Garage Door Opener 101: What You Need to Know to Choose the Best One
Whether you are considering an upgrade to your already existing garage door opener or are in the market for the first time, this article is for you!
It is essential to choose the best garage door opener which is in line with your requirements and fits your budget pretty well.
Believe us, there are a plethora of options out there. From chain-driven models to belt-driven and the ones that can be easily operated through smartphone app – the choices are overwhelming.
All these available choices makes the entire process of choosing the right garage door opener for you a bit difficult. Not anymore! In here, we will have a look at all the important factors that you must consider while purchasing a garage door opener. Let’s get started.
On average, a garage door opener will cost you around $200 as most models range between $150 and $350. Needless to say, the expensive openers come equipped with an array of attractive features like built-in Wi-Fi, extra accessories, and battery backup and so on. On the other hand, the models on the lower end of the price range contain just the right amount of essential features.
Thus, you see, it is all dependent on what you get. Add to that, the working mechanism of the garage opener also adds to its cost. Generally, direct-drive garage door openers are more expensive than the chain, belt, and screw ones.
Safety is another important thing that you must focus on. The least you would expect is having an accident in your premises due to the incompetent door opener. Thus, the two primary features which you must look upon while choosing a garage door opener are automatic reverse and infrared beam sensors.
Both these functions are extremely important. These features help your garage opener detect if an object or person is blocking the door as it closes. Upon detection, the opener immediately reverses its operation to prevent an accident.
Additionally, you might also like to have motion sensor lighting in your opener. This will ensure that the path between your car and garage lights up automatically.
Your garage is a safe haven for your car. However, to keep your car safe, it is essential to prevent any unauthorized access to the garage. This is why most garage door openers come with two standard security features: a lock mode and rolling codes.
Quite predictably, lock mode locks the garage door and makes it unresponsive to keypads and remotes. This mode proves to be useful at night, and when you are away from your home, maybe on a vacation.
Correspondingly, roller codes, as the name suggests, are security codes which keep on changing over time. These are short-term codes that allow you to communicate with the opener using a unique verification code.
There is another important security feature which is good to have – timer to close your garage door automatically. You can set up a timer according to your needs. This will close the garage door automatically without you needing to do anything.
Horsepower is what determines the strength of your garage door opener. The least you would expect is having a garage opener which cannot handle the load of your garage doors.
According to the basic rule of thumb, if you have single and double car garage doors made of steel or aluminum, a motor of rating ½ horsepower will be more than sufficient for you. You might also choose to go for motors of 1/3 horsepower. But, as it turns out, these motors tend to wear out faster.
It is important to mention here that if you have more durable and robust garage doors, maybe a one-piece door made of wood or other heavier material, then you must buy a door opener which is stronger. In such cases, aim for openers with at least 2-horsepower.
The lift system is nothing but the basic mechanism on which your garage door opener works. The type of lift system of your opener determines how quietly and smoothly the whole system is.
Let’s have a look at the common lift systems:
Garage door openers based on this particular mechanism are found to be quieter and efficient when compared to their counterparts. In here, a direct drive motor makes all the movements while the chain stays on its place. As expected, openers geared up by this mechanism are costly and range upward from $250.
A chain driven system, predictably, uses a durable steel chain to function. Consider this whole mechanism similar to that of a bicycle. Although this lift system is reliable, it can be noisy. The best part of these garage openers is that they are highly affordable.
A belt-driven system is quieter when compared to a chain-driven system. Such a system makes use of a reinforced rubber belt to rule out/reduce vibrations.
In these type of systems, a long screw is attached to the motor which facilitates in opening and closing of a garage door. When compared to belt and chain driven systems, garage door openers based on this mechanism are quiet, powerful, and need less maintenance.
Most garage door openers come with three kinds of warranties – motor warranty, lift system warranty, and parts warranty. Ideally, you should choose to for a garage door opener which provides a lifetime warranty coverage to the motor. At least, aim for warranty coverage of 10 to 15 years.
In addition to the things mentioned above, you might also want to look for additional features. Some of these include rail segments, battery backup, compatibility with a smartphone app, number of remote controls, LED lights and so on.
Last but not least, it is essential to ensure that your chosen company provides quality and quick customer service. It should help you with installation and provide enough resources (manuals, tutorials, and the like) for you to check out.
So, are you ready to choose the right garage door opener for you? Make sure that you read garage door opener reviews before making a final decision!