Let’s be honest: Most of us have no idea what exactly what we’re looking for in a new garage door opener. We want something that works reliably and something that delivers long-term value, but how do we make sense of our many options?
Here’s a quick guide to help you sort through the many options available on the garage door opener market:
- Drive options: You need to know about the three different kinds of drives before you look for a new garage door opener: chain, screw and belt. A chain drive is the least expensive and most durable, but it’s also the noisiest. A screw drive is a middle of the road option that is less noisy than a chain drive, a little more expensive and much more likely to require maintenance. Finally, a belt drive is the most expensive option, but also the quietest of the three.
- Horsepower options: You’ll also encounter a range of horsepower options. Very few garage doors need anything more than ½-horsepower. If you have lots of insulation or a garage door made of wood, you might need a ¾-horsepower model to ensure lift. If you encounter 1-horsepower options, know that these are almost exclusively for industrial doors, and the added power is rarely worth the added price when you have a standard residential garage door.
- AC vs. DC power: AC motors will be less expensive and more likely to include a chain drive, while DC motors will be most expensive and more likely to feature a belt drive. DC motors tend to be more expensive, and they’re found more commonly on belt-driven garage door openers. DC motors include a soft start and stop feature that reduces noise, and garage door openers with backup battery options are almost exclusively DC-powered motors.
- Backup Power: Speaking of backup power, you need to decide whether this feature is worth the extra cost. Backup power is typically included in high-end models, and it ensures you enjoy the safety and convenience of automatic operation even if power is out at your home. Almost all garage doors include a manual lift and lower option that will work whether you have power or not — at no extra cost.
- Regulations: Don’t be fooled by garage door openers that advertise lowering 7 inches per second or that highlight automatic reverse mechanisms. These safety features are required by law — all garage door openers have them.
- Rolling-Code Technology: If you are interested in added safety and security, consider rolling-code technology. In days past, it was possible for a neighbor to have the same exact garage door code as yours. Today, garage door openers with rolling-code technology create a new and secure code from among billions of options each time you use the garage door.
- Reliability: You need to be able to depend on your garage door opener, both for convenience and safety. Check to see if your garage door options offer dual-frequency signals, which help minimize interference from other garage door openers — ensuring you always have the access you need. Your garage door opener should enhance the flow of your household and your overall lifestyle, and this feature can help reinforce that.
- Size: Standard garage doors are 7-feet high. Because of this standard height, standard garage door openers are designed to fit 7-foot garage doors. If you have a non-standard size door, make sure you understand the costs related to modifying a particular garage door opener option before you make a final purchase.
- Brand and Price: Only you know how much you can afford to spend on a new garage door opener. Know your budget going into the process, and stick to those parameters. Perhaps you have loyalty to a specific brand you’ve used before, which is great. Be sure to stick with a trusted brand name that’s proven to deliver the quality and durability you want in a garage door opener. You can find bargain basement garage door openers that promote many features at a low price, but, like with many appliances, you get what you pay for with a garage door opener.
At Quality Overhead Door, we specialize in providing outstanding products and exceptional customer service to home and business owners in the Toledo area.
Contact us today about your garage door opener needs!