A guide to understanding garage door opener typesGDS Doors
A guide to understanding garage door opener types
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to garage door openers. Every garage door opener is best suited for a particular type of door. Understanding what each garage door opener can do will help you make an informed purchasing decision.
There are currently four common garage door opener types used in residential homes. The four types are belt-drives, chain-drives, screw drives, and jackshaft garage door openers.
Belt-drive garage door openers
The belt-drive opener has become the premier option for most homeowners across America. Not only are they durable and reliable, but they support most standard garage doors. They also minimize the shaking and rattling caused when operating the garage door.
While chain-drive openers use a metal chain to lift the garage door, belt-drive openers use a steel-reinforced belt. Unlike a metal chain, the rubber belt is quieter and provides smoother operation when in use. For homeowners with an attached garage located below a room, the belt-drive is the ideal garage door opener.
The main downside to a belt-drive garage door opener is its ability to lift heavier doors. Wooden garage doors are naturally heavy and require extra lifting power. For wooden doors, chain-drive openers are recommended.
Chain-drive garage door openers
Chain-drive garage door openers were the most popular opener for a long time. While belt-drive openers have taken the spotlight, chain-drive openers are still a great option for homeowners.
The main reason chain-drive garage door openers have fallen out of favor is due to the amount of noise they created. Unlike belt-drives, the metal chain could cause loud clanging and rattling when in operation.
Chain-drives operate using a bicycle-like chain that can handle constant use. These openers have great lifting power and are ideal for heavier garage doors. Wood garage doors are very heavy, and a weaker garage door opener can give out when attempting to lift the door.
These garage door openers are very affordable and are a more budget-conscious option compared to belt-drives.
Screw drive Garage Door Openers
Not as common as the other two garage door openers, the screw drive opener relies on a c-channel rail and a threaded rod. The C-channel rail lies perpendicular to the door and connects to the motor of the opener. Lifting relies on the threaded rod (screw) rather than a chain or belt. This allows the opener to operate more quickly than other openers.
This design makes them great for heavy-duty lifting and is another option for wood and 2-car garage doors.
The threaded rod design of this opener means less maintenance on opener parts. The c-channel rail will still need occasional lubrication.
Screw drive garage door openers do not operate well in extreme weather. In intense heat, internal parts are more likely to fail compared to other openers. In colder temperatures, internal parts can become frozen and keep the opener from operating.
In terms of noise, screw drive openers lie in between chain-drive and belt-drive openers.
A lack of popularity has caused many manufacturers to drop their screw-drive lines. This has caused specific parts to be hard to come by, which makes these openers a tricky investment.
Jackshaft Garage Door Openers
Apartment complexes and increased residential development is on the rise. This has led to smaller garage spaces with less overhead room. For this reason, jackshaft openers have been on the rise in recent years.
What makes the jackshaft garage door opener so unique is that they take up less space than traditional garage door openers. For small garage spaces with little overhead space, jackshaft openers are preferred.
These openers are attached directly to the drum of the garage door, rather than overhead like other openers. Because of this, they do not require additional support beams to keep the opener overhead.
Overhead obstructions like a low ceiling, lights, or fans make traditional garage door openers uninstallable.
Like belt-drive openers, jackshaft openers help reduce noise and have quiet operation cycles. They also have a higher price tag compared to other openers.
There are multiple factors to consider before dropping any money on a new garage door opener. For some, a cheaper option is preferred to save money, but this may have consequences in the future.
Recent parents, for instance, often switch from a chain-drive opener to a belt-drive opener to reduce the noise they make. Be mindful of the size and make of your garage door before purchasing a new opener.
For a more in-depth consultation on the best garage door opener type for your home, feel free to give us a call. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and pick a make and model that best fits your needs.
For any and all residential and commercial garage door service and repair, be sure to contact GDS Garage Door Solutions at (760) 994-4805.