When shopping for new garage door openers, there are plenty of things to be aware of before you “shell out” your hard-earned cash. You need to consider the security, safety, noise level, price and overall utility of the product before purchasing. This garage door opener buying guide will help you take the right decision.
Buying Garage Door Openers: Things to Consider
Security– Regarding security, you want to look for a product that uses security codes that are changed with each use of the remote control. Other features that are often included allow you to control lights inside the garage or additional house lighting or even appliances. In addition, some models allow you to turn off the opener when you are going to be away for an extended period. Once you start shopping around, you will realize that there are a wide variety of garage door openers that offer your range of security options. In order to find the best garage door opener for you and your family, you will need to first figure out what safety features you are looking for. When you do this, you will then be able to sort through the masses to find the right garage door opener for your home.
Safety– The new garage door openers are equipped with a safety system designed to prevent injury to a person or damage to a car or other object. The system usually consists of two laser light equipped sensors that signal the motor to stop or reverse direction when the light beam is interrupted.
Garage door safety sensors are available for Chamberlain, Genie, and Liftmaster (Chamberlain) garage door openers and universal kits can be purchased and will fit most garage doors and work with just about any garage door opener that you installed in your home. In some areas, you must follow the building code regulations whenever a new garage door opener is installed.
In addition to improving safety for small children and animals around your home, the installation of garage door safety sensors can help to reduce your liability in the event of an injury to anyone who may be visiting your property.
If your home is one where young children and even pets are running around often, then you will seriously want to consider what type of safety features you want to have in place with your garage door opener. While it might not seem like a huge deal, having the proper safety features in a garage door opener is not something you realize you need until you actually need it.
Garage Door Openers – The Human Factor
Noise Level– Like many physical products, there are several differences between models and types of garage door openers. The most common types of garage door openers include chain drive, screw drive, and belt drive openers. While less expensive, chain drive garage door openers tend to be much noisier than screw or belt driven types.
You will also want to consider the type of neighborhood you live in. Having a garage door opener that is the noisiest on the block may be a hassle and pain for not only you but for your neighbors too. It’s little things like this that you need to consider when you’re shopping for a garage door opener.
When shopping, be sure to look for an opener that uses a direct current (DC) motor rather than an (AC) alternating current type. DC motors allow greater control over the opening and closing speeds of the garage door. By slowing the speed of the door as it begins to open and during the last few inches of its closing, you can eliminate the noise.
Price and Usability
Price– Most chain-drive garage door openers start under $150 and use a metal chain, which is attached to the door and is moved along a track by the motor. Screw drive models use the motor to turn a threaded steel rod attached to the door. Belt driven units, starting from around $199 are much quieter than either chain or screw equipped garage door openers.
Overall, with all the options you have available to you, you should be able to find the perfect garage door opener that will meet your budget. It really takes figuring out what you need your garage door opener to do for you and then you can start from there. When you find one that has all the features you need, you will have a clearer vision of how much you should be paying and whether or not you are getting a good bargain on your garage door opener.
Utility– When buying an opener, check the horsepower ratings, which may vary from 1/3 hp to 3/4 hp across all models. A lower rated motor may not be suitable for opening a heavy door while a higher rated motor might be “overkill” for a lighter door.
In any case, a well-adjusted garage door uses springs to counterbalance the weight of the door. In theory, any opener should be able to open even the heaviest door. In reality, you want to pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty and buy an opener that is rated for a slightly larger or heavier door.
Garage door openers can be a valuable addition to any home. By paying attention to the details and buying the right product, your opener should provide excellent service for years to come.
Keypad and Door Controls – Why you may need them
If you are wondering whether to buy extra external wired or wireless keypad and door controls, you might want to consider these possibilities.
If you have a contractor who needs to service equipment in your garages, such as a water softener or water heater, you can provide the keypad entry code to them while keeping the door to the house locked. That way they can service your equipment, even when you are away from home.
A door control switch can save steps when properly located, and keypad and door controls can add to the value of your home.
Garage Door Lubricants
Garage door lubricants are an important part of maintaining your garage door as well as the moving parts of your garage door opener. Some of the parts of a garage door that may need to be lubricated include hinges, springs, gears, ball bearings, door tracks, cables, chains and more.
Garage Door Lubricants for Different Parts
Different parts of your garage door or opener may need to be lubricated with products specifically designed for that moving part. For example, coiled springs that help to lift the garage door are sometimes sealed with a special powder coating when they come from the factory. Other springs may need to be sprayed with a product made just for these types of parts.
Lithium grease is often used to coat ball bearings in door track rollers, while silicone spray may be utilized on garage door tracks. Using some garage door lubricants on certain parts can cause the part to collect dirt and dust and work improperly. So know which lubricant to use for a certain application.
Parking Assist Devices
Parking assist devices are available to help you park your car or truck in the same place every time you pull into your garage. By using one of these handy tools, you can keep from hitting a wall or other objects that you have lining the walls of your garage and leave room to move around your vehicle quickly.
These handy little tools are usually mounted on the ceiling and are activated when you pull into the garage. The laser beams are safe on the eyes, so you don’t have to worry about going blind if you happen to look at the beam.
Using one of these parking assist devices can make life a little easier every time you park your car.