Having a new garage door and opener installed requires more than just choosing the design and materials of the door. There are also three main types of openers available that you will need to choose between. The following guide will walk you through the options so that you can make an educated decision when picking out your opener.
Option #1: Chain Drive Openers
These are one of the most common and least expensive options. They use a chain to open and close the door, which does lead to a lot of vibration and noise. Newer models aren't quite as loud as the older incarnations, but they can still be a nuisance.
As a general rule, only choose a chain drive if you have a detached garage or if you do not open the garage door at times that will disturb others in the home. If your garage is next to a bedroom, or if you tend to open it late at night when most of the house is asleep, a chain drive isn't your best option.
Option #2: Belt Drive Openers
The belt drive is your middle-of-the-road option when it comes to cost. These openers use a fiberglass- or steel-reinforced rubber belt to open the door instead of a chain. They are also much quieter than the chain drives, and there is less vibration.
The belts do require periodic replacement and regular maintenance is necessary to ensure they continue to operate well. Choose a belt drive if you need a quieter opener and don't mind a slightly higher price tag or regular care. Belt drives are becoming the industry standard since they are so quiet compared to other options.
Option #3: Screw Drive Openers
These openers use a threaded rod to drive the opener, instead of a chain or belt. Everything is enclosed so that maintenance is rarely necessary, since all the components of the opener are protected. These openers are similar in cost to belt drive openers, but they are louder.
Skip the screw drive if you live in an area that experiences extreme cold, since these openers may not work as well in these conditions. Choose this option if you aren't too concerned about noise, live in a moderate climate, and you want an opener that requires little to no maintenance.
Contact a garage door installation and repair professional for more advice on choosing the best opener type for your needs.