Garage door openers are an unsung hero of modern life. Hanging from the ceiling in your garage, conveniently operated by a remote control, they make it possible for us to smoothly avoid bad weather and dim lighting while we come and go from home. Like everything else, however, your garage door opener has a lifespan, and when it reaches a certain age, it often makes more sense to replace it than repair it.
What are your options when it comes to a new garage door opener? There are several, largely related to price and the noise volume of the garage door as it opens and closes. A chain-drive garage door opener, as the name implies, relies on a metal chain to raise and lower the garage door. It is typically louder than other options, but has a price point that makes it a great choice, especially if your garage is detached from your house.
For a quieter option, look into screw-drive garage door openers. This style uses a long, threaded steel rod that rotates to move along the trolley and open or close the garage door. While it has fewer moving parts and potentially less noise than the chain-drive version, the screw-drive system requires lubrication every few months and may not be appropriate for very heavy garage doors.
If your garage is located underneath a bedroom, quiet operation may be your biggest consideration. For that, a belt-drive garage opener may be the best value. These use a rubber or synthetic belt rather than metal, making for quiet, smooth operation. You can further optimize for quiet by purchasing a direct current belt-drive garage door opener, which will operate with softer starts and stops than an alternating current version.
Finally, a direct-drive garage door opener will offer you top of the line functionality. A direct-drive system costs more, but they operate very quietly and are extremely long lasting. With a direct-drive opener, it’s the motor itself that moves along the track, meaning that there’s just one moving part. With fewer moving parts, there’s less vibration and noise, and fewer things that can break or wear out.
Horsepower is another consideration, and will have to do with the type of garage door you have. A standard garage door opener operates at ½ HP, and this is appropriate for most garage doors. However, if your garage door is a single piece or is heavily insulated, you may need a little bit more power. Garage door openers also come in ¾ HP, 1 HP, and 1-½ HP models, which are good choices for certain specialty doors, oversized doors, and industrial garage doors. Obviously, more power means a higher price point.
While garage door openers will come with standard components like remote controls and wall-mounted keypads, homes and vehicles today include a significant amount of automation that garage door openers increasingly take advantage of.
You don’t have to be an early adopter to want a garage door opener that integrates into your home’s wi-fi network or your car’s onboard controls, or which can be operated from an app on your phone. Other nice-to-have features that can make life easier are battery backups, which allow for operation even during a power outage, and motion-sensitive lights for added security.
While big box stores may seem like a convenient place to pick up a new garage door opener, you’re likely to get the best service by shopping with a company that specializes in them. Not only can you get the right type of garage door opener for your needs, power requirements, and budget, but a garage door specialist can handle the installation and cover parts and labor with a hassle-free warranty.
If your garage door opener is on the fritz, don’t panic. Replacing it doesn’t have to be a headache or break the bank. It might even be as easy as a simple phone call to the right team of garage door opener installers.
Cincinnati Door & Window, Inc.
4030 Mt. Carmel-Tobasco Rd
Cincinnati, Oh 45255