Many people view having a garage door opener as a luxury, even an unnecessary one. Among them are not people who have been locked out because they lost the house keys, have spent hours of their life cranking open manual garages and those who keep forgetting to run back in the house for one last thing.
Imagine you’re getting ready for a friend’s wedding. You’ve spent time preparing your hair and dry cleaning your nicest clothes and suddenly it’s pouring rain outside. Do you really want to manually push open your heavy garage door and then have to get back out of your car again in the pouring rain to close it? Probably not, unless you fancy showing up to everything looking like you jumped in a lake.
Or imagine it’s freezing cold outside. Do you really want to spend any time in your garage opening the door when you could just go straight from your warm house to your warm car?
So we understand that having a garage door opener is important, but how much should you spend on one? What features are the most important?
First, you need to see how much horsepower you will need. If you have an extremely heavy garage door (like a wooden or insulated one), you could need 3/4 or 1 horsepower. If you have a standard garage door, 1/2 horsepower should be plenty. However, it’s always better to be overpowered than underpowered. You don’t want your garage door opener to snap under pressure and drop your door. They’re not very easy to replace if that happens. Also, the higher the horsepower, the faster your garage door will open, and if you’re often running late and/or in a hurry, it could make a huge difference for you. Most garage door openers will lift your garage door at 6-8 inches per second. A heavier door will be a little slower to open on a weaker opener, so if you have a heavy door, it would be better to have the greater horsepower to help you leave the house faster.
Safety is also a huge factor in choosing a garage door opener. If you skimp out and choose the cheapest one, you could endanger yourself and your property. Almost all (Remember that, almost) garage door openers feature lasers that can sense if something is below the door while it’s closing. This feature can protect you and your family from accidentally getting crushed underneath the door. Most standard openers come with this feature, but you should always check. Some of the cheaper models don’t include this. Some openers also have a reverse feature. The reverse feature means the door won’t just stop over you or your kid’s basketball that’s trapped under the door but instead will begin to open again so that you can remove whatever is in the way.
There are three main kinds of garage door openers; chain, belt, and screw driven. Chain driven openers are the cheapest and most common and will usually loosen over time. Belt driven openers such as the Chamberlain b550 will last a little bit longer and are a little more expensive than chain openers. Lastly, screw driven openers are the quietest and sturdiest of the three, however, they open much slower than the other two, so if speed is your game you might want to go with a belt driven opener instead.
Lastly, some modern garage door openers have apps that you can access from your phone. No more keeping track of the garage door opener! Hopefully, now you can see why a quality garage door opener is worth the extra money.