This Comprehensive Buying Guide For Garage Door Opener will provide you with all the information you need for the selection of garage door opener that fits your need. But first, we need to know about how the garage door opener works, and what its uses are in this 21st-century global market.
Introduction to Garage Door Opener:
Garage door openers are used as an important security feature for quite some time in the western world. These were invented in the 20th century but still operate in the 21st century by blending technological innovation into it to cater to the needs of modern generations.
The door opener is basically a new concept in third world countries. where there is not much emphasis on saving time. In the western world due to technological innovation in the last quarter of 20th-century people became busier and had little time to operate the old system.
For time-saving, an era of innovation started which resulted in providing major basic-level facilities to people, which mechanized most of the hard labor work in order to save time.
The garage door opener is one of those innovations, which still hold high today so that people can utilize the saved time for some other productive use.
Garage Door Opener Working System:
Like all the modern system, the garage door opener uses mechanical as well as electrical components. It uses the motor to provide power to the mechanical components of the system. These mechanical components lift the garage door up or down by using the power provided to them from the motor.
So basically garage door opener has two components. One component is an electric motor. The second one is the drive system. The motor provides the energy to drive the system (which can be of any type) and the drive system in return raises or lowers the garage door.
The motor capacity is also important. Motor providing high horsepower can easily lift the heavy garage door without causing any damage to the door. Garage door openers are wall-mounted and require less garage space to operate properly.
Types of Garage Door Opener:
There are four types of garage door openers available in the market. These garage door openers are categorized on the basis of the different drive systems they use. Let’s discus all the types and the drive system they use in order to understand the whole operation.
Chain Based Garage Door Opener:
In the Chain Based Garage Door Opener System. The garage door opener motor is connected to the chain, which raises or lowers the door of the garage. This system is suitable for older garage doors, which are heavy and cannot be lifted up by low capacity motors.
In this system, the motor provides power to the chain which is more like the chain you can find on bicycles, and this chain in return can pull the door up, or lower the door according to your command. The basic flaw in this type of system is that they make more noise than other systems.
If your house has a detached garage then this will not be a problem for you. But if the garage is attached to the house, and there is any living room above the garage then that person will be annoyed whenever someone opens the garage door.
If you are looking to buy a chain based system then you should consider the noise factor seriously.
Pros of Chain Based Garage Door Opener:
- Quite easy to use
- Easy to maintain
- This system is suitable for older garage doors
- Comes with extended rail for bigger Garage doors
Cons of Chain Based Garage Door Opener:
- Requires maintenance on time
- Noisy system
- Lacks all modern features
Belt Based Garage Door Opener:
The second type in the line of Garage door opener is the Belt Based Garage Door Opener System. Belt Based System is quieter than Chain Based system. It has a motor that provides the power to the belt.
The belt then in response to your command lifts the garage door. The belt is made up of fiberglass or other high-grade material so that it can be used for a long period of time. The wear and tear in the Belt Based System are less as compared to the Chain Based System. The Belt Based System is easy to maintain. People who want the silent system for their garage most of the time opt for the Belt Based System.
Pros of Belt Based Garage Door Opener:
- Seamless operation
- Soundless system
- Less mechanical part means less maintenance required
Cons of Belt Based Garage Door Opener:
- The system is costly as compared to the Chain Based System
- The belt life is limited
Screw Based Garage Door Opener:
With the advancement in technology the garage door opener also gets the desired upgrade from time-to-time. In the Screw Based Garage Door Opener, there is no need of an extended rail system, as the whole drive system is based on the threaded steel rod.
It is more like a steel rod with diagonal grooves on its surface. Grooves are in one direction. This type of system lifts the garage door up by rotating in one direction, and by rotating in the opposite direction door is lowered.
It is basically a compact system for the daily operation of the door opening. The system is purely based on the thin steel rod for its whole operation. It is called screw-based because the steel rod has grooves in it.
This system is also soundless and requires timely maintenance. If you don’t lubricate the steel rod weekly, then you will have to pay a heavy price in the shape of the replacement of the whole system. Because wear and tear in the Screw Based System are more as compared to the other system.
One major advantage of this system is the size of the garage door it can handle. The Screw Based System is recommended for heavy-duty operations.
Pros of Screw Based Garage Door Opener:
- Can lift heavy doors
- Compact machine and requires less space
- Soundless operation
- Comes with latest features like built-in mobile device app etc
Cons of Screw Based Garage Door Opener:
- More costly than Belt Based System
- Prone to high wear and tear
- Lubrication is required from time-to-time
Direct Drive Based Garage Door Opener:
Direct Drive Based Garage Door Opener System is used to remove the power lag created by the mechanical parts during the transfer of energy from the motor to the drive system.
All the mechanical parts of the machine are replaced by the small electric motor, in order to remove the complexities as well as limitations of the whole mechanized operation.
The mechanized machine using the mechanical component like shaft etc. has a limitation and cannot run on higher rpm due to the steel or metal strain limits. But by using the direct drive feature, know machines can run on high rpm.
In this type of machine, the whole work is distributed into small parts, and the energy required for small work is provided by small motors. In short, the whole system becomes less complicated as well as more efficient.
Same thing happened in the case of the garage door opener, in which a fixed length of belt is attached to a moveable motor which reduces the component of the whole garage door opener system, and makes it more efficient.
The motor moves on the rail by using the power it generates and can raise or lower the garage gate on your command. This system revolutionizes the whole garage door operation. In this system less maintenance is required.
The chance of wear and tear is less due to less mechanical parts involved in it. This system is expensive but comes with warranty, and gives better performance.
Pros of Direct Drive Based Garage Door Opener:
- Soundless operation
- Less maintenance is required
- Compact design
- Long-lasting life
- Almost no wear and tear of parts
Cons of Direct Drive Based Garage Door Opener:
- Expensive machine
Basic features present in every Garage Door Opener:
Apart from types of garage door opener other important things to ponder about are as follow;
The power system of the Garage Door Opener:
Like all the latest machines, the garage door opener also works on the basis of power its motor provides. Power in the garage door opener is mostly calculated in the form of horsepower. This horsepower categorization makes it easy for the user to determine what type of machine they need for their garage.
- The system with this horsepower category is suitable for small door operations
- Can open single half side of the garage door easily
- Cannot lift heavy garage door
- This is the best system for all door types
- Can lift the heavy door
Horsepower 1 1/2:
- This type of system can lift heavy doors with ease
- This system can open the garage door with a double entrance quite easily
Speed of the Garage Door Opener:
It is also important to consider the functioning speed of the garage door opener because you don’t want to wait for your garage door to be opened or closed completely. If the whole process is time-consuming then this will totally kill the core goal of the garage opener, which is to facilitate the person as well as to save time.
Modern garage door opener opens the garage door with 7 inches per second speed. This is quite a good speed. So, if you are a person who is always in hurry consider the fast garage door opener before buying any type of fancy garage door opener.
Backup power system for the Garage Door Opener:
If you are living in an area where power shortages are quite often, but the intensity of power cuts is not high then consider buying the garage door opener that comes with the backup power saving facility. This will be a lifesaver as well as a time saver option for the people.
Consider that your daughter is home alone and the only way to get in your house is through the garage and power is out in your area, then how will you enter in your house to get to your weeping daughter. In these types of scenarios, the garage door opener with a backup power system is a life saver.
Safety system for Garage Door Opener:
Now a day’s household injury in North America is increased, and the surge in the number is due to the increase in the incidents due to garage door. Incidents like the garage door hit the child while opening the door bay.
To ensure proper safety while operating the garage door opener, the companies come with the best solution like the photoelectric sensor at the threshold of the garage door. This sensor is connected to the garage door opener.
When the sensor sense someone while opening up or closing down the garage door, it gives a signal to the garage door opener to stop the operation. By this sensor system, a lot of injuries are reduced or prevented in North America.
Automated reversal system:
If you are moving your new S-class Mercedes in your garage and suddenly by your own fault, you push the door close button of your garage door, and the door strikes against your car roof then it would give you a mini heart attack along with it a lot of repairing cost.
To protect the customer the companies design the new Garage door opener that along with a safety sensor comes with an automated reversal system.
Which works on the base of the pressure sensor, and when the pressure sensor at the threshold of the garage door senses the pressure, it immediately sends a signal to the garage door opener in order to reverse the closing operation, so that the person or the vehicle can be saved from further damage.
Security light system for Garage Door Opener:
If you are a user of an older model of garage door opener then you know the struggle you have to go through, when you park the car inside the garage and closes the garage door by your remote. And now you don’t have enough light to steer yourself through the messy garage.
Most of the time you get yourself hurt by hitting something in the dark. The solution for this is the Security lights, which is almost present in every newer model. It is turned on every time you operate the garage door opener, and shut off itself after the predefined period of time.
Extended rail system for Garage Door Opener:
If your garage door is larger than 7 feet then you need to buy the Garage door opener that has a bigger rail than usual. this type of system can easily open your garage door. Most people who live in the countryside or have Spanish-style homes need this type of feature because their garage door is quite bigger. So, ponder about this feature also before buying the garage door opener.
Manual opening system for Garage Door Opener:
In case of an emergency like when the tornado hits the area, and power cut becomes worse. Then you don’t have any backup power, at this time a manual opening system to open the garage door becomes a necessity.
People who live in these areas where tornado or forest fire is quite familiar with this type of situation. So, if you are living in these type of areas consider about this feature also in your garage door opener.
Soft opening and closing of Garage Door:
Most of the people who have a garage door opener that works on the AC power system complain about the sudden jerk they felt while opening as well as closing their garage door. This all happens because of the garage door opener which works on the AC system.
In a modern garage door opener system, the DC power system is used and it operates the garage door softly. The opening and closing of the garage door softly is also the key requirement for most people nowadays.
Another benefit of the DC system is that it facilitates the backup power system as well as provides the compactness of the whole garage door opener system.
Warranty of Garage Door Opener:
Most new garage door openers come with a 10-15 years warranty of motor. This would definitely help the customer to replace the product if the warranty is present.so, always buy the garage door opener that comes with a longer warranty.
Because it is also the indicator that the company uses premium quality product while manufacturing the machine.
Other important features that should be present in your Garage Door Opener:
Built-in Wi-Fi system compatibility:
It is the new feature that enables your Garage Door opener to be compatible with your Wi-Fi, so the person can use the Wi-Fi compatibility system to open or close the door.
Mobile device compatibility through the app:
Modern garage door openers have their own app. which allows the user to open or close the door remotely without any hassle. This system works with Wi-Fi, if your garage door opener is compatible to your Wi-Fi.Then through the app you can send signal to the garage door opener to open or close the door.
This feature is quite useful if your friend or family members need something from your house and you are out of station then you can use the app to open or close the garage door.
Home Automation system for Garage Door Opener:
In this modern era, we need all our appliances to be intelligent or to be connected together in one system from where we can control them. If you need pizza and pizza man is at your doorstep, and because of your laziness, you don’t want to go to the garage door (in case of house entry through the garage) to pick up the pizza then you can simply ask Alexa or Siri to open the garage door by the help of home automation system.
Voice Recognition Sensor Of Garage Door Opener:
If your garage door opener has a voice recognition sensor in it then you don’t need the remote to give the garage door opener the signal to open the garage door, you then just need to ask the garage door opener to open the door.
Built-in car remotes:
Modern Garage Door Opener companies have now given more facility to the customer by joining their hands with the vehicle manufacturers to give the door opener remote built in the vehicles. This will help the customer to not worry about the remote if the customer could not have the garage door opener remote with it.
Rolling code technology of Garage Door opener:
In the rolling code technology, the remote always sends a different encrypted code every time to the sensor to open the garage door. This system gives the owner a more secure house because the thief could not enter the house by tampering the world-class secure code system.
Auto-close option of Garage Door Opener:
In this system, there is a specific limit of time set in the garage door opener, which closes the door automatically after that time limit is crossed. This gives the feel of an auto-closing of a garage door.
Final Verdict for buying the Garage Door Opener:
The garage door opener which will be suitable for any type of person is Direct Drive Based if budge is not the issue. Because this system is compact, comes with DC power, has a long Warranty, as well as this system is soundless.
The Direct Drive System is a blend of modern technology. It comes with additional features which definitely costs more like Home automation system, Auto-close option, Mobile Device Compatibility Etc.
This Direct Drive System can also lift any type of door and comes with an extended rail system also. So, in my opinion, if you don’t have any issue with money then go for a direct drive. Otherwise, go through the guide thoroughly and select the system you need along with features you want with the system. I hope so this guide will definitely help you with your queries regarding the garage door opener.