Skip to Main Content

How to Choose a Garage Door Opener

Garage Door Opener

Cars are a part of the Michigan tradition, and with four beautiful Midwestern seasons, so are garages. Accessibility is a key part of any garage, so whether a recent move or a renovation has you looking for a new opener, there are three main types to consider. Between the chain, belt, and direct drive systems, homeowners can choose something to fit their family’s needs.

Chain Driven

Once the most popular style of garage door opener, chain driven models use a chain, similar to that of a bicycle, to pull or push a carriage connected to the garage door. Noise can be a concern with these models if the garage is connected to the home, especially if there is an adjacent bedroom. Recent developments in softer start and stop technology lessen the vibrations associated with a chain system, making it a more realistic option for homes with kitchen or side entry. Stand-alone garages are a perfect match for this model.

Belt Driven

Often credited with being quieter and smoother, the belt driven opener uses a polyurethane, fiberglass, or steel-reinforced rubber belt in place of a chain. The smoothness of the belt removes much of the jerkiness associated with a chain drive while functioning just as reliably. Cost increases with a belt system, depending on the model.

Direct Drive

Direct drive openers feature an overhead rail containing a chain, on which the affixed motor moves in order to open the door. These models are cited as amazingly noiseless and dependable. Direct drive openers are comparable in price to a belt drive system.

Powering Your Drive: AC or DC

Both power types perform the same function, but each offers a different range of benefits. All AC-powered garage door openers currently on the market function somewhere within a six to eight inches-per-second opening speed, closing at around seven inches-per-second, so speed will be consistent depending on the size of the door. DC-powered openers are credited with smoother, quieter operation, sometimes a faster opening speed (closing speeds are standard for safety reasons). AC motors are known for their longevity more than DC motors, but sophisticated DC models offer a longer life. Additionally some DC-powered units can be outfitted with a battery backup in case of power failure.

For more advice on choosing the right garage door opener for your home, contact the professionals at Town & Country Door. Since 1995, we have been servicing all garage door mechanisms and will assist you in choosing the system that perfectly fits your budget and lifestyle. Contact us today!