Once an expensive and rare luxury, garage door openers have become an affordable and safe convenience for millions of homeowners. Imagine never again having to get out of your car on a chilly night to manually open your dark garage door! Consider the following options while shopping for a garage door opener for your own home.
Garage Opener Drive Systems
* A chain-drive system works by a metal chain to move the door up and down along its tracks.
* Chain-drive systems are the most popular and usually the least expensive (about $100-$170), but they tend to be noisy.
* A screw-drive system works by a lifting mechanism that moves along a long threaded steel rod.
* Newer models use plastic lined tracks, which makes for a quieter and faster running design.
* Screw drive units are powerful and low-maintenance. (Few moving parts.)
* These are usually priced between $150 and $200.
* A belt-drive system works by using rubber belts to open the door.
* These drives are the quietest, but also the most expensive (about $200 and up).
* '''Automatic Reverse - '''This safety feature has been required since 1993. If the garage door touches anything on its way down, it will automatically reverse itself.
** An electric eye senses if anything is in the path of the door.
** Most doors have also improved their pressure sensor
* '''Keypads - '''With a wireless keypad, you don't have to worry if you forget your garage door remote control. It's easy to reset your password, even for a temporary set time. This comes in handy if you want to give your neighbors temporary access to your home while you're on vacation.
** Many models include a wireless keypad, but they frequently the can be added on as a separate feature (for extra money, of course).
* '''Remote Controls''' - remotes come in one, two and three button models.
** Some systems come with two remotes, but on others you have to purchase a second remote if you need it.
* '''1/2 Horsepower Motor''' - This is considered the best level of power - less would burn out too quickly, especially on a heavy double door.
** 3/4, 1/3, and 1/4 HP motors are also available.
* '''Vibration-Isolation System''' - helps reduce motor noise.
* '''Light''' - Many models have built-in lights so that you can see inside the garage for a set amount of time after you come in.
** Can sometimes be activated by remote control independently of door opening/closing.
* '''Security Features'''
** Rolling Codes - prevents "grabbers" from opening your garage door - changes the remote control code every time you enter/leave.
** Manual Release - allows you to open the door from the inside if the power is off.
** Backup Battery - some have batteries for up to 20 hours of use if the power is off.