There are several varieties of residential garage door openers, which bring about many factors to consider before purchasing a new opener. The different types of garage door openers, chain drives, screw drives, and belt drives, operate with different mechanisms that vary in noise and power usage. It is also important to remember that since 1993 it has been a federal law for all automatic garage door openers to have sensors that will reverse the garage door if they detect any object within the tracks. Any openers too old to have sensors should be replaced with an opener that does. The different opener types vary in price, installation, and maintenance in addition to noise and power. Consult a garage door professional with any questions or concerns regarding garage door openers.
Chain drive garage door openers are the most common openers. These openers lift the garage door by pulling the trolley attached to the door with a chain. The chain is driven around a drive shaft that is powered by a ½ or ¾ horsepower motor. Chain drives are the most cost effective openers but also the loudest.
Screw drive openers have similar operation to a chain drive with a threaded steel rod in place of a chain. The motor powers rotation of the steel rod, which drives the trolley. These openers are in a higher price range than chain drives but are quieter and have less moving parts making it easier to maintain.
Belt drive openers operate like chain and screw drives but with a metal-reinforced rubber belt. These are the priciest openers but also the quietest.
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Garage door openers get more expensive as they get quieter; however, there are other ways to get a quieter opener without having to spend the amount of money of a belt drive opener. One option to consider is a soundproofing kit. A soundproofing kit is designed to absorb the vibration of an opener to keep it from reaching surrounding rooms. Another quieting option is choosing a garage door opener that features an internal vibration isolation system that isolates the motor within the opener. Some brands of residential openers come with isolation systems to help control the noise level of the motor. With so many options to consider when choosing a garage door opener, it is wise to consult a garage door technician with any questions or concerns.