Automatic garage doors say nothing and they will only do so much without the right opener. After all, what makes your overhead door automatic is its electric garage door opener. Such systems go decades back. What’s available today is a whole different story. And that’s because electric openers have come a long way. If you try to find a new one, chances are that you will get a tad confused. So here is a helping hand.
Looking for a residential or commercial opener?
There are some differences between commercial and residential garage door openers. To help you understand why let us just say that it has to do with the door. Residential and commercial doors differ in regard to their size and thus weight. So there is no one opener fits all. And then it’s the number of cycles – that is how many times you open and close the door. Commercial doors are used more often. Some go up and down all day long.
Commercial door openers
So with garage doors and their application differing, openers are bound to vary too. Which exactly are their differences? Let’s see:
Whether light or heavy duty, commercial doors would have:
- Trolley openers, which are in turn separated by their drive type – screw, chain, and belt. They are ideal for heavy or light duty sectional doors.
- Hoist operators with a torque motor, which is ideal for medium and heavy duty rolling doors.
- Slide openers resemble the trolley type but they are ideal for extremely heavy industrial doors.
- Jackshaft operators, which are ideal for properties with either too high or low ceilings.
Residential door openers
Jackshaft openers are also used for residential application when the ceiling is already crowded, low, or high. But most residential doors utilize a trolley opener system. This is often known as a carriage system. Which one should you choose?
- Chain drive openers are the most popular choice due to their cheap price. But due to their chain, they are noisy and so not ideal if there is a living space above the garage.
- In this case, you should consider belt drive garage door opener installation. These types are quiet and just cost a bit higher than chain motors.
- Your last option would be a screw drive. But this is not the best choice for all climates. Frequent temperature fluctuations might affect their operation
How about your motor choices?
One thing you should look for is the motor’s horsepower. This determines the lifting power of the opener. To give you an idea, standards residential garage doors won’t need more than ½ hp. But the heavier they get, the higher the motor’s power should be. Most doors would utilize from ½ hp to 1 hp. But there are even more powerful ones on the market.
And then there is the matter of whether to choose AC or DC motors. Up until recently, AC (alternating current) was the dominant motor on the market but it is lately (and rapidly) substituted by DC (direct current) motors. Why? DC motors work better with new technologies. They support backup batteries and soft start and stop systems and provide silent operation.
Why get a new garage door opener?
There is no compare between old and new generation openers. Today, you have an abundance of choices and get more reliable systems. With that said, don’t forget to check the safety features. There should be safety sensors to reverse the overhead garage door should it is needed and also an emergency release cord. But if you stick with large brands, like Genie, Liftmaster, Craftsman, and others, you won’t have a problem. Want one more reason for garage door opener replacement? You can open the door with your smartphone. On top of that, some openers can be connected to home automation systems. How about that?