Whether you are building a new home or need to replace the garage door opener in your existing home, it’s important to know the options available. Many homeowners are aware of the most common type, chain drive, but don’t realize there several others as well. Before making a decision, be sure to compare the benefits of each.
Chain Drive Garage Door Openers
Chain drive openers are the oldest technology available, but there are some reasons why they are still the most popular ones on the market. Not only are they affordable to install, but also to repair if needed. They do have quite a few more moving parts than other garage door opener options, so maintenance and repair are typically more frequent. Some repairs can be avoided with regular care and cleaning.
Many new chain drive garage door openers include innovative new features for safety and Wi-Fi apps or smart home integration. The biggest downside to chain drive, however, is the noise. With a chain to rattle around, it may not be the best option for an attached garage, especially if there is living space above.
Benefits of Chain Drive:
- Most affordable option
- Very reliable technology
- Some models compatible with smart home features
Belt Drive Garage Door Openers
The technology behind a belt drive garage door opener is very similar to that of a chain drive. The only significant difference is that a wide belt replaces the chain. The belt can be made of several things, such as steel-enforced rubber, depending on the size and weight of the door as well as the climate in which you live.
The initial cost of a belt drive garage door opener is a bit more than a chain drive. However, the maintenance and repair costs are usually lower over time with fewer moving parts. The added benefit of less noise makes this a better option for homeowners with attached garages. Because the mechanical functioning of the belt drive is so similar to the tried-and-true chain drive, many homeowners are also already familiar with it.
Benefits of Belt Drive:
- Quieter than chain drive
- Fewer maintenance costs over time
- Similar functioning as chain drive
Jackshaft or Side Mount Garage Door Openers
A side mount garage door opener is just what you’d think. Instead of the unit being overhead, it’s mounted to the wall on the side of the garage door. A motor operates to lift and lower the garage door from the side. This is a reliable and quiet option for many homeowners, but it is not compatible with every garage door. A jackshaft opener may not be an option for garage doors that are large or heavy.
This technology was designed in Germany and has a great many benefits for homeowners. Because it leaves the overhead space free, it can clear up room for storage. If you have a low ceiling in the garage, it can make parking larger vehicles much more accessible. Traditional overhead garage door openers need maintenance from time to time, so if you have a higher ceiling, it could make that maintenance a pain. Side mount could be the way to go.
Benefits of Side Mount:
- Extremely quiet
- Very few moving parts
- Leaves overhead space clear
Screw Drive Garage Door Openers
This option is usually the best for larger and heavier garage doors. A screw drive garage door opener is very powerful and can lift heavy doors with ease, quickly and quietly. They are installed overhead, like chain and belt drive openers, but instead of using a chain or a belt, there is a threaded rod that acts as a screw to lift and lower the door.
With even fewer moving parts, the initial higher expense for a screw drive garage door opener usually pays off in several years of ownership. Even though it’s installed overhead, the unit is typically much more compact as well, which leaves more space open for storage in your garage.
Benefits of Screw Drive:
- Can handle large and heavy garage doors
- Works quickly and quietly
- Compact overhead unit
Smart Garage Door Functions
No matter what type of garage door opener you choose, there is also the option for Wi-Fi, app or smart home integration. With these new technologies, you can keep track of whether the door is opened or closed, when it was last opened, if the safety feature was enabled, use the app to close or open the door or even use voice activation.
When you’re ready to replace that garage door opener, or if you have questions about which type would be best for your application, be sure to call HABPRO Garage Doors. We will even provide a free estimate for the installation of your new garage door opener.