Open Up to Quality: How to Choose a Great Garage Door Opener



If you’re building a new home, or have just purchased a house with a garage door that doesn’t open electrically, you’re probably trying to decide which opener to have installed. Getting in and out of the car to pull a heavy garage door up and down grows tiresome very quickly, making a garage door opener a necessary addition.

It’s important to choose garage door opener to adequately suit your needs and budget, and below are some important things to consider when selecting one:


1. Size Matters—

Garage door openers come in different strengths, and depending on your door size, you will need to decide which horsepower is right for the job.

Most aluminum residential doors can be handled by a ¼ or ½ horsepower motor, but if you have an extra-heavy wood and metal panel-type garage door, you may need to purchase a stronger motor.

A chain-driven system employs a small engine and chain to open and close the garage door. These are the least expensive, but be aware that if you choose a weak motor, it may break faster than a stronger system.


2. Safety Matters—

Especially if you have pets or small children who might wander into the path of your closing garage door, safety should be high on your checklist.

Different types of sensors are available, but the one all garage door openers require is an infrared beam near ground level that stops the door if something is blocking its path.

Some systems even automatically reverse if something touches the door underneath, or offer a manual release to open the door in case of emergency.


3. Maintenance Matters—

There are many different types of garage door drives, such as belt drive, chain-driven, screw drive and computer-controlled torsion systems. Each type of door opener comes with its own set of strong points, so you will need to decide which best suits your priorities.

Screw drives are not the quietest garage door openers available, but they do feature the least moving parts, making them great for anyone seeking a low maintenance system.


4. Noise Level Matters—

Depending on where your garage door is situated in your floor plan, and especially if you have a garage that shares a wall with a bedroom, noise levels may be your number one consideration.

A belt drive garage door opener uses a flexible rubber belt in the pulling mechanism, and is generally the quietest system, but prepare to pay extra for this feature.


5. Lighting Matters—

Many garage door openers come with lighting that automatically turns on anytime the door opens, usually set on a timer to allow the vehicle occupant adequate time to move from car into house.

Some openers also offer wall-mounted buttons to allow homeowners to turn the garage lights on or off without opening the door, saving electricity.


6. Emergency Matters—

It’s wise to select a garage door opener with battery backup, because if your electricity goes out, you want to be able to get your car out of your garage. Having a backup battery inside can give your opener the power to work even when the power’s out.

Keyless entry is another great way to prevent your vehicle from becoming trapped inside the garage during power outages. This safeguard uses a key to unlock and dislodge the pull cable, allowing access to an emergency release that frees the door from the opener.


7. Security Matters—

Most garage door openers offer a remote control for opening and closing, but wireless keypads placed outside the house can come in handy when you want to get in and don’t have the remote.

Shaft or screw-drive openers work via a long shaft threaded through a spiral-cut area, powered by a strong motor. Because of the intricate threading, screw-drive garage door openers are considered the hardest to break into, and a great choice for those concerned with security.


Once you’ve done the research and figured out which garage door opener has the features you require, consider professional installation to ensure top performance and quality. Read through the descriptions above of the different types of garage door openers available, compare the pros and cons of each, and choose the best garage door opener for your lifestyle and budget.