Did you recently purchase a new home or renovate your garage and are ready to take it to the next level? Although you may not realize it, the style and function of your garage door opener can make a world of difference in the performance of your garage door.
If you’ve never had an automatic garage opener and have always opened your garage manually, you are in for a treat! Consider all the rainy days when you had to jump out of your car and pull open the garage door. The best type of garage door opener can quite possibly improve the quality of your life.
Read on to learn about all the different types of garage door openers and what the best choice is for you.
You’ll first want to consider the different drive types of automatic garage door openers; not all types are created equal. Some are louder but are able to open and close heavier doors at a faster clip. Some are incredibly quiet and smooth no matter how heavy your door is but may be more expensive. Let’s take a look.
As the name suggests, this kind of garage door opener utilizes a chain to open and close the garage door; similar to a bicycle chain. The chain is connected to a metal J-bar that’s attached to the garage door, enabling it to open or close the door from above.
They are the most common type of garage door opener, and a consumer grade model can be found at most big box home improvement stores. However, chain drive openers tend to make the most noise and cause the most vibration, but if you have a detached garage or don’t use the garage as much, then this may not be a concern.
Just as it sounds, a belt drive opener uses a belt reinforced with steel, fiberglass, or polyurethane to open and close the garage door. They are similar to a chain drive in that they use a j-bar connected to the door to pull it open, but unlike the chain drive, the belt drives tend to be much quieter, and are the ideal choice if your bedroom is above or near the garage.
This system uses a motor to turn a threaded rod that opens and closes the garage door. If you don’t like waiting for your garage door to open, these are one of the speediest options, but one of their major downsides is that they’re sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and tend to need more repairs. However, manufacturers are beginning to improve this aspect.
Direct Drive or Jackshaft Openers
Last but not least we have Direct Drive, sometimes referred to as Jackshaft openers. This system doesn’t have as many moving parts, so it is another quiet solution, and because they have squeezed all the engineering into a small compact unit, it’s also the most expensive. Instead of being located overhead, they’re installed on the wall next to the garage door and use a pulley and cable system to raise and lower the garage door through tension. This is a great option if you want to add more overhead storage to your garage or if your garage has a lower or higher than normal ceiling.
Garage Door Opener Features
Garage door openers are simple pieces of technology that are meant to do one job well. However, recent technological advancements have improved their functionality and can make them easier or safer to use. Here are a few features you should consider.
You’ll want to have an opener that comes with security lights, especially if you’re driving home late at night. These are usually motion-activated that will illuminate the entire inside of your garage.
It’s important that your opener comes with a battery backup. In cases when there’s a power outage and you’re away from home, you don’t want to be stuck outside or inside while you wait for your power to come back on.
A garage door that automatically closes is and important safety feature, especially if you live alone. If you forget to close your garage, your garage door will close on its own after a certain period of time.
You’ll find that garage door openers will give you a horsepower measurement–the most common are 3/4 HP and 1/2 HP. The more horsepower an opener has, the faster they’ll be able to open and close the garage door. Openers with more horsepower are also able to handle the heavy garage doors much easier.
Having a garage door opener that’s accessible from your smart phone may seem unnecessary, but consider it as an extra security feature. By enabling you to connect the opener to your Smart Home system, you can be alerted when you’re away from home telling you when the garage has been opened, or grant someone access to your garage right from your phone where ever you are.
The Best Type of Garage Door Opener For You
In order to find the best type of garage door opener, you need to consider the design of your own home and the functions you’re looking for. For instance, if you find that your bedroom is close to the garage and you’re tired of how loud it is, it may be time to invest in a belt or direct drive system.
If your home already has smart features that you use often, it could make sense to invest in smartphone control for your opener so that it’s connected with the rest of the house.
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