Back in the day, garage door openers were a humble device—a simple means to make your garage door go up and down. These days, though, garage door openers have gotten smarter. You can schedule the door to open and close. You can check the door’s status. You can allow temporary access for your babysitter.
This also means that garage door openers can be a major home maintenance project—or a worthwhile investment.
Before you dive into your garage door opener as your next home improvement project, here’s a quick and easy breakdown of what they are, how they work, and how to find the perfect fit for your home.
How Do Garage Door Openers Work?
Your garage door consists of a few essential parts:
- Garage door
- Torsion spring
- Safety reversing sensor
- Curved door arm
- Pulley and cable
- Mounting hardware
- Emergency release rope
- Support brackets
Your garage door opener communicates with the operator to run the whole system.
Basically, your garage door opener is a radio transmitter broadcasting on a programmed frequency, just like a radio station. In the U.S., garage door openers use the Industrial Scientific Medical band, or ISM, because it doesn’t require a special license to use it.
When you push the button, it uses its radio transmitter to send a signal with a security code. When you program your remote to your garage door operator, the operator tunes in on the same frequency as the remote, just like tuning into a radio station. That way, the operator’s receiver knows to listen for a signal from the right transmitter. Every garage door opener uses this system, including smart garage door openers.
Once the receiver gets the signal and verifies it, it activates the garage door system by opening or closing it (depending on the door’s position when it gets a signal).
Types of Garage Door Openers
There are several types of garage door openers available to you (beyond smart and dumb, that is). You’re most likely to encounter four of them:
- Chain drive
- Screw driven
- Belt driven
The difference lies in how the opener does its job. A chain drive opener, for example, uses a chain to pull the trolley up a track. However, this can get quite noisy, so you might opt for the much quieter belt driven option, which instead relies on a rubber belt to pull the trolley.
How to Choose the Right Fit for Your Garage Doors
Choosing the right fit for your garage door is all about what you want from an opener.
First, you have to make the choice between a smart option and a regular one. The only real difference is whether your garage door opener simply opens the door or whether it has other functions, like programming scheduled door openings.
Second, you have to choose between the types of openers. A chain drive door, for example, is well regarded for its durability, but it’s also quite loud. A belt driven option is much quieter. A screw driven option works much faster than the other three but is also high-maintenance. A wall-mounted option is best for garages with low ceilings.
Need Garage Door Installation or Garage Door Repair?
Choosing the right garage door openers for your home shouldn’t be a challenge. That’s why we make it easy to find exactly what you need, with trusted expert garage door opener services backed by our fair, transparent pricing and our satisfaction guarantee.
Ready to invest in a garage door opener you can count on? Get in touch today to let us know how we can help.