Your opener is probably the most important part of your overhead door system. After all, this is what’s responsible for controlling the automatic function of your door. Naturally, you want to make sure you get the right unit for your home.
If you’re thinking about ordering a new garage door opener then the first decision you’ll have to make is which type of drive system you’ll want. There are three main drives to pick from, each of which can be suitable for different purposes. In this short guide we’ll look at why you might choose to pick a chain drive over a screw-drive, or a belt drive over a screw type. Read on for a head-start on picking your new opener system.
Chain Drive Units
Chain drives are the most affordable type of unit on the market. The motors in these drives are connected to your door with a chain. This is an effective and durable solution, if a little noisy. Drives of this type are fairly easy to look after and the replacement parts are often cheap, but if you’re looking to keep noise to a minimum there are better selections.
Screw Drive Openers
Instead of using a chain, this type of opener uses a long threaded rod to raise and lower the door. This rod effectively functions like a screw; as it rotates, it draws the trolley along it. Screw-drives are smooth and reliable, and very tough. In fact, they require next to no care, which makes them the perfect choice if you’re looking for a low-maintenance opener. The only drawbacks to screw-drives are that they can cost a little more than chain drives and aren't completely silent.
Belt Drive Units
In a belt drive opener, the metal chain is replaced with a rubber or fiberglass belt. This makes for a much smoother operation, and cuts down on noise significantly compared to either of the other types of drive unit.
Belt drives are often the preferred choice when it comes to chain drives, especially if your garage is integrated with the rest of your home (if there is a bedroom above it, for instance). However, they can also cost a little more than chain drives.