Very few conveniences are as appreciated by drivers as the best garage door opener. You approach your driveway after a trip or a long day at work, click a button, and (hopefully) don’t even think twice about the fact that your garage door will open quickly, quietly, effortlessly.
You don’t need to get out of your car to push a button or manually pull the heavy door open to park your car in the garage. But all garage door openers are not created equal. In this article, we will compare garage door openers to let you determine which is the best fit for you.
Types of Garage Door Openers
There are five main types of garage door openers, so let’s quickly review them and see what they’re all about.
- Chain-driven models – Chain-driven variants utilize a chain to propel or pull a trolley attached to a metal bar, referred to as a J-arm, that is then attached to the garage door. . If your garage is beneath a bedroom, the vibration and noise caused by metal-to-metal contact can turn out to be very annoying. Newer chain-driven machines equipped with DC motors now operate at much lower noise levels than older units.
- Belt-driven models – Belt-driven openers use a strengthened belt to push or draw the trolley. Steel-reinforced rubber, polyurethane, and fiberglass belts are all possible materials for these components. Belt-driven openers are equally reliable as chain-driven openers but are more silent. The disadvantage of this type of mechanism is that it typically costs $30 to $60 more compared to chain-driven openers.
- Screw-driven models – With screw-driven openers, the trolley is suspended from a threaded steel rod and rotated by a motor. Due to the reduced number of moving parts, manufacturers assert that one of the main advantages of this system is that it costs less in terms of maintenance. Screw-driven openers, on the other hand, have had difficulties in places with significant temperature fluctuations from winter to summer. Additionally, they produce more noise than belt-driven openers.
- Jackshaft openers – These openers are mounted on the wall, next to the garage door. These systems are quiet and reliable and are great for those who don’t want to mount stuff to the ceiling.
- Direct-drive units– Often considered to be the quietest solution out there, direct-drive units only have one moving part, which is the motor. The motor travels on a stationary chain which is included in the rail mounted overhead. In terms of cost, they are similar to belt-drive units.
How to Choose A Garage Door Opener
Horsepower is an important factor to consider when purchasing a garage door opener. The trick is to dial in your horsepower levels precisely. If the horsepower rating is too high for the lift required, the garage door opener will be inefficient. It’s like trying to employ a forklift to transport a single suitcase.
If you do not have adequate horsepower, you will put an excessive amount of strain on your garage door opener, resulting in premature wear and tear. Additionally, an insufficiently powered garage door opener may pose some safety issues, such as uneven opening and closing.
A manual release option is a critical component of garage door openers. The manual release enables you to detach the garage door opener, allowing you to manually open it. While garage doors are substantial in weight, the spring system provides sufficient counterbalance for an adult to effortlessly lift the door by hand.
Manual releases are advantageous in the event of a prolonged power outage, and battery backups are another option to ensure that your garage door remains operational during situations like these.
The number of times you can activate your garage door opener using the integrated battery power is limited. If you use your garage door sparingly, a battery backup can help keep it working during an extended power outage. When power is restored, your battery will begin to recharge.
Look for models that include a security light, which is typically integrated into the main unit and activates automatically when the opener is triggered. Security lights offer a variety of reassurance.
Garages are frequently messy and brimming with potentially dangerous hazards. If you return home at night and leave your car door unlit, you risk injuring yourself while searching for the light switch.
Additionally, a security light serves as a deterrent to attackers. Although many garage door openers include security lights as standard, newer models actually connect motion sensors to their lighting system, triggering them when you enter your garage through an inside entrance.
Our Top 3 Best Garage Door Opener Picks
Quiet and strong. Those are the two most notably desirable traits for garage door openers, and the Chamberlain B150 excels at both. The belt drive is constructed out of high-grade materials and then reinforced with steel. The B150 is powered by Chamberlain’s patented MED lift power system, which delivers an enormous lifting force equivalent capacity.
This superior garage door opener easily supports standard aluminum garage doors with a lift force equivalent to 0.5 horsepower. The resulting durability, power, and reliability not only allow the Chamberlain B150 to work well from the get-go, but these characteristics are also what allow it to continue running quietly, smoothly, and like new for years.
The B150’s two-button remote controllers have an excellent range, up to 1,500 feet, due to its enhanced Triband frequency technology. What this means for you is that, with the simple push of a button, your garage door can be opening before you get there, saving you valuable time. Other desirable features include Security+2.0 code encryption, Posi-lock protection against forced entry, dual-function wall control, and wireless exterior keypad, among other things.
How to Program Chamberlain Garage Door Opener
To program a Chamberlain remote control, you can either connect it to the garage door opener using a LEARN button, to a door control using the LEARN button, or to a smart control panel with a display.
#1: Garage door opener
- Step One – Press and release the LEARN button located on the garage door opener. The button should steadily glow.
- Step Two – Within the next 30 seconds, press the remote-control button you want to use to open the garage door.
- Step Three – The remote control is programmed once the lights on the garage door start flashing and you hear two clicks.
#2: Door control
- Step One – Press the LEARN button on the door control twice and notice the LED blinking.
- Step Two – Choose the button on the remote control that you want to use to operate the garage door and press and release it.
- Step Three – The remote control is programmed once the lights on the door opener start flashing and you hear two clicks.
#3: Smart control panel
- Step One – Access the features menu through the navigation button located underneath MENU.
- Step Two – Using the navigation buttons, choose PROGRAM -> REMOTE.
- Step Three – Choose the button on the remote control that you want to use to operate the garage door and press and release it.
- Step Four – The code is programmed once the lights on the door opener start flashing and you hear two clicks.
Known for its sleek appearance and space optimization, the LiftMaster Elite Series 8500W is designed to be mounted on the wall next to the garage door rather than on the ceiling. For anyone with taller vehicles or vertical-heavy garage toys, you can recognize the space-saving benefits. This feature, along with the LiftMaster 8500W’s quiet DC motor, create a quieter-running and smooth garage door opener, due to the elimination of vibrations, echo, and other sounds that are present with a ceiling-mounted version.
It’s important to note that this model of garage door opener is not compatible with roll-up garage doors. To work correctly, a front mount torsion bar system is required.
Features that separate the LiftMaster from other garage door openers include the deluxe combination of built-in wi-fi for smartphone control (which, through the MyQ app, allows you to receive alerts and control the opener from anywhere), MyQ remote LED light (which can be positioned anywhere to provide great maintenance-free illumination), integrated battery backup, and an automatic garage door lock (Security+2.0, which sends a new code with each remote click) for enhanced security. A motion detector automatically turns on the light, and the protector system auto-reverses the door if something is in the way of the closing door.
The Decko 24300 is an incredibly strong 3/4 horsepower chain drive garage door opener. Even with its heavy duty lifting power, the Decko boasts reduced operating noise. This garage door opener boasts easy installation due to its non-polarized wiring. It can handle oversized sectional garage doors, up to 7 feet tall and 18 feet wide, although an extension is available to accommodate even larger doors.
The powerful Decko focuses on the basics of what you want from your garage door opener, including a three-function wall control panel, three-button remote controls, and a wireless keypad. An auto-reverse safety system also helps to keep the door from closing on objects obstructing the door.
Also Great Garage Door Openers
The Genie ChainDrive 550 is a heavy-duty garage door opener that boasts reliable and durable operation for garage doors up to 8 feet high and up to 500 pounds. Although its chain drive system is heavy duty, the system is easy to install, with a strong five-piece rail system (no additional hardware required) that easily snaps together.
The 550’s precision-machined DC motor and gearbox is 1/2 horsepower, resulting in a maintenance-free garage door opener. Right out of the box, the 550 works with common built-in car remotes systems (e.g., HomeLink, Car2U), without requiring additional any hardware like bridges or repeaters. Two three-button remotes are pre-programmed for an easier installation experience.
How to Program Genie Garage Door Opener
When you’re looking to program a Genie garage door opener, you have three major steps to undergo: programming the remote control, the wall console, and the keypad, so let’s see the steps for each of these three.
#1: Programming the remote control
Note that you have exactly half a minute at your disposal to complete each of the following steps. Failing to do so will reset the settings, so you’ll have to start over. Also, if you’ve purchased a Genie remote control together with a garage door opener, the settings are factory-made, and you don’t need to do them manually.
- Step One – Locate the PRGM/SET button and press and hold it for about two seconds. The small LED round should turn blue, and the long LED should turn purple.
- Step Two – Position yourself five feet away from the opener and press and release the remote button. Repeat the process until both LED lights flash and turn off, letting you know that you’ve managed to successfully program the remote.
- Step Three – Test the remote control to see if it works.
#2: Programming the Genie keypad
- Step One – To connect the keypad to the door opener, enter the numbers 3, 5, 7 and press the UP/DOWN button.
- Step Two – Locate the PRGM/SET button and press and hold it until the small LED light flashes red.
- Step Three – To set the pin, press 3, 5, 7, and press the PRGM/SET button again. Enter your pin number, making sure it has no less than three and no more than eight digits. When done, press the PRGM/SET button again.
- Step Four – To pair the keypad with the opener, press and hold the PRGM/SET button until the LED turns blue and the long LED flashes purple.
- Step Five – Enter the pin number and press the UP/DOWN button until the long LED turns purple.
- Step Six – Press the UP/DOWN button so that the purple LED turns off.
- Step Seven – Press the UP/DOWN button again and watch the garage door open.
#3: Programming the wall console
- Step One – Locate the PRGM/SET button and press and hold it once again. The round LED should turn on and emit a blue color, and then turn off. The long LED should flash purple.
- Step Two – Locate the door button on the wall console and press it once every two seconds until you notice the garage door responding.
This wireless and wi-fi-enabled garage hub with smartphone control is focused on integrating seamlessly into today’s smart home. You can open and close your garage from anywhere with the MyQ app on your smartphone, as well as receive alerts and notifications.
You can also easily and universally add this functionality to upgrade most existing garage door openers with standard safety sensors. A simple wireless installation and setup, secure guest access, and smart collaborations are desirable traits. The newest feature of this garage hub is an in-garage delivery with a key by Amazon, which means that packages can be delivered securely right inside the garages of certain areas by linking the MyQ account to the app.
The Chamberlain B4603T is one of the most reliable and tech-sophisticated products in its category. It uses a DC motor for quiet operation (well, as quiet as a garage door can be, anyway), powerful LED security lights, and the ability to control the door using a smartphone app that’s available for free.
The system uses Bluetooth technology to make setup easier and faster, making sure that you can connect the door not just to your phone, but to other smart home devices as well.
The beamUP Workhorse garage door opener is a real beast. It is designed with the very best materials and features, including powerful LED security lights, a fast opening and closing response time, and compatibility with all HomeLink generations.
ClearCom dual-burst technology enhances the range of the remote control. With beam immediate reaction technology, you will never feel a lag. The Workhorse’s unrelenting 3/4 HP-equivalent DC motor ensures that your garage door operates smoothly and quietly.
How to Install Garage Door Opener
- Step One – Install the operator plate.
- Step Two – Install the header bracket.
- Step Three – Put the railing system together and attach it to the motor.
- Step Four – Attach the drive chain/belt, pulley, and trolley.
- Step Five – Attach the stop bolt to the railing system by inserting it close to the motor end.
- Step Six – Connect the end of the railing system to the header bracket.
- Step Seven – Lift the motor end of the system and prepare it for attachment.
- Step Eight – Attached the opener motor to the assembled ceiling bracket.
- Step Nine – Connect the operator plate to the door bracket.
- Step Ten – Connect the door bracket to the curved arm.
- Step Eleven – Connect the trolley to the straight arm.
- Step Twelve – Install the obstruction sensor parts.
- Step Thirteen – Install the wall switch and connect the wires to the terminals.
- Step Fourteen – Connect the wall switch wiring to the opener motor terminals.
- Step Fifteen – Connect the obstruction sensors wiring to the opener motor terminals.
- Step Sixteen – Connect the opener to a power source and make sure every component has running electricity.
How to Program Garage Door Opener
You can program just about any garage door remote control by following four easy steps.
- Step One – Locate the learn button by inspecting the opener. All modern garage door openers include one; if it is not immediately evident, you must look for it carefully. Whether you’re still unable to locate the button, remove the light cover to see if the button is concealed there.
- Step Two – Once you’ve located the learn button, press it until it blinks. When the opener’s light begins to flash, push the open button on the garage door opener remote.
- Step Three – Generally, you’ll have a 30-second window between pushing the learn button and being prompted to press the remote’s button.
- Step Four – Allow a minute for the process to complete, and then test the garage door by pressing the open button on the remote again. If it opens, your remote has been programmed successfully.
How to Open Garage Door Manually
In certain situations (such as power outages), you might have to open your garage door manually, so here is what you have to do.
- Step One – Make sure that the door is in a down position.
- Step Two – Locate the emergency cord (which is generally found hanging from the garage door trolley) and pull it.
- Step Three – You should now be able to freely lift and lower the garage door, as needed.
- Step Four – When done, pull the emergency release cord again.
- Step Five – Run an opener full cycle to reconnect the opener carriage to the trolley.
There are a variety of excellent garage door openers available, and you can absolutely choose one that works best for your home and life.