The Complete Garage Door Opener Purchasing Guide
When buying new garage doors, few homeowners take the time to consider which garage door opener to purchase with it. Automatic openers come in three different levels of horsepower along with three different drive belt systems. In order to get the most out of your new door, you should familiarize yourself with each opener type.
Garage Opener Horsepower
Garage door opener strength is measured in horsepower.
- ⅓ Horsepower
This is the lowest horsepower available for openers. It works well for single and lighter doors. Theoretically, it can also lift heavier doors but it will burn out quickly and is not recommended for use with one.
- ½ Horsepower
The most popular strength, it can lift open most double doors as well as the heavier framed garage doors.
- ¾ Horsepower
One of the strongest motors available, it can lift open some of the heaviest doors on the market. It’s incredibly durable and should last a very long time. However, this type is the most expensive. If you want a reliable opener and don’t mind the price, ¾ horsepower is your best bet.
- Belt Drives
Belt drives are a premium type of drive that are strong enough to lift the heaviest doors all while providing quiet and smooth operation. This is due to the rubber belts used in the operation. These types of drives are typically the most expensive.
- Screw Drives
These drives operate with a lifting up and down on a threaded rod. They’re very durable and come with quiet operation. One of the benefits of this type of drive is the minimal maintenance required due to the lack of total parts involved.
- Chain Drives
The last type of drive is known as a chain drive. These are the oldest and most popular type of drive. They’re suitable for heavy doors and are long-lasting but they’re noisier due to the metal chains. Chain drives tend to be the most affordable out of all three.
Picking the Best Opener for Your Needs
If you only have a simple lightweight door and you’re not worried about noise, then ⅓ horsepower motor with a chain drive will suit you well. Those looking to lift double wooden doors quietly may want to opt for a ¾ horsepower motor with a belt drive.
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