Garage Door Opener Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying A Garage Door Opener
Are you in the market for a new garage door opener but don’t know where to start when it comes to the purchase process? Whether your old garage door opener came with the house or was just installed last year but is having problems, there are solutions available to help solve any garage door opening issue. But how do you know you are getting the right opener for your application? Don’t worry. We created this buyer’s guide to help walk you through the choices and decisions needed before you purchase your next garage door opener.
Which is Bought First: Door or the Opener?
If you are considering an upgrade to your garage door and your garage door opener, you are probably wondering which purchase to make first. We suggest that you take some time to consider pairing your new door and new garage door opener from the beginning. In other words, plan ahead for the purchase of both items at once so that your garage door opening system is optimal for your application. Different doors require different types of openers, which may affect the requirements for the new opener you plan to purchase.
The best way to ensure that your garage door opener matches the requirements of your door is to pair the door and opener together from a retailer or dealer that sells both doors and openers. The dealer will know which doors require certain opener capabilities and can help direct you in your purchase of both the door of your dreams and a compatible opener. If you decide to not pair the garage door and the garage door opener, you may have to purchase additional parts such as adapters and extension kits later on to make the door and opener fit appropriately.
What Weight Capacity and Drive Style Do You Need?
Two very important steps of the garage door opener buying process are selecting a model with the appropriate weight capacity and selecting the right drive style for your needs.
A few questions to ask to help determine which HP is the best fit for you. How large is your garage door & how frequently do you use it? 1/2 horsepower openers work well with standard single wide aluminum garage doors. If you use the garage more frequently such as the main entry to your home — or you have a one-piece door, or a heavier over-sized garage door, you’ll need a 3/4+ horsepower garage door opener.
Choosing an opener for the weight and style of garage door will ensure that your garage door opening system functions properly and does not require continual maintenance. The same garage door opener that will lift a multi-piece aluminum door may not be able to open a single-piece wooden door. The requirements of the door dictate the capabilities of the opener.
The type of drive is also important to consider, as certain drives are noisier than others. If your opener will be close to a living space or to a bedroom, a belt-driven opener is the best option to avoid vibration and noise. If you need to lift a heavier style door, a screw-drive garage door opener may be in order.
Chain Drive: Chain Drive garage door openers are among the most affordable in the industry. They feature a rugged, time-tested design that is durable and long lasting. Chain drives offer reliable operation, and are a great choice for standard aluminum garage doors. They require periodic minimal maintenance for proper operation.
Belt Drive: Belt Drive garage door openers are built with a steel reinforced belt to offer durable and ultra-quiet operation. If the garage is attached to living spaces, near bedrooms or nurseries, belt drives are the best choice for disturbance-free operation. They require periodic minimal maintenance for proper operation.
Screw Drive: Screw Drive garage door openers are a direct drive system made with forged steel that offers powerful, durable, reliable and quick operation. Screw Drive systems are a great option for opening garage doors at a faster speed, and for wider, heavier applications. Genie's screw drive is maintenance-free and comes pre-lubricated from the factory.
What Features are Important to You?
Once you have chosen the appropriate opener based on your door and location of the garage, you can begin comparing garage door opener models based on their available features. These can range from online app connectivity and monitoring, to security features, to battery backup options. Many garage door openers for today’s families keep two things at a premium: space and convenience. Most homeowners not only look for a garage door opener that maximizes the free space they can use in their garage but also for one that has built-in smart features such as scheduling and online monitoring capabilities.
Do You Need Increased Security?
Many garage door opener models also come with a host of additional security features that are designed to help homeowners keep their garage safe and secure. All Genie® garage door openers have the Safe-T-Beam® Non-Contact Reversing System, Intellicode® Security, and emergency release cords. Additionally, almost all units are available with Vacation Lock, a special feature that prevents wireless devices from opening the door while you are on vacation or away from home for extended periods of time.
Genie units that have Aladdin Connect® Technology have additional safety features, such as coded entry logs and controllable user accessibility, giving you the ultimate control over who enters and exits your garage. You can even create a schedule that automatically closes the garage door at a certain time of day, eliminating the possibility of forgetting to close the door in the evening.
Don’t Forget the Necessities
There are a couple of additional items you need to purchase for proper installation and for using your garage door opener to its fullest potential.
First, garage door openers come standard with hanging straps, but customers often need to purchase additional angle iron to mount the unit to the ceiling effectively. Additional angle iron of sufficient size may be needed for installation in some garages.
Light bulbs also do not come with your new opener, requiring an additional purchase of appropriate sized light bulbs to ensure your garage is properly illuminated once the unit is installed. We recommend the Genie LED garage door opener bulbs that are specifically designed for garage door openers and do not interfere with opener operation like other LED bulbs.
Installation: DIY or Call a Professional?
Finally, the last and possibly most important question to ask yourself during the purchase review process is: “Do I want to install my garage door opener, or should I have a professional do it?”
The answer to this question is often based on a number of factors, including cost, time, and complexity of the install. Genie has an entire line of garage door openers that are designed to be installed by do-it-yourselfers, and some openers purchased at select Home Depot locations include an installation package in the opener price. We also have a trusted Genie dealer network and professional installers standing at the ready to assist you with any portion of the install that may be outside of your particular capabilities. Or you can purchase your garage door opener through a dealer and have the dealer complete the install from beginning to end.
If you decide to install the unit yourself, Genie makes DIY installation easy by providing numerous installation and troubleshooting resources, an all-inclusive list of pre-installation considerations, color-coded hardware bags with corresponding installation instructions, and customizable programming options for each opener model. We want to make the installation of your garage door opener as smooth and frustration-free as possible.
You are faced with a plethora of choices when searching for your new garage door opener. Use the charts below to begin your preliminary search, or contact us today to learn how to choose the right opener for your application.
Types of Garage Door Openers
Power and speed
Best option for heavier doors
Simplistic drive with easy maintenance
The classic garage door opener drive
Strong to meet heavy duty demands
Reduce noise and vibration
The quietest type of drive
Ideal for areas with little overhead space
High security Safe-T-Pulse system
- Danielle Anderson