Garage Door Openers / Remotes

A garage door opener is just as the name implies-it is a device for opening and closing a garage door. It is motorized, and most models come with a remote control to allow for operation of the device from inside one's car.

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Garage Door Opener Options to Consider

There are several features that consumers should look for when investigating the purchase of a garage door opener, including:

  • Noise level
  • Keyless entry (the ability to operate with no remote or keys)
  • Security
  • Dependability
  • Good value
  • Simple installation.

Obviously, no one wants a loud garage door. The belt-driven models, as discussed below, tend to be the quietest, so if minimal noise is a top priority, look for this type. Keyless entry is the ability to operate the opener with no remote control or keys. One safety feature that has become popular in recent years is the ability to disable the remote completely while away. For frequent travelers, this component may be a necessity for security and peace of mind. Garage door openers typically range in price from $170 to $300. In order to make sure you are getting the best value, look for a model with all the features important to your household.

Types of Garage Door Openers

There are four types of garage door openers currently on the market:

  • Belt
  • Screw
  • Chain
  • Torsion drive.

What differentiates them from one another is the mechanical drive that lifts the door. Chain units are on the inexpensive end of the spectrum, but they tend to be noisy. The screw drive openers are touted as being powerful and the most dependable, as they have the fewest number of parts that could fail. This also makes them relatively maintenance-free. They are intermediate in cost versus the other types. (See Garage Door Openers for more information on the types available.)

Garage Door Openers: Safety Features

Look for an opener that uses an infrared beam. While this feature makes installation a little bit tricky, it also provides a modicum of safety: if a child or pet walks underneath the door while it is closing, the safety mode goes into effect and causes the door to reverse. Almost all garage door openers include a light that remains on for a few minutes after entering the garage; this should provide plenty of time to enter the house before it shuts off.