When shopping for new garage door openers, there are a number of things to be aware of before you “shell out” your hard-earned cash. You want to be sure you take into consideration the security, safety, noise level, price and overall utility of the product for the size and weight of the door for which it is to be used.
In terms of security, you want to look for a product that uses security codes that are changed with each use of the remote control. Other features that are often included allow you to control lights inside the garage or additional house lighting or even appliances. In addition, some models allow you to turn off the opener when you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
Most newer garage door openers are equipped with a safety system designed to prevent injury to a person or damage to a car or other object. The system usually consists of two laser light equipped sensors which signal the motor to stop or reverse direction when the light beam is interrupted.
Garage Door Openers – The Human Factor
Like many physical products, there are several differences between models and types of garage door openers. The most common types of garage door openers include chain drive, screw drive and belt drive openers. While generally less expensive, chain drive garage door openers tend to be much noisier than screw or belt driven types.
When shopping, be sure to look for an opener that uses a direct current (DC) motor rather than an (AC) alternating current type. DC motors allow greater control over the opening and closing speeds of the garage door. By slowing the speed of the door as it begins to open and during the last few inches of its closing, a lot of noise is eliminated.
Garage Door Openers – Price and Useability
Most chain-drive garage door openers start at around $129 and use a metal chain which is attached to the door and is moved along a track by the motor. Screw drive models use the motor to turn a threaded steel rod attached to the door, and start at around $169. Belt driven units, starting from around $199 are much quieter than either chain or screw equipped garage door openers.
When buying an opener, check the horsepower ratings, which may vary from 1/3 hp to 3/4 hp across all models. A lower rated motor may not be suitable for opening a very heavy door while a higher rated motor might be “overkill” for a lighter door.
In any case, a well-adjusted garage door uses springs to counter-balance the weight of the door. In theory, any opener should be able to open even the heaviest door. In reality, you want to pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty and buy an opener that is rated for a slightly larger or heavier door.