When shopping for a garage door opener, where do you start?
What do you need, what are the safest choices, and do you really need every single option out there? It can be overwhelming, and at first blush not nearly as fun as shopping for the actual doors themselves, which can be showpieces and really tie a home or business together!
Every year, unbiased third parties offer the best garage door opener cheat sheets, but it’s important to know how they’re ranking these high-tech gadgets.
One of the most important factors, especially for commercial doors, is maximum lifting power in pounds. Moderate, solid lifting power starts at around 350 pounds and maxes out at around 550 pounds.
This is usually only important if you have extra-heavy doors or are otherwise worried about door openers being able to lift the weight. A reputable company will match your garage doors with a reasonable opener for lifting power.
Another gauge of strength is horsepower, but garage door openers operate on a different system than vehicles. For the most part, one-half horsepower is more than enough for most doors and can lift up to 300 pounds.
Heavy or oversized doors need at least three-quarter horsepower, which is sufficient to lift up to 550 pounds. Plus, three-quarter openers can be more durable and last longer, which is a big draw for some business owners and homeowners.
Garage door openers come in a variety of lift systems, including chain, screw and belt drives. There’s no one overall winner, because it all depends on your preference. Belt drives are the quietest and have the least vibration. Chain drives are dependable and affordable (but a little noisier), and screw drives are quiet while staying low maintenance.
The height of a garage door, and the necessary opener for it, is a consideration some people overlook. Seven feet is the usual height for residential doors, and this is enough clearance for all cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans.
However, if you need or want a taller door, you’ll need an extension kit. If you are thinking about home automation, you’ll want an opener that works with your system, such as HomeLink. Opening and closing doors remotely with Wi-Fi is an add-on that more and more home and business owners are choosing.
Different openers might offer various extra features, such as letting you customize the time before doors close automatically. This is great if you regularly carry bags from your garage into your house and don’t have a free arm to click the doors shut. It’s a safety feature, and lets you know with a flash or beep that the doors are closing.
Finally, think about a backup power source, which is often an add-on accessory that is available with some garage door openers. Get more help and information on garage door openers today by contacting the Garage Door Man.