June 15, 2016

What to Know About Garage Door Opener Models

Do you need to change your garage door opener because it’s getting old and the cost to repair it is just too high? Are you irritated by the noise it makes? Here is what you need to know before purchasing a new garage door opener.

What types of door openers are available?

Chain drive:

  • The most popular and more economical than ones with belt drives;
  • Some door openers don’t come with a full chain but with a combination of chain and a steel cable. If you choose to go with a chain-drive system, opt for a full chain.

Belt drive:

  • Quieter than one with a chain drive;
  • The belt is made from rubber reinforced with metal wires, like for tires;
  • It is highly recommended if you have a room (bedroom) over the garage.

Jackshaft (beside door):

  • Very practical when the garage ceiling is much higher than the garage door (floor/ceiling height is 12 ft. (3.7m) and the door is 8 ft. high);
  • Recommended for cathedral or sloped roofs;
  • It can only be used with a torsion spring system since the door opener is attached to the shaft on which the springs are installed;
  • More expensive than a chain-drive or belt-drive opener.

What size motor should I choose: ½ or ¾ HP?

  • Remember that an electric door opener only replaces manual effort. You must be able to easily lift your door with only one hand;
  • It is the counterweight system (torsion or extension springs) that lifts the door;
  • A well-balanced door is when what we call its deadweight, a stationary position about 4 feet (1.2 m) from the floor, is between 10 and 15 lb. (about 5 to 6 kg);
  • The door opener should be able to lift the same weight. To avoid any imbalance in the spring system, a ½ HP door opener is preferred.

An “AC” or “DC” motor?

AC (alternating current) :

  • The opener starts slowly, increases to a regular speed, then slows down when stopping;
  • With this type of motor, we talk of power in newtons, not HP, where 800 or 900 N, are equivalent to ½ or ¾ HP.

DC (direct current) :

  • DC motors have a regular speed;
  • These motors come in ⅓, ½ or ¾ HP.
  • If you are installing a backup battery for the opener, only DC motors provide this option.

The latest technology

  • Since 1996, electric garage door opener technology has greatly progressed. Certain manufacturers, like LiftMaster, provide a rolling code system for use with their remotes. Each time you use your remote, it changes its send signal. Thanks to this technology, it’s all but impossible for someone to pick up your signal.
  • Since 2013, LiftMaster offers MyQTM technology allowing you to use your garage door opener with either an app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet, or from a computer. You can use it even if you are half a world away!

Still not sure?

Contact a garage door specialist in your area. They will be pleased to advise you on the best choice to make based on your budget and how you will use your garage door.

What to know about garage door opener models

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