How to Choose the Correct Garage Door Opener for Your Home

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Not every garage door opener is the same, which means that you have a few things to think about before you decide which opener to purchase. First of all, there are several different types of garage door openers to choose from. Secondly, there are a number of factors to consider in order to determine what type best suits your home. Last but not least, there are a number of features that you may want to have as well.

Types of Garage Door Openers

There are four main types of garage door systems to choose from. These include:

  1. Chain Drive – A chain drive opener uses a metal chain on a sprocket in order to lift and lower your garage door. Chain drives tend to be one of the more affordable options and also happen to be one of the most durable, making the chain drive a good option if you have a heavier garage door.
  2. Screw Drive – A screw drive opener uses a long metal rod that’s threaded like a screw in order to lift and close the garage door. Because it has very few moving parts, the screw drive tends to be extremely reliable. However, a screw drive does require regular maintenance–you’ll need to lubricate its components every few months to prevent the rod from wearing on the plastic teeth. Otherwise they will eventually be stripped.
  3. Belt Drive – Belt drive openers use a belt made out of rubber or a rubber-like material on a cog in order to open and close the garage door.
  4. Jack Shaft – Jack shaft openers are less commonly used, but are increasing in popularity. They are attached directly to the front wall of the garage, which means that there are no overhead components. Jack shafts use cables that attach to the garage door and use pulleys and a rolling torsion bar in order to lift and lower the door. Jack shaft openers are computerized systems, which means that they often include automatic deadbolts.

Factors to Consider

The following are some of the factors that you’ll need to consider in order to choose the right garage door opener:

  • The weight of your garage door – If your garage door is large and heavy (such as one-piece wood doors), you may want to avoid a screw drive opener since the weight can wear down its plastic teeth pretty quickly. A jackshaft opener may not work either since it’s only suitable for sectioned garage doors. Chain drive openers are best suited for heavier doors.
  • The amount of noise you’re willing to deal with – Some garage door openers are noisier than others. If noise is an important issue for you (for example, if your bedroom happens to be right above the garage), then you’ll want a one that’s as quiet as possible. The belt drive opener is probably the most quiet option available. This is because the parts are not made out of metal, which reduces those loud banging noises. Screw drives are not as quiet as belt drives, but they are quieter than chain drives–which are easily the noisiest.
  • Your budget – If you’re on a strict budget, then the basic chain drive opener is the most affordable option, whereas the jack shaft opener is easily the most expensive due to the fact that it is a computerized system. However, it’s important to understand that just because you go with the cheapest model doesn’t mean you’ll save money–a cheap opener won’t last nearly as long as a more durable and expensive one. A good opener for your garage should last you between 10 and 20 years.
  • The space in your garage – If you have limited overhead space or rafters in your garage, then certain garage door openers are not going to be ideal since most of them are installed on the ceiling. Your best bet if this is the case is to go with a jack shaft, which is installed on the front wall instead of the ceiling and is small and compact to boot.
  • Durability – Most of these openers are relatively durable as long as some maintenance is performed. But where their durability is really tested is under extreme weather conditions. For example, a screw drive will hold up to extreme temperatures much better than a chain drive.

Features to Consider

Once you’ve determined the type of system that best suits your needs, there are many features that you may want to consider as well, including:

  • Touchpads or keypads for remote entry
  • Overhead lights
  • Battery backup
  • Rolling code security technology
  • Internet connectivity

For professional assistance with choosing a garage door that’s right for you–or to schedule the installation, contact us at Garage Door Medics today.

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