3 Questions You Need To Answer When Choosing a Garage Door Opener02/13/2017 Back To Blog
Choosing a garage door opener doesn’t need to be rocket science. All you have to do is figure out the answers to three questions, and you’ll be on your way to a fully automated garage door.
What Type Of Opener Do I Want?
Most of garage door openers installed today are either chain, belt, or screw-driven. When deciding which one of these to install, always think about the noise and how fast you want the door to operate.
Chain drive openers are quite noisy, so bear this in mind if your garage is attached to your house or is directly below one of the rooms in your house. Chain drives units are the most popular, though, because they are extremely durable.
The belt-driven models open the door with less noise than chain drives, but they are also more expensive. Belt drives also have smoother operation, and because of this, offer the fastest opening and closing speeds.
On a spectrum with a chain drive garage opener on one end, and a belt drive one on the other, the screw drive mechanism is right in the middle, balancing noise reduction, speed and price.
How Much Horsepower Do I Need?
Residential garage door openers come with motors in ⅓; ½; and ¾ horsepower (HP) variations. The model you choose will depend on the weight of your garage door. For standard-sized single doors made from lightweight material like steel or aluminum, a ½ HP model is more than sufficient to lift the door without straining the motor. It’s also possible to fit a ½ HP motor to insulated or one-piece wooden doors because a stronger motor may seem like overkill, but bear in mind that you might need to replace the mechanism sooner, so it might be worth considering going directly for the ¾ HP motor.
What Security Features Do I Need To Think About?
In the past, automated garage doors posed a potential danger to anyone who happened to be in the path of the door when it was closing, leading to the introduction of security features. Safety reverse sensors stop a door from closing if an obstruction is detected. Most well-known and reputable brands of opener motors will come standard with reverse sensors. Other safety features you might want to consider are battery backups to keep the opener functioning in the event of a power failure. And if you or your family members are always losing remote controls, consider buying a motor that is Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled so that you can operate it with your smartphone from wherever you are.
There are some models out there you can try to install by yourself, but it's always recommended to consult a professional.