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Whether your current garage door opener has bit the dust, or you are looking to invest in your very first automatic garage door opener, there are a few things you’ll want to know first. There was a time when these mechanical wonders were considered a luxury for those who could afford the finer things in life. As technology advanced, they became affordable for the average homeowner. Now, you will find them in many neighborhood homes.
In fact, once you’ve gotten used to the easy convenience of opening your garage door with the press of a button, you’ll never want to live without one again. An automatic garage door opener has many parts that make it move smoothly. The one you want really depends on your individual preference for amount of horsepower, speed of movement and noise level.
Just like with a car engine, a garage door opener also has a certain amount of energy inside the motor that is used to lift the door up. Unlike other doors in your home, the door to your garage happens to be pretty heavy. So, it’s important that the opener has at least 600-Newtons or (1/2 HP). This is enough power to lift most residential doors up to 350 pounds. For heavier doors, you’ll need advanced 3/4-HP, which lifts doors up to 500 pounds.
Chains are used in a lot of popular openers as the mechanism that actually pulls the door up and down. Many people prefer a chain drive because it has a reputation for being very sturdy. You’ll find that the most affordable automatic garage door opener models often feature chain drive operation. However, there’s one little issue that may give you pause and that is these tend to be quite noisy. Before going with this mechanism, you should think about what rooms in your home are closest to the garage and would be impacted by this type of noise in the mornings and evenings.
Belt drives are preferable if you want the quietest operation. Belt drives are made of tough rubber and cost more than the chains, but in the end, they are just as sturdy and will save your peace of mind.
Screw drives tend to be slower and noisier than the above two options. The only benefit they have is that they’re pretty cheap. These work best in places where the weather stays pretty constant all year. Screw operated openers are not very popular, and you won’t find them as easily as other systems.
You should look for an opener that has built-in safety features like protection against unauthorized entry and accidental door closings.
Look for an automatic garage door opener that has the latest technology in remote control operation. These make your life even more convenient by opening the door without having to get out of your car. Plus, they may be able to do other things like control lights, etc.