bigstock-Garage-Door-Opener-20287970One of the big decisions about having a garage door opener installed is which type of drive mechanism to go for. There are three common types of mechanism from which to choose and each one has its share of proponents. Really and truly though, your choice of garage door drive mechanism needs to be an informed decision, based on your needs and priorities. The best garage door opener mechanism for you could be determined by asking yourself (and answering) the following questions:

  • Do I need the quietest mechanism?
  • Do I care about how fast my garage door opens and closes?
  • Is the mechanism affected by the climate in my area?
  • Will my garage door opener installation be DIY or professional?
  • Do I want the cheapest option?
  • Do I want a low maintenance option?
  • Do I need a Heavy Duty garage door opener?

Taking each of the above questions in turn, let’s see which type of mechanism is the most practical solution.

When Noise is a Concern

If your home has an attached garage, and particular if you have a bedroom over it, you might prefer it if your garage door opener doesn’t produce much in the way of noise and vibration. Belt drives are the clear winner in these circumstances. Rubber belts make a lot less noise than metal chains and turning screws and are virtually free from vibration.

When You Want Your Garage Door to be Fast

Garage door openers are generally designed to move the door fairly slowly for safety reasons. If you don’t like waiting around too long though, you’ll probably be happiest with a belt drive. These drive mechanisms tend to run more smoothly and quickly than chains or screws.

For Heavy Garage Doors

Extra-large garage doors or those, which are insulated, will need a powerful opener with a heavy-duty mechanism. Getting the extra power is more about the choice of motor for your garage door opener, but you also need a mechanism that will stand years of lifting and lowering the heavy door. The screw drive wins the day in this regard, although chain drives aren’t far behind in terms of resilience.

Climatic Conditions

There’s not much to choose between the three types of drive. They will all do well in hot or cold climates. However, if you live in a climate, which swings dramatically between hot and cold temperatures, it might be wise to steer clear of screw drives. They don’t stand up well to unstable climates.

When Cost is a Concern

When you are on a tight budget and just want the least expensive option, choose a garage door opener with a chain drive. If you need to take noise into account, a screw-drive will set you back a few more dollars, but offers reduced noise at lower cost than a belt driven opener.

Installation and Maintenance Considerations

A screw-drive garage door opener has few moving parts, when compared to the other types of mechanism. This generally makes for lower maintenance and marginally easier DIY installation.

By answering the questions above, balancing the pros and cons of each mechanism shouldn’t prove too difficult. Whichever garage door opener type you choose, it will be with you for a few years. Therefore, it’s a good idea to prioritize your requirements and make an informed choice.