Openers 101

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Openers 101

The second part of our Master Class for Garage Doors and Openers is about the drive systems and opener systems. Each system is different so be sure to check which one best suits your needs when buying a new garage door.

Horsepower and Drive Systems

The amount of horsepower you will need will depend on how heavy, how large and which type of door you want.  It’s also important to factor in speed as well, the average opener will lift your garage door at about 6-8 inches per second.

The most popular horsepower rating for a garage door is ½ horsepower, which can lift a commercial sized insulated door. If a higher horsepower is recommended it is likely due to the type of door; specialty wood doors or carriage house doors.

There are essentially three options of drive systems on the market for garage doors. They cater to you as a homeowner if you want a quieter garage or if you want a garage door that has more dependability and value.

Chain Driven Garage Door Openers

A chain driven garage door opener is the most common and least expensive of the systems available. The way this system works is that the chain rides along a sprocket or sprocket-wheel which allows the door to move up and down. The downside to these openers is that they are pretty loud when in motion. Another downfall is that the chain needs regular maintenance so that it continues to work correctly. However, maintaining a chain drive garage door opener can be pretty easy as long as you know and understand what you are doing.

Belt Driven Garage Opener Systems

This system uses rubber belts to open and close the door, which means that it is much quieter than other opener systems. The rubber belt also eliminates the metal to metal contact, which reduces vibration. This will typically increase the lifespan of your garage door opener. This opener does cost more, but it should last longer over the chain driven system.

Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

When you truly want a quiet garage, it is probably wise to buy a screw drive garage door opener. This opener has less moving components than all the rest and uses a threaded rod, known as a stud, to open and close the garage door.  The really nice thing about this system is that it is low maintenance. The downside is that these types of openers, while quiet, are slower at opening and closing the door. It’s not a big difference, but noticeable enough when compared to chain driven garage doors.

Overall garage doors and opening systems have a lot more parts to them than one would think for being such a small compact piece of machinery. Having a general understanding on how the whole thing works will give you better insight and the knowledge for when you decide to get a new garage door or opening system.

Ready to get a new garage door? Check out our Garage DoorView Designer to see what a new garage door would look on your home.

Garage DoorView Designer



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