There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a quality garage door opener. Not all garage doors are the same, so it is necessary to select an opener that is compatible with your door. Garage door openers offer a lot of value and convenience, and it is helpful to understand what options are available. Make the process easier and check out these top tips for choosing a quality garage door opener.
The most important factor when selecting a garage door opener is finding one that is compatible with your garage door.Determine if your garage door is made of wood or metal. Also, you need to know if the door a sectional design, which means it features different panel sections that are connected by hinges; or does the door feature a one-piece solid construction. It is also important to know if the door has windows, insulation or any type of weather reinforcement, too.
The drive mechanism of a garage door opener is how the device opens and closes the door. There are several options, and each offers different advantages and disadvantages.
Most garage door openers feature a chain drive design. Chain drives are better suited for heavy doors, so if the door is wood or is insulated this may be the way to go. Noise is a factor with chain drives. From a cost perspective chain drives are usually the least expensive option.
The screw drive design operates very fast, so the door can be opened or closed quickly. There is a bit of maintenance required since it is important to keep a screw drive sufficiently lubricated. Heavy doors will cause a screw drive to wear out sooner rather than later, so it is best to use a screw drive opener with a lightweight or single-bay door.
If noise is a concern a belt driven opener is the best option. This style uses a rubber belt or cog to open and close the door. Since it does not use metal parts, it is much more quiet, making it ideal for use in garages that are attached to a home, or feature a finished living space on the second floor.
On a direct drive model, the motor moves along the rail to open the door. This means the unit is much quieter than belt or chain driven openers. And such a practical design is built to last. However, direct drive openers are usually expensive.
Jackshaft garage door openers attach to the wall above the door. If space on the ceiling is limited, this style offers a solution. Jackshaft openers are only compatible with sectioned garage doors. Many jackshaft openers feature a deadbolt feature for added security. These models also tend to be computerized, making them a more expensive option.
Most garage door openers are ½ horsepower (HP). If the door is heavy, like most wood or insulated doors or single-piece doors, ½ HP may not be enough. For heavier garage doors consider a ¾ or 1 HP opener.
Some garage door openers can be controlled via a remote. This is very convenient because you can open and close the door without getting out of your car. This saves time and keeps you out of the elements.
Some garage door openers come equipped with Wi-Fi, which allows for control through an app downloaded to a smartphone. The app option makes it possible to control the door from anywhere, so you can let someone into your garage when you are not home. The app feature is nice because you do not have to keep track of a stand alone remote. Most people who own smartphones typically have their phone on them, so they can always open the door when necessary.
Most garage door openers plug into the wall, so if the power goes out, the opener cannot be used. In some cases, it may not be possible to open or close a garage door if the opener is not operational. A battery backup feature ensures the garage door can be opened or closed when the power is out. This feature may not be used often, but when it is needed it is extremely convenient.
The size and weight of your garage door will mostly determine which types of garage door openers you can use. Understanding how a garage door opener works, any limits imposed by your space and what features are available will help you select a quality garage door opener.
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