It’s natural for the pieces and parts that make up your garage door system to have some wear and tear over the years. You’ll most likely need to replace these components as time goes by, or you might just want an upgrade from what your house came with. No matter your reason, a new garage door opener can provide many benefits, including heightened security, keypad entry, and wireless features. To know what kind of garage door opener is best for your needs, first decide what you want to prioritize. What matters more to you and your family: cost, noise level, maintenance?
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, a chain drive opener may be your best option. While they can be noisier than other kinds of openers, they are the most common, thus making it relatively easy to find a replacement. These openers are mounted on your garage’s ceiling and use a chain to move a trolley that raises and lowers your door. Because chain drive openers can operate loudly, you may want to consider a different option, such as a belt drive, if you have a bedroom over the garage and would be disturbed by late-night use of the door.
Belt drive garage door openers work like a chain opener but with a toothed belt moving the trolley rather than a chain. Belts can be made of fiberglass, rubber, or other materials and are just as reliable as their chain counterparts. These models are much quieter than the chain varieties and could work perfectly for an attached garage, but you’ll need to pay a little more.
In this type of opener, the trolley glides across a steel rod (instead of a chain or belt) while the motor rotates the rod. This eliminates several components of the opener system, ultimately requiring less maintenance than the two systems described above. Screw drive openers are not as quiet as belt-driven operators and are more expensive, but they run smoothly and open the door more quickly. If low maintenance needs and getting into your home quickly are priorities for you, a screw drive model might be a good option.
In a direct drive garage door opener, the motor is inside a carriage that pulls itself along a stationary chain, bringing the door behind it. Since there is just one moving part in this system, it is extremely quiet, durable, and low maintenance. A direct drive opener can cost around the same as a belt-driven operator and come with a lifetime warranty.
These garage door openers are mounted on the wall beside the door rather than on the ceiling, which saves overhead space. Jackshaft drive openers have a motor that controls pulleys and cables that turn a torsion bar to raise the garage door. To close the door, the motor simply reverses itself to uncoil the cables. While this kind of garage door opener is one of the quietest and most durable systems on the market, they are also one of the most expensive.