, the opener has enough power stored in the unit to allow you to operate the door as usual four or five times. To benefit from this feature, however, you will need to purchase a new opener. Battery backups are unfortunately not sold separately.

Internet Connectivity: Smart garage door openers are another option to consider. These openers improve home security by allowing you to check your door’s status from an accompanying app or online account. This eliminates the worry that you may have accidentally left it open. You can also receive alerts on your smartphone.

Rolling Code Technology: Standard on most openers, this technology selects a new, non-repeating access code from about 1 million possible code options each time you use the remote control. This keeps thieves from being able to sit outside your home with a code-grabbing device, steal your code, and enter your home uninvited.

Optional Opener Accessories: From keyless entry systems to laser parking guides, there are a wide variety of optional opener accessories that will improve your day-to-day life, and provide you much needed peace of mind. For organizing purposes, there is a large assortment of overhead racks, pegboards (steel and wood), and cabinets to choose from.

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