Types Of Garage Door Openers

Types of Garage Door Openers

Homeowners used to only have three types of garage door openers from which they could choose, but that has certainly changed as technology has advanced. Now, those three options have improved and varied since their creation and new models have been introduced, as well. We’ve put a guide together to help you sort through the many options to find the right one for you.

Chain-Driven Openers

These models have a chain, similar to that on a bicycle, that pushes and pulls a trolley that’s connected to a J-arm, a metal bar fixed to the garage door. These models can cause a slight noise problem if there’s a room located above the garage, but otherwise if the garage is detached this shouldn’t be an issue. The newer units, complete with DC motors and technology allowing for soft start and stop create significantly less noise than the older models.

Belt-Driven Openers

Though similar to the chain-driven models, belt-driven openers differ in having a reinforced belt push and pull the trolley, rather than a chain. These models are just as reliable as the aforementioned chain-driven ones, but much quieter. However, they also cost around $30-60 more than their chain-driven counterparts.

Screw-Driven Openers


With this type of opener, the trolley rides on a threaded-steel rod while a motor rotates said rod. These tend to be marketed as requiring less maintenance, but there are some downsides. They have been known to be a problem in areas with large temperature swings from summer to winter and they tend to be noisier than belt-driven openers. In recent years, however, many manufacturers have made improvements to the sensitivity of these devices to temperature, as well as the noise they produce. They tend to be the fastest openers, as well.

Jackshaft Openers

These openers are mounted on the wall beside the garage door and have a 24-v DC motor to drive the pulleys and cables to turn the torsion bar and raise the door. These types of motors are very reliable and quiet, but tend to be more expensive than other types of openers.

Direct-Drive Units

This type of unit is considered the quietest because it only uses one moving part, a motor. This motor travels along a stationary chain embedded in an overhead rail. The moving motor is linked to the door by a J-arm. These units come with a lifetime warranty and the cost is comparable to belt-driven units.

DC-Powered Garage Door Openers

This last type of opener is the quietest, fastest, smallest, smoothest operating, most efficient, and lightest option for garage door openers (compared to AC motors). They tend to come with variable speeds and soft start-and-stop technology. Many even come with a battery backup, so your garage door will still work for up to two days without electricity.

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