Best Garage Door Opener 2020 • 7 Garage Door Openers Reviews
The garage door opener has evolved dramatically to offer users increased convenience. After careful evaluation of different openers and their functionalities, we came up with a review for the best garage door openers.
Garage Door Opener Leaderboard 2020
What is a Garage Door Opener?
This is a mechanism that facilitates the opening and shutting of the door in a garage. The garage door opens and closes approximately 1,500 times in a year. Without the right system, the door would not be capable of achieving that movement. The best garage door opener must offer certain features and safety elements to satisfy the needs of the user. Understanding how a garage door opener works is crucial for any consumer because it makes the purchase process simple, and this part of the review looked at this.
How does a garage door opener work?
A garage door opener consists of a motor or operator, torsion spring and a switch. Most modern systems come with a remote control function, allowing you to close or open the door from a distance. The functionality of a garage door opener is similar to that of an elevator.
The torsion spring is the most critical aspect of the garage door opener assembly, according to reviews. A garage door is the heaviest opening in a home, and the spring makes it possible to operate it without exerting too much effort. The springs are responsible for providing a counterbalance to the door, which offsets the weight. It is because of this spring that you can even move a manual door. What happens is that the torsion springs create force by applying torque to the shaft that then transfers energy to the counterbalance cables, which passes on to the garage door. The amount of force that the garage door opener applies during this process is what determines how far the door opens.
The motor/operator sits above the garage door, usually hanging from the ceiling. This unit has to link to a track so it can control the movement of the door. An arm connecting to the top of the door has a trolley that slides on the track back and forth. The motor in this assembly is usually a 6-amp engine drawing 120V from an outlet and outputting 1/2 horsepower. These specifications give the motor the ability to overpower the inertia of a stationary garage door. It is also because of this motor that you are able to stop a garage door in mid-transit. The power unit has a limit switch that sends a signal to the motor when you push a wall button or remote.
The drive guide is the mechanism that facilitates the back and forth movement of the trolley. When the motor begins to run, this drive starts to turn. This part also links the trolley to the operator. A majority of openers have a rail segment (usually measuring 7 feet) that connects to the door. Drives come in different designs that typically define the type of garage door opener.
In cases of manual operation, the system has a quick release mechanism linked to the trolley that detaches the door from the garage door opener, making it possible to control the door by hand. This quick release system is best in instances of power failure.
Advantages and Applications of the Best Garage Door Opener
As with any invention, necessity was the reason for creating the garage door opener. During this review, we established that convenience was a huge advantage that homeowners enjoy with garage door openers. Without this system, a user would have to apply a lot of force to close and open the door. Whether it’s a manual or electric operation, the garage opener simplifies movement. With an automatic garage door opener, this convenience is doubled. An automatic door can be controlled from a distance, which is a big plus point because you don’t have to leave the car to open or close it.
Being able to open and close the garage door at will gives you control over the security of your home. Besides vehicles, some people use their garages as storage areas or workspaces. A door allows you to keep valuables safe by deterring intruders. The ability to open and close it means that you can control who gets in and out of the garage.
What Types of Garage Door Openers are There?
When picking the best garage door opener, first, identify which one satisfies your requirements. All openers have a power unit, switch and springs, according to most reviews.
Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
In this drive, a reinforced rubber belt is responsible for moving the trolley back and forth when the other opener is turned on. The belt contains teeth on one side that allow it to rotate through the gear and work the trolley. Manufacturers use various materials for the belt, including steel-reinforced rubber, polyurethane and fibreglass. Because there is no metal-to-metal contact, this driving utility doesn’t cause too much noise, making it the best alternative for garages located near bedrooms. However, if the noise is coming from the door itself, then it won’t matter how quiet the drive is.
- Less noisy than most systems
- Minimal vibration during operation which reduces friction and improves durability
- Low maintenance
Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
The best way to understand a chain-driven garage door opener is to think of a bicycle. A chain is designed to run through a sprocket, which then moves the trolley. This system is the most common among homeowners because it is readily available. A big reason for the popularity of chain drives is that they are strong enough to handle heavy doors.
Due to the metal on metal contact, a chain-driven garage door opener generates noise when working, which is inconveniencing, according to many review findings. It is, therefore, best for detached garages where the living spaces are a distance away. The friction that results from this contact demands that the opener get regular lubrication to keep it in good condition.
- Loud during operation
- High maintenance needs
Screw Drive Garage Door Opener
A threaded steel rod is the main difference between a screw-driven opener and other systems. The continuous shaft rotates in a similar fashion to a screw and moves the trolley, which then lifts the door. This drive utility contains fewer components than others, which means it is more reliable because there is lower probabilities of parts failing. Also, the fewer parts there are, the lower the maintenance needs. You only have to invest in basic care such as regular lubrication.
- Low maintenance
- Faster than most systems
- Quick wear, especially with heavy doors
Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
Another driving utility that we looked at for this review is the direct kind where the motor is responsible for moving the trolley. The functioning of this system is simpler than the others because there are no additional components to facilitate the closing and opening. For this same reason, a direct drive system requires minimal maintenance.
- Low maintenance
- Not commonly available
Jackshaft Drive Garage Door Opener
Based on numerous reviews, it was found that the jackshaft system is only gaining popularity in domestic applications. It was largely used on commercial and industrial garage doors. Rather than sit on the ceiling, this set up is fitted next to the door, on the wall. A torsion rod that connects to the motor spins and moves the door. Jackshaft systems that are adapted for residential application require several additional components to make them safe for users.
One reason this drive utility is preferred for commercial applications is that the system can include a deadbolt that locks when the door closes. This feature offers a higher level of security than other drives. Another part included in this garage door opener is a cable tension monitor. Its work is to detect a broken cable. By design, this type of garage door opener has a lot of computerisation, which translates to a higher cost of production. The lack of a rail segment on the ceiling means that you save space. For this reason, a jackshaft drive system is best for a property with a small garage with limited headroom.
- Enhanced security
- Improved automation
- Only best for sectional doors
Defects that Consumers Must Take Note of
- Finding the best garage door opener means knowing what to look for in a product, amd reviews come in handy during such a stage. This review points out a few weak points that you can identify and avoid wasting money on less than satisfactory devices.
- The battery backup has become a standard offering in an electric garage door opener. It’s best, though to confirm that a particular model comes with a battery. This component ensures that a garage door opener keeps functioning even when the power goes. Always double check that the battery is charging.
- A manual release is a must-have for any garage door opener. When the primary power cuts out or in case of an emergency, a homeowner should be able to disengage the garage door opener and operate the door manually. The manual release gives you the flexibility of keeping the door partially or fully open when working in the garage.
- Horsepower matters a great deal also as it has to be sufficient for the door where the motor will be attached. Know the weight of the door to find the right horsepower. A basic steel door weighs less than an insulated or wooden alternative. Take time to match the garage door to the best opener.
- Always check that a garage door opener has an automatic reversal. Sensors on the motor and the bottom of the garage door stop the door from closing when it comes across an obstacle. This safety feature minimises the risk of injury and damage to vehicles.
Installing an electric operator on a garage door makes it a machine, and as such, it must meet the corresponding UK regulations. The device must have a legal CE mark to guarantee that it has been through the necessary quality checks.
- If it’s a smart system, factor in compatibility. The best garage door openers are designed to link with different smart systems. Identify the technology that you wish to integrate with your garage door control and find a product that matches it. A buyer must also consider if the garage door will be controlled from the car or an app. Many online reviews can help determine this fact.
- Power consumption on standby is a huge determinant of the best garage door opener. The use of DC motors in modern garage door openers means efficient use of energy. However, the power consumption during operation is not vital because the movement takes only a few seconds. Buyers must consider the amount of energy that a garage door opener consumes when it is in resting mode. Compare the figures carefully by looking at reviews to find the most efficient system.
Testing the Best Garage Door Opener
A vital test that every buyer must conduct after getting the best garage door opener is the automatic reverse. All operators are required to have automatic reversal where any obstruction on the path of a closing garage door will cause it to reverse. Place an object in front of the door and activate the remote. If the door doesn’t stop and reverse, then something is wrong with the sensor beams.
Other Consumer Tests and Experiences
A comprehensive review demands that we consider tests that other review experts conducted to find the best garage door opener. The following is a comparison among different brands of automatic garage door openers that have been through consumer testing.
A review by Smart Home Reviewer ranks the Chamberlain WD832KEV as one of the best openers on the market because it bundles all the features that homeowners would want. According to an expert review, the garage door opener is very quiet, which makes it the best if the garage is close to the bedroom. Given that noise is always a big concern when getting a garage doors opener, the little whisper of the Chamberlain WD832KEV is more than appreciated. The garage door opener has a timer that allows the user to set when the door closes. From the review, we found that the garage door opener is easy to set up. It comes with a 1/2 hp motor, so it is limited when it comes to supporting heavy doors.
For the best garage door opener on a budget, the review by Garage Friendly picked the Genie 1035-V. Some homeowners only want openers that can handle the basic operation without too many frills. Additional features and advanced technologies usually mean paying more. The Genie 1035-V is lightweight, and that makes it a good choice for DIY installation. It 1/2 hp motor allows it to support doors of up to 350 pounds. It has standard safety features like sensors that stop the door when it encounters an obstacle.
What constitutes the best opener varies on a large scale because these devices are designed to serve specific applications. You will find that one model is the best if you want a smart garage doors opener, but another one ranks higher if you are looking for the quietest. Such considerations are what review experts factored in when comparing garage door openers. During the review process, professionals looked at the horsepower of the motor. This specification determines the force that a garage door opener can generate, and that affects the weight capacity that it can support. The type of driving utility is another. Whether a garage door opener uses a chain, belt, screw or jackshaft operator influences the noise levels. The number of features that come in one device was also a factor. A garage door opener’s functionalities determine its price and suitability for particular needs, according to review experts.
When considering what is different among the products, speed is one element. The design, horsepower and performance of a garage door opener dictate how fast it closes or opens. Speeds vary widely even across models in the same line because the slightest difference such as an extra component matters.
As for similarities, the review discovered that openers that are designed for the same application, for example, a single-car garage will have the same horsepower (1/3). Whether it’s a Chamberlain, Hormann or Liftmaster, the best openers for certain requirements will have the smart motor power. Another similarity is that the devices open doors up to 7 feet high.
Best Brands Check
Different manufacturers have varying strengths, and that is what we considered in this review. Here are several names that top the industry
The evolution of garage door openers has been a steady one that was fueled by necessity. Before the first car was invented, people didn’t have much use for garages. Even after the Model-T got on the market, it still took the first garage door over a decade. C.G Johnson invented the sectional garage door in 1921. Five years later, Johnson, through his company, began offering the electric garage door opener. This system consisted of two wired switches; one outside and the other inside. Garage door openers did not gain popularity right away because they were viewed as luxuries.
In the 1930s, the industry saw the invention of the remote-controlled garage door opener. Two different teams created systems that allowed a remote to communicate with the motor and tell the door to open or close. One of the communication modes was a code pulse while the other involved white noises. The code pulse system garnered more attention because it incorporated an automatic reversal feature. One downside of this system was that neighbours could open each other’s garages due to the fixed code from the remote. So, to fix this, the code was generated on the remote and the garage door opener. The code evolved to offer users 256 or 4096 potential combinations, depending on the number of switches on the remote.
Increased security threats like hacking meant that manufacturers had to create devices with advanced safety features. It is how the industry came up with the rolling code technology where a remote is programmed to generate rolling codes with each operation. The codes change every second thus, making it nearly impossible for someone to intercept them.
Tips for Care and Maintenance
Regardless of how strong and durable a garage door opener is, without the best care, the system will suffer premature wear and tear. This review offers some advice on how best to keep your opener functional for long. Note that the maintenance requirements vary across products.
Lubrication is the best way to keep a garage door opener in good working condition. Most systems have several moving components and applying oil or grease will reduce friction. The regular the lubrication, the less the friction and consequently, the slower the wear. Check the manual for the best approach to lubrication and the right products.
To ensure that the automatic reverse feature is still functional, test it regularly. It is one of the best safety features of a garage door opener because it prevents injury. Misaligned, damaged or obstructed sensors will interfere with this function. Regular testing provides an opportunity to notice issues early.
Conduct thorough inspections of the different parts of a garage door opener. A single broken spring can mess with the operation of the opener. Check the rail system if there’s one, the springs and tracks to make certain they are not worn out. If damaged, it is best if you get a qualified technician to fix them.
Garage Door Opener Accessories
Certain products are designed to complement the garage door opener, giving you a chance to improve its performance.
These devices come in many variations. You can get a door report remote that sends alerts if the door closes. Some of the best remotes have more than one button, allowing you to do more. LED lights on remotes enhance visibility in the dark, according to most review findings.
The wall-mounted device gives users the flexibility of controlling different functions from one place. The best wall console depends on the level of access that you want.
With this kit, you can eliminate radio frequency issues that interrupt remote functioning. It gives your remote the ability to receive two frequencies, therefore, improving reliability.
Most openers are designed to lift the door up to 7 feet. If your garage door is higher, then an extender makes it possible for the opener to reach the required height. It is best to always check the compatibility of the extension kit with the garage door opener.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Kilograms Can a Garage Door Opener Lift?
The supported weight capacity depends on the horsepower. 1/2 hp can raise 136-158 Kgs
Why Does Remote Have to be Close to the Motor to Function?
The range of the remote relies on the radio frequency. Any interference will reduce this range hence, the need to get close to the motor.
How Best Do You Stop Opening of the Garage When Away?
Some openers have the option of deactivating the remote such that no one can control the door. Alternatively, unplugging the garage door opener prevents unwanted entries.
What Causes the Garage Door to Reverse When it Hits the Floor?
A garage door opener has sensors that force it to reverse when it comes into contact with an obstruction on its way down. Setting the door’s travel limit too far tells the door to keep going when it reaches the floor. The sensors detect the obstruction and activate the safety measure.
Why Doesn’t the Garage Door go All the Way Down?
The beams on either side of the garage door could be out of alignment, making it difficult for the garage door opener to function as required.
Can One Remote Operate Different Garage Doors?
Yes, you can program a 2- or 3-button remote to control more than one garage door opener. However, each garage door opener will need its own button.
How Best Can you tell if the Springs in the Opener are Properly Balanced?
Disengage the garage door opener while the door is closed. The best remedy is to open it manually and then halfway through let it go to see if it slams. If the springs are balanced correctly, the door will remain in the same position.
If a Spring is Broken, should You Replace the Others?
For a garage door opener with several springs, a fault in one could mean trouble for the others, so replace them all.
Why is the Remote Refusing to Program?
The batteries may be weak, or the remote may be malfunctioning. Try erasing the current codes and reprogramming using the available instructions.
Why Does the Door Only Close After Holding Down the Wall Button?
The sensors are blocked or damaged and pressing hard on the button forces the system to override the safety protocols.