A garage door includes several moving parts, and it’s only natural for it to break down over time due to its extensive use. Broken springs and cables may be typical repairs, but your garage door opener can also fail. And a broken opener makes it a lot harder to get in and out of your garage daily since you can’t do so with the simple touch of a button. Read about how to choose the right garage door opener to make buying a replacement easier.

Note the Common Types

You’ll have to decide between three main types of garage door openers when searching for your perfect option. The main types of openers are:
  • Chain-drive garage door opener
  • Belt-drive garage door opener
  • Screw-drive garage door opener
Each opener type works slightly differently and uses varying systems to function so you can easily get in and out of the garage.

Chain-Drive Garage Door Opener

Chain-drive openers rely on a metal chain and gears to lift the door anytime you need to open it. And many homeowners have this type of opener because it’s so affordable and strong, thanks to the metal parts. However, chain-drive openers tend to be noisier, so remember to weigh the pros and cons as you decide on the perfect option. A noisy opener may not be ideal if you have a room beside or above the garage.

Pro Tip

Most garage door experts recommend the chain-drive opener to homeowners with a multi-car garage. This is because the door weighs more and requires a stronger opener, and the chain drive is perfect for this.

Belt-Drive Garage Door Opener

This type of opener relies on a rubber belt to open and close the door. Aside from the belt, it works like the chain-drive opener. Many prefer this option because it’s quieter and built to last in the long run.

Screw-Drive Garage Door Opener

A screw-drive garage door opener relies on a threaded rod to function. Most don’t recommend this option because it’s loud and requires more maintenance than the other two options. Plus, screw-drive openers are more likely to break down in colder areas.

Evaluate Size and Power

The size of the opener and its power limits determine whether it can lift the door and operate the way it should. Noting this is essential, as it prevents you from buying the wrong opener, which may break down faster than you’d hope, which comes at an expense for you.

Garage Opener Size

One of the first things you should do is note the size of your garage door to ensure you buy the appropriate opener. Most openers work for the typical, single-car 7-foot door. However, if the garage door goes beyond this size, you’ll need an opener with the power to lift it.

Garage Opener Power

As you look at openers, you may see that many state their horsepower or the type of power used—AC or DC—and noting this is key. Usually, 1/2 horsepower is the lowest you can get, while 1½ is the highest. The weight of your door dictates the level of horsepower you’ll need, which depends on three main factors:
  1. Material of the garage door: steel, vinyl, wood
  2. How often you use the door: once per day, several times a day
  3. The size of the door: single-car garages need less power
It’ll wear out quickly if you buy a low-horsepower opener designed for a single-car garage but have a two-car garage.

AC vs. DC Openers

Openers either use alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) to power themselves. Usually, AC power is more affordable and doesn’t require much maintenance. However, DC openers open more smoothly, which is quieter, and have backup power. With backup power, you’ll be able to get in or out of your garage if you lose power, which is an essential feature for some homeowners.

Consider Additional Features

Many openers include additional features such as safety sensors, overhead lights, and remote openers, to name a few.

Extra Entry Options

While these things aren’t always necessary, they are nice additions. For example, with a garage door remote opener, you can get in and out of the garage with a simple button press anytime you leave the house. Alternatively, you can get a keypad opener to punch in a code and open the garage from the outside. Or you could buy an opener that allows for a keypad plus remote openers, so you have several ways of getting inside. Thanks to technology, some openers now include smart features so you can connect them to your phone. This allows you to close the garage even when you are out of range of the remote opener. The feature comes in handy if you realize you forgot to close the door once you are far from the house.

Safety Options

Safety sensors are great because they ensure the door doesn’t close on anything in the path. So if you or a pet were in the way of the laser and someone shut the door, it wouldn’t work because it senses something blocking the way.

Find a Reputable Installation Company

Finding an installation company often makes choosing the right garage door opener easier. These are industry experts, and they know the level of power you’ll need, plus the size. Likewise, they can give you an in-depth idea of the opener you should buy so you don’t waste money on a pricy opener you may not need. Some installation companies also manufacture garage door openers, making finding the right option easier for you. Eliminate the stress and confusion that comes with researching countless options on the web; instead, talk to an expert and get their recommendation.

Contact Our Team

Steel City Garage Doors offers residential garage door openers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We know how important it is to take care of your property, so we offer 24-7 repair and replacement service. And if you need to replace your door, we can help you pick the perfect one to keep your garage operational. Get the right opener for your garage door so you don’t have to worry about a repair soon.
How To Choose The Right Garage Door Opener
How To Choose The Right Garage Door Opener