Garage Door Openers 101

Your garage door is most likely the largest moving object in your home.  It’s probably something you don’t give much thought about until it’s time to replace it.  Understanding the ins and outs of garage door replacement is a foreign concept to most of us.  Below we’ll translate common garage door terms so you have an easier time selecting the best one for your property.

When picking out the type of garage door you’d like, it’s important to know that there are 3 distinct types.  They are:

Chain Drive Opener- This type of opener is essentially a motor that drives a chain which rotates around a metal horizontal rod using a trolley type system to open and close the door.  Perks about this type of opener are that they are easy to install and the most cost effective option.  They also can lift the heaviest of doors.  A downside is that this type of door opens and closes loudly.  Chain drive openers may also need to be adjusted since the belts and pins can weaken and the unit can become immobilized.

Belt Drive Opener- This type opens with rubber instead of chain belt.  Homeowners like this type of garage door opener because it is quieter than the others.  It works great if your garage is connected to your home and family members come and go on different schedules.  They also tend to open and closer faster than a chain drive opener.  A drawback to this type of opener is that it is usually more expensive than a chain drive opener.

Screw Drive Opener-A screw drive opener uses a steel drive screw that is engaged with the motor.  Therefore, they do not contain chains, belts or gears.  The fewer the parts, the less the chances become that something breaks.  They tend to be more powerful than the other two types and are the fastest to open and close.

Once you’ve selected the type of garage door that is the best fit for you, the other factorthat must be considered is horse power.  Here are the most popular choices:

½ Horse Power-This is the most popular choice because in most cases it’s all you need.

¾ Horse Power- Is the better option for heavier doors than ½ horse power.  The motor also tends to last longer than that of a ½ horse power.

1 Horse Power-This is the ideal type of motor for a heavier door because of its efficiency and power.

When it comes to installation, if you aren’t confident you know what you’re doing, we recommend that you work with a professional because installing a garage door incorrectly can injure you and your property.  Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and previous clients to ensure that you are working with a reputable company.  If you’re in the Twin Cities metro area, we highly recommend Blackhawk Garage Doors.  Visit their website  to learn more.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard is a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at  Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.