Your garage door has been straining to open as of late. More than once you’ve been left locked outside because the door wouldn’t cooperate. It sounds like your current garage door opener might be wearing out.
It’s time to upgrade to a new model. Maybe this time you can find one with amazing features like smart device capabilities and built-in Wi-fi. If you don’t mind paying for these extra bells and whistles, they’re nice to have but they’re not everything.
First and foremost, you need the opener to do its job. The fancy stuff can come after. Check out this buying guide to learn more.
Types of Garage Door Openers
Before we get into the garage door opener features that are nice to have, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of openers. The basic concept behind them all is essentially the same but the application differs by a little bit.
Every single garage door opener consists of a trolley that is connected to the door itself. When the trolley moves, it opens and closes the door. Where the types of openers differ is how the trolley is moved around.
In the case of chain-drive movers, a chain does the job. If you’re shopping on a budget, the chain system is the cheapest option available to you.
Chain openers create a lot more vibration and noise than their counterparts. This isn’t really an issue of your garage branches away from your house. If it’s located under a room that sees a heavy amount of use, however, it may pose a problem.
The belt-drive system uses a belt to open and close the door. It’s a lot quieter than the chain drive opener. This makes it an ideal choice if your garage is connected to your home.
The belt-drive opener uses a few moving parts but not enough where maintenance is a huge issue.
The screw-drive opener uses a rotating steel rod to raise and lower the garage door. It offers a pretty quiet experience and just like the belt-drive system, there are not that many moving parts so you don’t have to worry about maintenance too much.
Direct Drive Opener
Direct drive openers use a motor to drive the trolley around a track. It pretty much makes zero noise when it’s lowering and opening the door and it only uses one moving part. This means there’s less maintenance that you have to deal with on your end.
Once you’ve made your selection out of many different types of garage door openers, it’s time narrow things down even further by looking at horsepower. The standard homeowner won’t need a model that’s too powerful.
A 1/2-horsepower model will suit your needs fine. If you want to pick up one that has a little bit more oomph than that, by all means.
The more power it has, the less the system has to work to open the door. This means that it will be able to take a lot more punishment before it starts to wear out.
Features That Are Great to Have
Now we’re on to features. Most openers come standard with stuff like a garage door remote and a manual release that will allow you to open and close the door all on your own from the inside.
What you want to look out for are the unique functions. Say a guest arrives at your home and you’re upstairs in the bedroom. If your garage door has a home automation system, you can open it to let them in without having to leave the room.
One step up from the automation system is the built-in Wi-Fi feature. We’ll use the same example as before. A guest arrives at your house, only this time you’re miles away at your office.
With the Wi-Fi feature, you can use an app on your phone to open the garage door and let them in.
If you work late at night, having to maneuver your way around the garage to flip the light switch can be a pain. Some garage doors come complete with an auto light feature. As soon as it detects your movement it will illuminate your walkway.
Don’t want to have to carry your garage door remote everywhere you go? Get a door opener that’s compatible with your vehicle. With the press of a button, you’ll be able to open it from inside your car.
Safety and Security Features
If you have a device that dates back before 1993, you’ll want to start looking at new garage door openers. The older models don’t have the safety features that the new ones have.
For example, modern openers shine an electronic beam across the bottom of your garage door. If a pet or a child were to walk over that beam while the door is closing, the door will stop what it’s doing and open back up.
As far as security goes, many newer garage door openers work off of a rolling code security system. This means that each time you use your remote, it generates a new code to open the door. It makes it harder for even the most dedicated burglar to break in.
Buying a New Garage Door Opener
Is your garage door opener beginning to struggle? Is it making a ton of noise or vibrating more than usual? It sounds like you may benefit from buying a new one.
There are a lot of different types on the market. We hope that you’re able to use this buying guide to find the model with the features that you need.
Are you looking for more ways to upgrade your home? Check out our blog daily for more articles like this one.