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Three Basic Garage Door Mechanisms

LiftMaster 3275 Garage Door Opener

LiftMaster 3275 Garage Door Opener

What are the different types of garage door openers? Which kind should you choose?

When you are considering installing or replacing an automatic garage door opener, you must first decide which type will best suit your needs. All automatic garage doors provide the convenience of push button operation so you never have to go out in inclement weather to manually open your garage door. But there are significant differences in installation and operations that should be taken into account when making your decision.

The three main types of mechanism that open garages include chain drives, screw drives and belt drives. Each of these varieties is operated by a remote control that powers a motor that is installed inside the garage.

What are the differences between these three major types of garage door openers?

Chain driven models

  • Garage door openers that use a chain to pull the door up on its tracks are usually less expensive than the other models. The chains themselves usually require little in the way of maintenance other than regular lubrication. These models are long-lasting, and repairs or replacement of parts should be a simple task for a professional. Unfortunately, this variety of garage door opener is also the noisiest. It is not recommended for use if your garage is adjacent to or directly under the living quarters of your home.

Screw driven models

  • This type of opener operates with a long, threaded metal rod that cranks the garage door open with the mechanism that turns it like a screw. Because the connection circles the rod instead of being pulled directly backward, this type of garage door opener can be slower than other varieties. Lubrication is necessary but this is a simple maintenance task. Screw driven openers are less likely to become off balance than other types. One problem with the screw drives is that they often do not function smoothly when subjected to temperature extremes.

Belt driven models

  • Homeowners who do not mind spending a little extra on their garage door opener assembly often prefer a belt driven model. These function similarly to chain drive models but, because the pull mechanism is rubber instead of metal, they operate much more quietly. This may be the best choice for attached garages.

With proper maintenance, any of these varieties can provide smooth and convenient access to your garage for many years.