There are plenty of garage door openers available to help homeowners who want to get in and out of their garages with ease. Whether building a new home garage, or trying to replace an old opener, questions about how much power, the type of lift, features that are an absolute must, and so on, are essential and should be answered before shortlisting options.

Garage doors offer the ultimate convenience, allowing you to protect your car, increase the security of your home and raise its market value. A new garage door has a significant impact on Return on Investment for homeowners.

If your garage door is becoming difficult to open or you prefer to be able to automatically operate the door from the convenience of your home, then you should consider a new garage door opener.

There are a wide range of features and types of garage door openers to consider, and this expert guide from Neighborhood Garage Door Services will give you all you need to know in order to make the best buy.

Features Best Garage Doors Should Offer

According to John Holden, city manager at Neighborhood Garage Door Services, every homeowner should check their options for garage door opener against this list of features to be sure they come with the right features for them.

Low Noise – In case you have a living space directly on top of your garage, or even adjacent to it, you need a garage door opener that will make minimum noise. “Great options are direct-driven or belt-driven openers,” John explains.

Interference-free remote – You need a dual-frequency garage door opener. One that can automatically switch from one frequency to the other, so that the signals from your neighbours’ garage door do not interfere with your own opener.

Backup battery – Your garage door opener should have either a battery backup (included in only a few high end models) or a manual release. So that in case of power outages, you can operate your garage door by hand.

Rolling-code – “This feature prevents burglars from guessing your opener’s code, by selecting a new code each time you use the remote. It also avoids a situation where your neighbour’s remote control accidentally opens your garage door,” says John.

Overhead lights – Control of lights on your opener should be independent of the door’s opening or closing.

Internet connection – Smart/connected homes are becoming more popular lately. A garage opener that is compatible with some type of internet-connected controller will allow you to check on the status of your garage door, and operate it remotely. John adds that: “In some openers, the compatibility is already built in, and you’ll only have to pay for an internet gateway to connect to your home network.”

Which Garage Door Opener Should You Buy?

Cory, a home security consultant from Neighborhood Garage Door Services states there are five types of garage openers to choose from, depending on your specific needs and requirements.

“By understanding how they work, you can make the best selection based on the benefits and features you are looking for,” he says.

Chain-Driven Garage Door Opener

This type of garage opener is often the most cost-effective. They are also very durable, so that you get a longer lasting unit.

“Chain-operated garage door openers work like a bicycle, with an industrial chain attached to a motor that lifts the door when a trolley attached to a J-bar on your garage door is pulled.  This opener is strong, and able to consistently open and close heavy and older doors.

“The biggest disadvantage when it comes to chain-driven garage door openers is the noise – metal chains are pulled by metal parts. If your bedroom is directly over your garage, there is a high chance that your sleep at night could be disturbed by the noise of the door opening. However, newer models are quieter as newer DC motors and chain separators have been designed to ensure this,” Cory says.

Screw Drive Garage Door Opener

These garage door openers employ a different approach to lift your garage door, so that instead of pulling the door up, a threaded metal rod that rotates like a screw is used to lift the door.

Screw drive garage door openers are highly reliable, and have a far lower chance of breaking down. However, they are prone to wear on the screw threads, especially when used for heavy garage doors, and need proper lubrication in order to avoid costly repairs.

Cory says when it comes to noise, they operate smoother than the standard chain-driven opener; and so, if you’re looking for durability and reliability, a screw driven garage door opener is a great option.

They are also considered the fastest openers, lifting garage doors twice as fast as a standard chain-driven opener, he explains.

Belt-Driven Garage Door Opener

A reinforced belt is used in place of chain-driven openers. Such belts are made from a variety of materials including polyurethane or steel-reinforced rubber and fiberglass, . This garage door opener is popular among homeowners because of its low noise, as it is ideal for garage doors directly below or adjacent to living spaces.

It is important to note that a belt-driven garage door opener will not automatically reduce noise if used with an older door that vibrates as it moves across the lifting tracks. Cory recommends talking to a professional and having your garage door setup inspected, so you can avoid an expensive belt-driven motor when all you need is an adjustment to your garage door.

Direct-Drive Garage Door Openers

Direct drive openers work with a chain or a belt. But, unlike traditional chain-driven openers, they use a stationary chain while the motor moves along it.

This type of opener is extremely quiet, which is its biggest advantage. In addition, since the motor is the only moving part, they are also highly reliable. As long as you can afford the slightly pricey cost, direct-drive garage opener is one of the best in the market.

Jackshaft Garage Door Opener

The technology for Jackshaft garage door openers is increasing in popularity for a number of different reasons. Instead of mounting on the ceiling of your garage, they are mounted on the wall right next to the door. This style increases security because it makes it difficult for burglars to gain access into your home.

“If you value automation and connectivity, these openers would be ideal, as they carry some of the most robust on-board computerisation,” says Cory.  

However, one downside of this garage door opener is the cost. Like any latest and exciting technology, they are quite expensive, but the features and high security make the price well worth it. In addition, they can only be used on sectional doors because of their design.

No matter the garage door opener you choose for your garage door, you can enjoy its features with good maintenance and making use of the services of a professional installer.