How to choose the best garage door opener is incredibly important for many homeowners. When looking for the best garage door opener for a particular garage it is important to look at the garage door opener reviews to find what the best style and brand is for each specific door and customer. Surprisingly many buyer need different things when it comes to selecting a garage door, and there is a multitude of information out there to read and consider.

A garage door is opened at least twice a day and a garage door opener is a necessary convenience. Trying to exit a garage without a garage door opener requires an awkward, dangerous run under the closing door. No one wants to endure that on a daily basis. Determining the best garage door opener is a decision that must be based on individual needs and preferences. It also requires an understanding of the important components of a garage door opener.

In order to pick out the best garage door opener buyers must become familiar with the terminology needed to find a garage door opener that fits their needs. Once all these terms are understood and considered by a buyer, than he is able to choose the proper garage door opener for his home.


Best Garage Door Opener

Garage Door Opener (Illustration by Merce Iglesias)


Drive System
The drive system of a garage door opener is the method in which the garage door is raised and lowered.

Chain Drive Openers. Many believe a chain drive to be the loudest garage door opener due to the fact that it uses chains run through a motorized gear instead of smooth, flexible belts to lift the garage door.

Belt Drive Openers. A belt drive employs rubber belts to lift the door. Belt-driven openers are just as reliable as chain-driven openers but quieter. However, this is one of the more expensive options.

Screw Drive Openers. A screw drive falls in the middle of the other two drive systems in terms of price and volume. For anyone looking to install a garage door opener themselves, this is probably the best choice.

Direct-drive units. Claimed to be the quietest garage door opener, because there is only one moving part—the motor. Developed and manufactured in Germany, the motor (not a trolley) travels along a stationary chain that is embedded in an overhead rail. A J-arm links the moving motor to the door. Direct-drive units cost about the same as belt-driven units and come with lifetime warranties.

Jackshaft openers. Unlike the other systems, mount on the wall beside the garage door. A 24-v DC motor drives pulleys and cables that turn the torsion bar and raise the garage door. When the motor is reversed, cable tension is loosened and the door lowers. This system is reliable and quiet. In addition, it keeps the ceiling free for overhead storage and is well-suited to garages with high or low ceilings. Jackshaft openers are more expensive than most other types of openers.

Many people expect their garage door to make some noise and the amount of noise is not influential in the decision. However, in some specific cases noise may be a determining factor. A person who frequently is coming from or going to work late at night or early in the morning when others in the home may still be sleeping would be likely to opt for the higher costing belt drive system out of consideration for the rest of the family. Cost can be a big factor for many, and in that instance a chain drive would be the obvious choice. It is important to keep that information in mind while also exploring the other parts of a garage door opener.

Motor Power
Motor power is another important factor in determining the best type of garage door opener. Typically a garage door opener motor comes in three different levels of horse power (HP). ½ HP is standard for a single car garage. A two-car garage requires ¾ HP. Garage door opener motors do come in a third size, 1 HP. This much higher motor power is primarily only necessary for commercial garages. Most home owners would only be looking at ½ or ¾ HP motors.

Understanding the necessary motor power to correctly operate the garage on one’s home is crucial in making a decision. Even if a buyer believes he has found the best garage door opener brand, if it does not come with the necessary motor power it will be useless to that buyer.

Controls for the door opener system can also play into garage door opener reviews. Traditionally a home owner has a fixed control panel inside of the garage which operates the door. An exterior keypad that can be programmed with specific codes is helpful for homeowners that need the garage door to be accessed by others who may not have their own remote control. A remote control is a great option because it allows the driver easy access without leaving the vehicle. Remotes can have extra buttons to operate more than one door or even to turn on lights.

Because there are several options of controls buyers should familiarize themselves with all the options. A buyer may know that a garage door opener remote is a necessity. In learning more about the different options of remotes he is able to ensure that he chooses a system that fits his needs exactly.

Safety Features
Safety is an important issue for many buyers since a heavy garage door can cause serious damage should it close on a child or pet. Today’s safety standards do call for doors to stop closing and actually reopen should anything be detected in the door’s path. Obstacles are often detected by a standard electronic beam, but owners can purchase doors that have an additional sensor to ensure that nothing is in the way of the door before it closes. Some have safety concerns about how one could escape from a closed garage during a power failure. A manual release button or a backup battery both serve to ensure that entrapment will not occur due to a power outage. There is also something called a delay feature. This allows for someone to close the garage door and then have a moment to exit the garage without the garage door closing on them.

Security Features
Security features are also important as many people store expensive tools, equipment, and cars in their home garages. Rolling codes come standard with all systems now so that a person with the same garage or opener cannot use his remote to open another person’s garage. This system works by generating new codes every time the door is opened or closed. An extra security feature is a timer that stops all remotes from working for a set period of time. This would be of good use for a vacation or simply for a business traveller that is frequently away.

Other things to consider are the warranty that comes with both the garage and garage door opener. It is always important to understand the warranty of the product that is being bought, because if something should malfunction the customer knows exactly what is covered and how the situation must be dealt with.

Price Consideration
A garage door opener can start at a in the low hundreds and go up to thousands of dollars. A buyer can get a system with the options most important to him, but remember that the more advanced systems do cost more. Again, to find out what is best, buyers must do their homework.

When discussing the different types, styles and name brands for a garage door opener, looking at garage door opener reviews is one of the best ways to do that. This is done by looking at the various brand names and weighing the pros and cons.

The first type of garage door opener to look at is the Liftmaster Garage Door Opener. The Liftmaster openers are used for commercial garage doors. These doors are opened several times a day. (As opposed to a residential door that is opened 2-4 times a day). So, the Liftmaster openers can withstand the wear and tear of being open and closed constantly.

The second type of garage door opener name brand is the Chamberlain Garage Door Opener. The Chamberlain garage door opener is typically for the residential house. The company can accommodate all sizes of garage doors, and do so quietly using the belt drive. Chamberlain boasts its DIY opener to be efficient and easy to put in, and even sends out extension rail kits for garages with 8ft-10ft height doors.

There is the Genie Garage Door Opener. The Genie company has both commercial and residential garage doors. In fact, at the 2012 Expo the Genie commercial opener was voted the #1 hottest new product.

The final brand to look at is the Sommer Garage Door Opener. The Sommer company is one of the leading manufactures of garage doors in Europe. The openers operate on a durable chain device and come with a lifetime warranty on the whole opener.

Looking for a garage door opener is a tricky process and finding the best type of garage door opener for each buyer takes time. So buyers should be sure to put in the time and energy to finding a garage door opener that covers all their needs. This means a more convenient and safer garage door in the future and better buyer satisfaction.