Garage Door Openers: What Drives You?


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Garage door openers make life easier for everyone. However, there comes a time in every garage’s life that the opener goes out. When this happens to you, it’s time to start the process of replacing your garage door opener with a new, more advanced model. There are many different makes and models available, and three types of drive systems to choose from. Whether you are looking for an economical solution, or are thinking of upgrading to a quieter system, you will have to decide which drive system best suites your needs.

Screws – Chains – Belts

The drive system is what lifts and lowers your garage door. The three types of drive systems available are screw, chain, and belt. Each has unique benefits and what you choose will depend on the noise level and price point that you are comfortable with. Chain driven garage door openers are the most popular type of opener and provide good value at an affordable price. Chain drive operators derive their value from offering the most amount of strength (it is very hard to break a chain) while at the same time producing the least amount of friction, (the only point of any friction is when the chain comes into contact with the sprocket). On the other hand Screw driven garage door openers produce the most amount of friction by far. A good way to think of a screw-drive operator is to picture a screw with a nut tightening and loosening on it. In this example, the nut is attached to the door via a “trolley” in order to lift and lower the door as the ‘nut’ is tightened and loosened.

There are two distinct disadvantages to a screw-drive operator.

One is that it has very little leverage in its components. When the door hits an obstruction, there is usually only about 5 threads of the ‘screw’ which are currently engaged with the ‘nut’ / trolley. Since this must be the case, all the strain of hitting an obstruction, or lack of lubrication are focused on a very few threads. While most screw-drive operators have very hard steel ‘screws’ and rarely (if ever) “strip-out” it is extremely common for the threads in the trolley to “strip-out”, at which point the only option is to disassemble the operator to the point that the trolley can be replaced, or replace the operator.

The second disadvantage of a screw-drive operator is that they produce an extremely high amount of friction. As the ‘screw’ is rotating inside the operator bar housing the entire screw is either coming into contact with the housing, or is packed with some lubricant in an attempt to reduce that contact. In either case, the operator motor must work extra hard and use extra energy to conduct its task of lifting and lowering the doorHowever, both screw and chain driven garage door openers can be a bit noisy and loud. If noise is a concern of yours, than you may want to consider a belt driven garage door opener. These openers operate with a steel reinforced belt (similar to a radial tire) and provide smooth and quiet operation. However, they are more expensive than the chain and screw driven models. That being said, if your bedroom is located above the garage, you may want to spend more on the belt driven garage door opener.

No matter what your budget, the professional garage door opener installation technicians at Preferred Window And Door can help you decide which opener is best for your home. For a FREE garage door opener installation estimate or Garage Door Repair, contact us at or call us at (708) 895-3667.

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