Automatic garage doors will literally give you a new lease on life. Let the stress of that long day at work sink down as your door opens up your home to you, as it rightly should. It’s like having your very own personal butler.
With recent advances in technology, automatic garage door openers have been made easier to operate than ever. They are safer, have a smoother installation process and also run without all that noise that your neighbor keeps complaining about. So, whether you are looking for an upgrade, or are trying them out for the first time, this would be the perfect time to do so.
To assist you in your quest, we’ve reviewed the various garage doors out there and evaluated them, choosing only the most efficient to eventually present you with a list of the best garage doors out there.
Top 10 Garage Door Openers of 2019 Reviewed
1. Chamberlain Group Chamberlain B970 Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3751″ template=”5″]
2. LiftMaster Elite Series 8500W Jackshaft Garage Door Operator[wt_products id=”3753″ template=”5″]
3. SOMMER 1052V000 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3755″ template=”5″]
4. Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3757″ template=”5″]
5. Skylink ATOMS AT-1622BK ½ HPF Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3759″ template=”5″]
6. NEXX Garage NXG-100 NXG Remote Compatible Door Openers[wt_products id=”3761″ template=”5″]
7. LiftMaster 1355 (Replaced by 8065) Contractor Series Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3764″ template=”5″]
8. Tailwind iQ3 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3766″ template=”5″]
9. Craftsman ½ HP Chain Drive Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3768″ template=”5″]
10. Genie ChainMax 1000 Garage Door Opener[wt_products id=”3770″ template=”5″]
Choosing The Best Garage Door Openers – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Garage door openers provide you convenient access and exit to and from your garage. They also ensure your safety as well as that of your kids and pets. But buying one is not as straightforward as you might think. There are several things to which you must pay attention in order to ensure that the garage door opener you get is the best. If you are a newbie, we have put together several tips in this buying guide to help you make the best choice. Read on.
Which Drive System Do You Need?
There are three main types of drive systems for garage door openers. They include the belt, chain, and screw drive systems. As such, the price of a garage door opener will largely depend on the type of drive system it uses. Let us give each of these drive systems a detailed view:
- Belt Drives: In this system, the trolley is driven by a rubber belt to raise or lower the garage door. It is not a simple rubber. The belt is usually made from steel-reinforced rubber, Kevlar polymer or fiberglass. Since it has minimal moving parts, belt drive systems are the quietest. These systems, therefore, work well in homes where the garage is an extension of the main house. If a family member sleeps next to or above the garage, this is the best system to use. Only that you have to pay top-dollar to get a unit that uses this type of drive system.
- Chain Drives: Instead of a rubber belt, these systems raise the garage door using a chain. As soon as the system kicks into gear, you will begin hearing banging sounds from the chain. The chain rolls around a rail to pull the trolley. Since they have many moving parts, chain drives need to be maintained periodically. This prolongs their life and keeps them performing efficiently. If you have less money and are willing to endure the noise, this type of drive system is the best for you. Without power, you can easily operate this system manually.
- Screw Drives: This system has a thread rod system that moves the door. Unlike the other drive systems, this particular one requires very few parts. Compared to chain drive systems, this is quieter. Since it is composed of fewer parts than the other two, its chances of breaking are very minimal. However, you have to constantly maintain it through the application of a lubricant twice a year. Screw drive systems work well for a lighter garage door. For the heavy ones, the threads on the screw tend to wear off quickly.
The Noise Level
The level of noise produced by a garage door opener is an important consideration. If it is too loud, then it will not be suitable for installation in a garage that is adjacent to the main house. Don’t lie to yourself that you can cure the problem of noise by oiling the moving parts of the system. That is why you ought to consider buying a unit that is actually quiet.
As we have seen above, the kind of drive system a unit has determines whether it will be cool or loud. Of the three systems, the belt drive is the quietest. However, even within the other types, you will find a door opener that is quieter than the rest. When installing the garage door opener in business premises or isolated homes, the noise level may not matter. Not so for homes with bedrooms right next to the garage. So, put that into consideration before dismissing off a unit for being noisy.
Strength Of The Garage Door Opener
The strength of garage door opening systems differs depending on the model. Thus, some are strong while others are extremely weak to lift the garage door. Without proper balance, there is going to be a problem. If you use a weak opener on a heavy door, it will get stuck midway and prevent you from entering the garage.
A very strong opener on a light door and you have another problem. The door will move suddenly, hit the upper wall, and get damaged. Since it is hard to reduce the speed and power of your garage door opener, make sure you buy one that’s tailored to meet your needs. Make sure you read reviews and statistics from the manufacturer to know if you are choosing the right product.
Is The Garage Door Opener Easy To Program?
Garage door openers are made differently. However, very few of them will require the user to have programming knowledge. In fact, most of them rely on on-screen buttons. When you receive it, the remote control devices will already be programmed. In case you need to replace the remote control, all you need to do is to press a certain frequency or link button found on the side of the remote. That simple and easy, you will connect the remote to the unit.
Most of the garage door openers come with instruction manuals to help you set up an auto-schedule. That’s because each model comes with a self-styled schedule system. Even if they are from the same manufacturer, there are likely to be marked differences between any two models. Good thing, manufacturers provide instruction manuals or video tutorials on YouTube.
Ease Of Installation
Garage door openers are designed to be compatible only with certain types of doors. So, they are usually installed in different ways. Some are mounted on top rails or the side of the door. In short, you need to be aware of the type of installation a unit requires before buying it.
If you don’t pay attention, then you might have to hire a professional to help you with the installation. Since the garage door opener, you buy will need an AC power supply make sure there is a socket nearby. To install it, start by assembling all of its parts to ensure it works properly.
For A Garage Door Opener, Size Is Key
Garage doors differ in terms of sizes and other aspects. On average, the door will have 8 to 9 feet in height. That’s why you should pay extra attention to ensure you buy an opener that works with the height of the door you have in mind. If the opener is too small, it may not be able to work on a standard door. In fact, it will leave the door stuck part of the way upwards. Or the unit may come totally broken.
The good thing is that the manufacturers usually state the kind of door and opener is meant for. To be on the safe side, check the manufacturer’s instructions concerning how high the door ought to be. When it comes to the width, that isn’t a big issue. Most garage doors have more or less the same width. Another aspect of the size you must consider is the weight of the door. If it is heavy, then you need a unit with an above-average HP.
Horsepower Also Matters
A close look at the garage door openers featured in this review will reveal that they have different levels of horsepower. The least is ½ HP while the highest is 1.25 HP. The strength of a garage door opener is usually determined by the horsepower of the motor.
In simple terms, models with the highest HP are the strongest. They can lift heavy doors without straining too much. However, there are some units with a lower HP which are able to lift heavy doors with ease, thanks to the drive system used. The other advantage of a high HP model is that it gets strained less and is likely to last long.
What Key Features Should You Pay Attention To?
- Remotes Or Keypads: You will need a remote control to use with a garage door opener. Most models come with a keypad and two remote control units. When bought separately, remote control units will cost about $40 and keypads about $60.
- Lighting: Garage door openers with a lighting feature provide convenient illumination of the space. In short, you don’t have to manually switch on the light. Once the motor begins to work, the light will turn on. But not all units have this feature. Those that do will have either 75W or 200W lights.
- Voice Control: There are a number of garage door openers that come with voice control capability via Nest, Xfinity, Alexa, and similar systems. These are usually easy to integrate with other smart devices in your home.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity: Most of the garage door openers featured here have built-in Wi-Fi capability. Thus, you can connect to them via a smartphone app and open or close the garage. This feature also allows you to monitor your home remotely and to receive notifications.
- Vehicle Sensors: Some garage door openers are capable of sensing your vehicle via Bluetooth. As soon as the sense the vehicle within range, they will trigger the garage door to open or close.
- Other Features: Some of the other things to consider include whether the garage door opener has battery backup. In case of a power outage, the unit will continue working. Motion sensors are also important when it comes to preventing accidents. Integrated locks and rail extensions are also worth paying attention to.
As it is clear, garage door openers are elaborate systems that come with a number of features. That is why it is important to pay attention to the questions discussed above before settling on a particular model. Make sure that you only buy a unit that is compatible with your doors. Additionally, it should have all the features that make it easy to operate. If you are going to attempt the DIY installation, then ensure that the unit allows for that. Whatever you do, don’t waste money on a worthless garage door opener.