Deciding on a garage door opener can be tricky. The fact that there’s more than one kind further muddles things and deciding which one to buy can feel like a shot in the dark unless you know the difference. The suggestions below will help you figure out which garage door opener is right for your home.
3 Types of Residential Garage Door Openers
There are three main types of garage door openers, each one different pros and cons:
Chain Drive: This kind of garage door opener is the most common. As the name implies, it involves using a chain to pull (or push) a trolley that moves your door up and down. Chain drives are affordable and extremely reliable as well. A main drawback however is that they can be a bit noisy, so these are often best suited for a detached garage. An example is the LiftMaster 3255.
Belt Drive: Belt driven garage door openers use a belt instead of a chain to move your door. In terms of noise, belt driven openers are much quieter compared to chain driven openers. This makes them ideal for attached garages, however they are a bit more expensive. An example is the LiftMaster 8557.
Screw Drive: This type of garage door opener rotates a threaded steel rod to move the trolley that opens or closes the door. In general, there are less components in a screw drive opener than the above alternatives, often resulting in less maintenance over its lifetime. However, the downside is that these openers can be noisier than a belt drive. An example is the LiftMaster 3240.
Extra Safety Tips
Getting the right garage door opener for you is half the battle. You also have to make sure that it’s installed safely.
Make sure your door sensor is properly installed and tested. The invisible beam it casts across your garage doorway will prevent the door from closing on anything that breaks its path.
You also need to test the manual release and battery backup. These will help you open the garage door when the power is out or if the motor is not functioning properly.
Another thing to keep in mind is to be careful if you are installing the opener yourself! Never do it alone and be sure to have the proper tools at hand. Closely follow all instructions and call an expert if you need help!
My opener is an older craftsman given to me it seems to have a mind of its own. It opens or closes unexpectedly what can I do about this?
Hi Norman! Dealing with a garage door opener that behaves unexpectedly can be tricky. We recommend consulting the garage door dealer who installed it. They can assess the situation and advise you on potential repairs or replacements to ensure safe and reliable operation. Thank you!