The average American opens their garage door roughly 1,500 times per year. Once you factor in that the average garage door weighs between 200 and 400 pounds depending on the material and size, you start to get an idea of how hard your opener is working. Below, the Overhead Door Company of Omaha has a guide to garage door openers filled with the information you need to know when you’re selecting a new one for your home.
You’ve Got Options
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s bound to happen at some point. You’ll be on your way to work and your garage door won’t open. Your first thought is to go on Google and click on the first garage door repair company you see. However, only the Overhead Door Company has options and expertise to make sure you’re on your way out the door in a timely fashion. Here are some options we provide:
- Chain Drive: This is the OG. A chain drive uses a metal chain attached to a motor to raise and lower your door. Though this is one of the most economical and inexpensive versions of the garage door opener, it’s also one of the loudest. If noise is a concern and your garage door is connected to your home, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Belt Drive: Swap out that chain for a belt and you arrive here. Nearly as cost-efficient and none of the noise. These openers generally have fewer parts as well so maintenance is a breeze.
- Screw Drive: A screw-drive opener uses a threaded steel rod to move the lifting mechanism. As the rod rotates, it drives the trolley along the track to raise or lower the door. It is In between the chain and belt drive in terms of noise and closer to the chain drive in terms of maintenance.
- Direct Drive: No belt. No chain. Nothing. With a direct drive garage door opener, the motor is the opener because it’s installed inside the trolley and uses a gear wheel to guide the trolley along a fixed chain.
Just like your car, the power of garage door openers is measured in horsepower. Almost every option on the market ranges from ⅓ to 1½ horsepower. When choosing the horsepower of your new opener, there are two factors that you need to consider:
- How much does my door weigh: As mentioned above, the weight of your garage door can vary based on the type of material. The math here is pretty simple, heavier door = more needed power.
- Can the other components handle the power: If you are looking to purchase a new opener and/or door, know you might have to upgrade your hardware — the roller, tracks, springs, etc. You need to make sure your setup is able to evenly distribute your new opener’s power. If not, you’re putting unnecessary pressure on these parts and they’ll wear out faster.
You Only Need Half
In most cases, your garage door should only require a motor with a ½ horsepower. This is the industry standard that can lift most metal and vinyl doors quickly and reliably. If you plan on purchasing a door made of a heavier wood — like the Carriage House Collection — or an ultra-modern glass model — such as Overhead Door’s 511 and 521 models, you might need something with more power.
Invest In Quality Now
It might be tempting to opt for the cheapest opener you come across while searching online. However, this could end up costing you more money down the road. Cheap openers that don’t evenly distribute weight tend not to last as long which means you could be shelling out for a new system sooner than if you had paid a little extra up front.
The Original and Still the Best
We don’t mean to brag, but the Overhead Door Company wrote the book on garage door maintenance, garage door repair, and garage door installation. Our founder, C.G. Johnson, invented the electric garage door opener in 1926 and OHD has made a commitment to innovating ever since. Our staff is trained to work exclusively on garage doors and can help get you exactly what you need to update your garage — from the door to the opener to everything in between.
Feel free to reach out to one of our technicians for more information about how the Overhead Door Company can help you or call today to set up an appointment.