You’re not sure what type of garage door opener you have or what it does. 

It’s frustrating when you don’t know how to fix a problem or even how to identify the problem. You feel stuck and helpless.

We’ve created a list of the 10 most common garage door openers and what they do so that you can be informed and empowered.

Whether you are looking for information on how to repair your own garage door opener or need help from a professional, this guide will help you take the first step.

Knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have the better decisions you will be able to make.

One of these life-changing decisions that we need to make on a daily basis is which door we should use to enter and exit our house, especially if we own one of those types of houses with two or more garages.

But before we can choose a door to use we need to know what our options are.

To help you out, here is a list of the top 10 common garage door openers and what they do:

1. Chain Drive

A chain drive garage door opener uses a metal chain on a track running on wheels inside your ceiling. These types of doors are very common in homes that are slightly older than 10 years old. Since chain drives involve using metal parts to work, they can be very loud when opening and closing the door.

2. Belt Drive

A belt drive garage door opener uses a rubber band-like belt running on wheels inside your ceiling to open and close the garage door. These types of doors are extremely quiet compared to other kinds of motors because they don’t use any metal parts inside them; only rubber. Like chain drives, these doors are more likely to be found in houses that are around ten years or older.

3. Screw Drive

Screw drive garage door openers use several screws connected together that turn directly connected with the motor in order to lift up the garage door in place. These garage door openers are extremely quiet and the only moving parts inside of them is a rubber belt and screws, making it an inexpensive model to buy.

4. Jackshaft Drive

A jackshaft drive garage door opener uses a metal shaft connected to gears that lift up and down the garage door. What makes this type of garage door opener unique from others is that it doesn’t have any exposed springs or chains dangling from the top section of the opening/closing unit. This reduces the risk of people getting caught on these pieces.   

5. Open-Sided Jackshaft

An open-sided jackshaft differs from a jackshaft in that instead of having a completely enclosed stopping unit, it has an open stopping section on the top. This allows any access to the inside of the stopping unit instead of requiring you to slide underneath the door in order to inspect or repair anything that could be wrong with it.

6. Genie/Trolley

A trolley garage door opener uses an electric motor called a “Trolley” which is what propels and controls the movement of your garage door when opened or closed by turning an attached metal rod connected to gears inside of it. Trolley doors are extremely common because they are one of the cheaper models to buy for your home (and popular because they’re easy to install).

7. Screw Drive Belt

A screw drive belt garage door opener is similar to a screw drive except that instead of using screws to move the garage door up and down it uses a belt. Screw drive belt doors are usually quieter than other types of openers because they don’t use any exposed metal parts (chain drives, screw drives) which can be very loud when moving around.

8. Whisper Closet

A Whisper Closet garage door opener is similar to a trolley model in that they both run on electric motors; however, whisper closets tend to be much smaller and compact models (usually used for closet areas). These types of garage openers make no sound once installed and often times fit flush with your ceiling’s trim work. 

9. Chain Drive Belt

These models combine two different technologies into one: chain drives and belt drives. The chain drive belt garage door opener is a combination of a chain drive and a belt drive which makes it one of the quietest types you can buy for your house.

10. Jackshaft Belt

The jackshaft belt garage door opener uses a metal shaft along with gears that lift up and down the garage door just like most other kinds of models except this one has an exposed rubber belt hanging from it rather than using screws to open and close your garage.

If you have a two-car or bigger garage, this type of model will probably be very beneficial for you as they are more powerful motor-wise than others. If you have a smaller sized garage I would recommend going with either a trolley or whisper closet model since they make no sound and are much smaller than all of the others.

A very common type of garage door opener for most houses is a jackshaft drive model, which is often found in two-car garages or bigger.

These types of openers were extremely popular during the 1980s and 1990s because they provide great power to lift up heavier garage doors without making too much noise when opening and closing them.

If you’re looking to buy one today I would recommend going with either a screw drive belt or trolley model since they are both quiet models that fit almost flush with your ceiling’s trim work once installed making it less visible.

FAQs about Garage Door Openers

How does a garage door opener work?

A garage door opener is a motorized device that attaches to the inside of your garage and opens and closes your garage depending on if you want it open or closed.

When activated by a switch from anywhere in your house, the motor inside the unit turns an attached metal rod connected to gears which lifts up the door via an attached cable.

In most cases, when purchasing a new one, along with an installation kit they should give you two remote controls that you can use from outside of your home so that way if someone has their hands full or just wants to get into their car quickly without bothering to go through any doors they can simply press a button from outside & have the door open for them instantly.

How much horsepower do I need for a 2 car garage door?

The general rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing horsepower for your garage door opener is that you should go with at least 1.5HP per every 12ft width of the garage door. So, for example, if your garage was 20 ft wide by 25 ft long then I would recommend going with either a 1.5 HP or 2 HP model depending on how heavy the door is.

How much does a new garage door opener cost?

The cost of a garage door opener varies based on the type and style you want to buy. You can, however, expect to pay anywhere from $100-$3,000 for one depending on the model and how fancy you want it.

How long does it take for a professional installer to install a new garage door opener?

An experienced professional garage door installer should be able to have your new opener installed in about 1-4 hours. The whole process consists of installing brackets, wires & hinges on the ceiling along with either an exposed trolley model or one that fits flush with the ceiling’s trim work depending on what you want. Once the track is crafted you attach it to your door, make sure it’s level, and secure the opener to it by bolting it down.

How long will a garage door opener last?

The average life span of a garage door opener is anywhere from 5-10 years. Longevity will depend on how often your garage door is opened, obviously the more it’s opened the faster it will wear down with time.

Where should I mount my new garage door opener?

When purchasing or having an experienced professional installer put in your opener they will give you exact measurements on where to put it in order for the opener’s remote & sensors to still work properly when activated.

The best place to install them is within 4ft of your garage door opener toggle switch inside your house which would make the most sense since that’s where you’ll need it when entering or leaving your home.

What garage door opener remote controls will work with my model?

All openers & remotes usually come with a remote and installation kit so you’ll never have to worry about compatibility.

Just make sure that you always keep an extra one on hand in case the batteries go dead or it gets lost so you don’t have to take apart your garage door opener to change it.

If you want to give someone else access to your garage, simply program one of the remotes to them so they can use it even when you’re not around or if you lose one.

If however, this is not an option & you don’t want to go out and buy another remote control then there are other ways you can give them access.

Most openers have an option where they will automatically close your garage door if it senses that the door is not completely shut after about 5-10mins of being opened.

You can also program a code into them so that way someone has to enter in a numerical code before they are able to access your garage.

How do I program my garage door opener remote to open my garage?

There are two ways in which you can do this. The first way is by manually entering the code that came with your garage door opener into one of the remotes & then pressing the button on it (usually red) 7 times within 2 seconds.

The other way is by using your garage door opener’s toggle switch and pressing the “learn” button (located at the bottom) 7 times within 2 seconds.

How can I test my garage door sensor to make sure it works?

Most new openers come with a small sensor that you can just stick on top of your garage door that will send out a small wireless radio signal to the opener saying that your garage door is closed and if it’s not it will automatically close.

This will come in handy for many reasons such as: If you lose one of your remotes or later down the road if the batteries die & you don’t have another on hand, you can go out there and just close your garage door to test it.

What is a rolling code & how does it work?

A rolling code is an extremely secure way of making sure that your garage door opener can not be re-programmed by another remote if they manage to pick up the frequencies coming from your remotes or sensors, which means that even if someone has one or both of them, they’ll never be able to open your garage again.

Did you know that?

A garage door opener is a motorized device that opens and closes a garage door controlled by switches on the garage wall.

Most also include a handheld radio remote control carried by the owner, which can be used to open and close the door from a short distance.

The electric overhead garage door opener was invented by C.G. Johnson in 1926 in Hartford City, Indiana.

Electric Garage Door openers did not become popular until Era Meter Company of Chicago offered one after World War II where the overhead garage door could be opened via a keypad located on a post at the end of the driveway or a switch inside the garage.

If you have a garage, then you need a garage door opener.

Garage door openers come in all shapes and sizes. There are three main types of openers – chain drive, belt drive, and screw drive. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

So which one should you choose for your home? It depends on what’s important to you. If noise is a concern, then go with a belt drive opener. If you want the strongest opener possible, go with a screwdriver.

And if the price is your biggest consideration, then the chain drive opener is the best option for you.

Call us at (713) 955-1009 to learn more about the different types of garage door openers and find the perfect one for your home!

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