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Which Garage Door Opener is Best for You?


Looking to install a new garage door opener? There are a wide variety of new garage door openers on the market. Each varies widely when it comes to design and power. (Not to mention that now there are “smart” garage door openers!) The right one for your home will depend on the size and weight of your garage door, but also how quiet you want the opener to be, as well as your budget. Motor horsepower is another critical aspect to consider. Here’s a brief breakdown of the types of garage door openers available for installation.

When installing a new garage door opener, it’s important to understand how each design works so you know which is best for you. This is especially true if you have an alternative style of garage doors, like carriage doors, or if you want features like a high-speed overhead door. You’ll also need to know how powerful of a motor you’ll need, depending on how heavy your garage door is.

Chain Drive Garage Door Openers Stand up to Heavy Use

Garage door openers that operate on a chain drive design are some of the most durable and affordable on the market. They use a metal chain to lift and lower the garage door — perfect for one piece wooden doors as well as heavy oversized doors. These doors hold up well to weather, especially in high winds like some winter rain storms we get in Sacramento. They do have one downside — they can be pretty noisy, a definite factor if your door is near a living room or bedroom. However, some simple garage door maintenance like regularly lubricating the chain can quell this issue pretty well.

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers are Almost Silent

If your garage door is attached to the house near a bedroom or living room, a belt driven garage door opener is one of the quieter options on the market. There’s no metal parts, so there’s nothing to bang or rattle as the door goes up and down. But since it’s not metal, the belt can wear out faster. Belts are also more susceptible to weather and water because they’ll become brittle. There are two different types of belt drive openers with different currents. These include:

  • AC Drive doors operate at full power, which can be jerky and a bit noisier.
  • Direct Current Drive doors feature softer operation, which tend to not only be quieter but also more durable.

Screw-Drive Garage Door Openers

This type of opener operates on a long metal rod that runs against a plastic toothed section to lift and lower the door. There are fewer moving parts, so screw-drive doors tend to be affordable as well as quiet. These doors are perfect for residential areas, as well as businesses where a louder door might otherwise disturb the sales atmosphere. Because they have fewer moving garage door parts, there’s also less maintenance required, although frequent lubrication is necessary. If a door is not well oiled, it can wear down the plastic teeth faster.

Your Garage Door Opener’s Horsepower Should Match the Size and Weight of Your Door

An opener’s horsepower (HP) is usually ½, ¾, or 1 HP. ½ HP garage door openers are the most common, but might wear out faster for heavier or insulated doors. Openers that are ¾ horsepower are ideal for heavier doors, especially one piece wooden doors, double car garages, heavily insulated doors and overhead doors with a wide load rating. These garage door openers tend to be more expensive. 1 HP doors are designed for industrial or oversized doors usually meant for commercial businesses.

How Much Will a New Garage Door Opener Cost?

The average cost to install a new garage door opener is about $125 to $200. The opener itself can cost anywhere from $120 to $300, depending on the type of opener you choose.

Chain driven openers tend to be the cheapest. They cost anywhere from $120 to $200. Belt driven garage door openers are a little more expensive — costing anywhere from $200 to $250. Screw driven openers are usually a higher quality but more expensive option — costing about $190 to $260.

Keep in mind that the cost of installation is roughly the same no matter which option you choose. It’s best to install the best garage door opener you can afford. This way it lasts longer, which is more cost effective in the long run. More expensive options also tend to be less noisy so you can enjoy peace and quiet.

The Advantages of a Smart Garage Door Opener

If you are considering installing a new garage door opener, you should definitely look into one that features smart technology. In fact, a smart garage door opener might even be a reason to upgrade even if your current garage door opener works just fine. The advantages and conveniences of smart technology are worth considering.

With a smart garage door opener, you can control your garage door remotely from anywhere on a mobile device. You get alerts when you’ve forgotten to shut the garage, or when someone suddenly opens your garage. This means all the world when it comes to home security. It also virtually eliminates package theft. Tell your delivery driver to contact you when your package arrives. You can remotely open the garage door for them so they can tuck it safely inside.

4 Types of Commercial Door Installations

There are 4 basic types of doors ideal for commercial installation. Probably the most popular door, overhead doors are lifted via a track or rail to a horizontal position with the ceiling. They come in a variety of materials, including glass and aluminum to wood or metal. Most are sectional and connected with hinges. Roll up doors roll up in to a single coil. They are thinner than an overhead door, but are extremely flexible and can roll up with ease. They are ideal when there is no room to accommodate rails necessary for an overhead door. Fire rated doors are a good idea especially in the Sacramento area due to the prevalence of wildfires in the face of climate change. Scissor gates move from left to right and can be constructed of highly impenetrable materials. They work best as reinforcement to a traditional commercial door.