Garage Openers Buying Guide

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Written By Noah Campbell
Garage Openers Buying Guide

Solutions for convenience are easily available in our nearest hardware. One of the daily tasks of a car owner or a household with a garage, is opening the garage door. If you want to simplify this routinary task then a good garage door opener can be of help. You might wonder: which horsepower should you consider? What mechanism would be best for me? Is there a system of garage openers that work better than others? This guide will take you to the basics as a warm-up for when you decide to get your own garage door opener.

A Buildup of Components

There are a few components you need to consider when choosing a garage door opener. 

First you want to look at the motor used for the opener. Two types of motors are available for you to choose from: alternating current also known as AC, or direct current abbreviated as DC. Alternating current motors are most commonly used but DC motors are softer when it comes to starting and stopping the opener which means a better machine in terms of overall noise. Both motors utilise a standard 120v outlet to help raise the door every time you use the opener.

The next thing you will want to decide on is the lifting power of your opener. When choosing the capacity you can use a one half horsepower  for standard doors, a three-fourth horsepower for insulated doors, and you need to go for at least one horsepower and above for heavier doors. This is merely a recommendation but it would be better for a selection on a higher lifting power to avoid excessive strain on the motor.

Drive Mechanism Selection

Now that you have gone through the lifting power and motor selection, we can discuss the drive mechanisms that make the garage opener work its magic on automated openings of your garage doors.

There are three types of drive mechanisms which are screw, chain, and belt. Each of these mechanisms have an advantage over each other so they only become their “best” in their category where their purpose is factored in. For example you want to be able to choose a silent mechanism or one that does not wear out too quickly.

Garage Openers

Screw Drive Mechanism – a direct system made of steel rod that needs a trolley for it to ride on to facilitate the movement of the door. It differs from the other two mechanisms in its difference of the distribution of force. Both the belt and chain drive system use a similar type of push and pull force. They are more silent than chain drive systems but not as quiet as the belt drive mechanism. This is the choice of openers if you do not want to have to deal with many moving parts that require regular maintenance. They are more expensive because of that convenience. This will not be recommended if your region experiences some fluctuations in temperatures because the unit is sensitive to these changes. 

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Chain Drive Mechanism – the most common and considered a classic in the pulling systems for garage openers, this is also considered the oldest among the three systems. It utilises a chain like the ones used in bicycles to push the trolley connected to the j-arm which is attached to the door. If you are looking for something more economical, then chain drive garage openers are the easy choice. Some may consider the noise that they make rather inconvenient or even a nuisance. However, there are other homeowners who swear by its function as an auditory warning to let them know if the door is opening.

Garage Openers

Belt Drive Mechanism  – following the same pushing and pulling motion of chain drives, the belt drive instead uses a belt. This largely reduces the noise and vibration the mechanism makes which also therefore raises this drive’s category as the more luxurious mechanism you can choose from. Belt drives mostly use belts that are made of polyurethane or PU, steel-reinforced rubber, or fiberglass. However, unlike the screw drive, this one requires some periodic maintenance because the belt can stretch over time and this will need adjustments to ensure the right amount of tension is still applied for the mechanism to work.

Garage Doors and Opener Compatibility

Just before you go on ordering online for your garage door opener, there is just another thing you need to be careful with. One must check for the compatibility of the opener with your door. 

If you are replacing an existing garage door opener, check out the specifications of the model. If you do not have the product manual or details anymore, a quick look on the opener’s label can give you the model number and this can be searched online.

Next, check what the lifting power is for that garage opener and then you can decide if you still want to use the same drive system or you want to change it for whatever reason.

However, if you have not yet bought a garage opener it might be possible that you will have to check with your supplier or local store whether or not your garage door can be compatible with most of these machines in the market. This is especially concerning if your door does not follow what is standard in the way it opens. Thankfully there is usually a door opening solution out there for almost every kind of garage. 

Then again, if you have bought neither the garage opener nor the door then it would be an opportunity to inquire about these garage door openers packaged with the actual door. The advantage being these will sometimes offer free delivery and free installation of the system. No need to worry about having to do all the work on putting it up.

Warranty and Parts

Like any appliance or machinery that you will be investing in, a good warranty provision will guarantee you quality of the materials used to make your opener. However it pays to read the fine print in the warranty. Most will offer a one year warranty on the motor but offer five year warranty on the springs and other parts. Some brands that are very confident will even offer up to ten years in warranty for their higher-end models.

Just remember, it also helps if the brand that you are buying from has parts that can easily be purchased nearby or through express shipping so that you will not have to go international just looking for the exact parts that you need for maintenance or repair of your garage door opener.

Added Features In An Internet Era

You might remember back then these openers worked with a push of a button that is wired and connected to the system. Then an advancement was made and there was a wireless option. Today we are a society of interconnected individuals through the world wide web.

Wi-Fi Garage Door Openers

We cannot stress enough how convenient our lives have become with mobile technology. It is now a common offering for openers to have integration with their mobile apps so you can remotely control and track the operations of your garage opener. For a little more extra some can offer an annual subscription to security services for your door. 

Our team has considered all the factors outlined in this buying guide, along with their expertise and knowledge in Garage Openers, to recommend the top choice for you. You can shop being confident that someone has considered all relevant information and you will get the best Garage Openers to meet your needs. Happy shopping!