Garage door openers are one of those devices that we all take for granted – that is, until they fail. Then it’s a scramble to get it fixed so that you can get your car out and in for the day without having to open the door manually. It certainly can be stressful. I say this because I’ve been there too.
To make it even more stressful, when you go to buy a replacement you’ll notice that there are quite a few different options you can buy, each with their own set of features. It’s highly unlikely you’ve researched garage door openers until now, when you’re in dire need of purchasing one. How can you possibly go about making the right decision under such stress?
The good news is that you really can’t go wrong, and the great news is that if you’ve found this article before you make a purchase you just might be able to navigate the aisles with confidence.
One thing that you’ll notice right away is that there are quite a few brands that all offer relatively similar products. The main brands to stick to for best results are Chamberlain, Liftmaster, and Ryobi. The first two tend to specialize in garage door openers, whereas the latter makes garage door openers amongst a myriad of power tools and home devices. All have good reviews, so if you stick to these three you’ll probably be in good shape.
There is reason to get behind a brand that specializes in garage door openers such as Chamberlain or LiftMaster. This is their only game, so they’re going to make their best effort. That’s not to take away from the years of expertise that a brand like Ryobi can accumulate from making a variety of products, though. Their engineers have seen all sorts of products over the years, so they know what different components are best suited for different purposes.
Mode of Action
The other main buying factor that you’ll want to consider is how the garage door opener actually lifts the door from a mechanical point of view. The three most common designs you’ll come across are chain drive, belt drive, and direct drive.
Chain drive is certainly the most affordable option, and probably the design you’ll come across most often. To be honest, they’ll probably be completely fine for your needs. However, chains have a lot of potential breakage points so it’s entirely possible that you may need to make repairs more quickly than other designs. They are also probably the loudest type of garage door opener you can get, in case that is of any concern to you.
Belt drive designs are very similar to chain drive designs, except that the use a belt rather than a chain. Belts are much quieter in general and tend to be able to withstand less of a load than a chain would. If for any reason the garage door was trying to raise against a load (say, for example, the garage door is locked), there is the chance that the belt might break and need replacement. They also can wear out over time much like the alternator belt on your car would. Luckily, belts are fairly easy to swap out.
The Kingpin design in the world of garage door openers is the direct drive. These are going to give you the best of all worlds with quiet operation and durability. You won’t get out of maintaining them though as they’ll still need lubrication, but if you have a bit of extra cash it may be worth springing for one of these. They’re not too expensive after all.
Hopefully this article helps you quickly narrow down your search in your time of need. I know this situation can be frustrating, and any little bit of guidance can be helpful. I hope you make it through with minimal issue!