5 Things You Need to Know about Garage Door Openers

September 7, 2020

Even today, many people associate having a house with a garage, comfort and accessibility. When thinking about your dream home, you probably often consider the number of rooms, the interior design, and the location. Even though you put a lot of effort into coming up with a perfect setup, you may overlook an unimposing, yet crucial feature: the garage door and, by extension, garage door openers.

You may wonder why you should pay attention to garage door openers. The answer is simple: it’s a useful feature that can provide you with security and comfort. First, a properly installed garage door opener makes it harder to break in. Second, it allows you to get in your garage as soon as you roll into your driveway just at the click of a button.

Choosing the right garage door opener can be extremely challenging due to an immense amount of models available on the market, as well as various features and functions. Fortunately, sites like A1garage.com can simplify your research process, offering you reviews and a brief overview of products in question. When in doubt, read guides, descriptions, and independent opinions written by real experts and satisfied customers.

If you’re shopping for a garage door opener, here’s everything you need to know:

Types of Garage Door Openers

There are 4 most popular types of garage door openers available on the market. These include:

  • Direct drive openers. This type doesn’t use a threaded piece, a chain, or a belt to operate. Instead, the motor itself moves the trolley, making it the least complex opener type.
  • Chain drive openers. This type uses a metal chain that engages the trolley whenever garage doors go up or down. The moving chain makes it quite noisy and requires some maintenance. However, it’s the most affordable option.
  • Belt-driven openers. Instead of a metal chain, this type utilizes a rubber belt. It makes the door open and close more smoothly and quietly, and also requires less maintenance than chain drive openers.
  • Screw drive openers. This type uses a threaded steel rod to move the trolley. As the rod rotates, the trolley lifts and lowers. Screw drive openers are similar to the belt-driven ones, as they don’t need much maintenance and operate fairly quietly.


Another important factor you should consider is the amount of horsepower, which should be appropriate for the size and weight of your garage door. Overall, the bigger the doors, the higher the horsepower should be.

Usually, ½ horsepower is enough to lift the majority of garage doors, and it’s the most popular power rating for garage door openers. However, insulated doors may work better with ¾ horsepower, which should also provide increased durability. If you have wooden or otherwise heavy garage doors, you should pick an opener of at least 1 horsepower, as it provides you with the best speed and efficiency ratio.

Safety Features

Automatic garage door openers are very convenient. However, just like all electronic mechanisms, they’re prone to malfunction and can cause some safety hazards. As such, manufacturers equip them with a set of safety features for secure use and optimal functioning.

You can expect that a garage door opener will be equipped with the automatic reverse function, which means that your garage door will go up right away, upon hitting an object on its way down. Additionally, garage door openers are equipped with sensors or a set of lasers placed on both sides of the garage door opening. When something gets in the way of the sensors and breaks the alignment, the doors will stop moving. Remember to check from time to time if these features work properly!

The Cost

Garage door openers cost between $130 and $350. On average, the majority of the models cost around $200. Those garage door openers that are on the more expensive side offer additional features, which most often include smartphone controls and various accessories. Nevertheless, manufacturers are aware that due to the huge competition on the market, they need to provide their customers with attractive features. As such, many cheaper garage door openers are compatible with a smartphone; you just have to buy a WiFi adapter.

Installation: DIY or Hiring a Professional?

Now for the big question: can you install a garage door opener on your own or is it better to hire an expert for that? The answer is: it depends. You can try DIY work if you trust your handyman skills and are comfortable with working with electricity. The installation process should take between 4 to 6 hours. However, if you don’t have the time or skills, it would probably be easier to hire a professional and let them do the work for you.

The Bottom Line

Though unassuming, a garage door opener is an incredibly useful tool. If you want your dream work to function without a hitch, make sure you don’t overlook it in your decision and design process. Installing the right garage door opener is a great investment that makes living in your home even more convenient.

You may be overwhelmed by the number of choices you can make because the garage-related industry is highly competitive. Fortunately, you can easily find reviews, guides, product descriptions, and expert opinions online. We hope that information provided in this article has shed some light on this topic. Ultimately, with some research, you can make an informed decision.


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