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What Should I Consider When Buying a Garage Door Opener?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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There are several aspects to take into account when choosing a garage door opener. The most important is the type of drive system you want. A chain-drive system is the most common and the cheapest, averaging 150 US dollars (USD). A garage door opener with a screw-drive system runs along a threaded steel rod or plastic-lined track. This model is slightly more expensive, but produces less noise and requires very little maintenance.

The third most common drive system for a garage door opener is a belt drive mechanism, which uses flexible rubber belts. These garage door models start at 200 USD and are the quietest option. More complicated models may require professional installation, which can add up to 150 USD to the total price.

The next consideration when choosing a garage door opener is the amount of power you need. A single door will probably work fine with the smallest motor, but a double door will require at least ½ horsepower. A direct current (DC) motor uses less electricity than other models and allows for better control of speed and noise.

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If safety is important, consider choosing a garage door opener with a safety mechanism. This usually consists of an electronic beam that stops the door from closing completely if anything crosses its path. Another safety feature is a rolling code, which changes the opening signal each time the door is activated. This protects the security code and prevents crossed signals with neighboring doors. Some garage door openers can be turned off if you go away for an extended period of time.

It is standard for a garage door opener to include an electric remote control and a manual release in case the power is ever out in the house. Some remotes are small enough to fit on a keychain. Others include a second button that triggers a light inside the garage. Another type of garage door opener consists of a fixed keypad that can be mounted to the wall. This is usually sold as an accessory.

Always look for the simplest garage door opener model that fits your needs. Fewer parts mean less maintenance and lower prices.

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Discuss this Article

Drentel
Post 3

@mobilian - You have heard correctly. Garage door openers are much safer than they were in 1980. The main problem with those earlier openers was that they closed regardless of what was in their paths. They closed right on top of an object or a person in the way.

I don't remember the exact dates, but in the early 1980s, around 1982, makers of the doors started installing automatic reverse features on the doors so they would stop and retract when they sensed something in their paths. This feature became mandatory in the early 1990s, so all of the later model doors should have this feature, and this makes them much safer.

mobilian33
Post 2

I don't trust garage door openers in general. I can remember in the 1980s when so many people seemed to be getting injured by the closing doors. In most cases, it was children who were being injured by the doors. Because of this I have always gone with the manual garage doors and opened and closed them myself. This is a little more inconvenient, but when I was younger I didn't mind.

Now I am at a point when an automatic garage door opener and closer would be a big help. I have heard that they are much safer now than they were years ago.

Animandel
Post 1

Our neighbors across the street must have the chain operated garage door opener. I was sleeping the other night when I was startled awake by a loud clicking. I finally figured out that someone across the street had come home and opened the garage door. The door is always loud, but during the day when I am fully awake the sound is not so intrusive and annoying.

I think there should be a limit placed on the amount of noise a garage door opener can make, especially when it is going to be used in a neighborhood where the houses are relatively close to one another.

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