How To Choose A Garage Door Opener

Written by admin on April 25th, 2011

There are many garage door openers available on the consumer market.  Many homeowners might automatically go for the least expensive option available.  However, different garage doors require different power levels of openers, and the location of the garage in relation to the home is also an important factor.

For garages that are built under the house, as is common with many ranch style homes and homes with basements that have exterior access, it is likely worth spending a bit of extra money to get a very quiet garage door opener.  While it may be less important for a garage that is under common area living spaces, such as kitchens and living rooms, garages that are underneath bedrooms can be noisy areas that can disturb people sleeping above.  Keep in mind that automatic garage door openers are most often attached to the ceiling of the bay– which is the floor of the living space above.  Spending an extra hundred dollars on a whisper quiet automatic opener can minimize noise disturbance.  This is especially important for homes with children.

Noise concerns are one thing, but before a homeowner can select from a series of whisper quiet units, the appropriate style of automatic opener must be found.  The garage door service that is performing the installation can help a homeowner figure out which style is best.  Most garage door openers are installed in an overhead fashion.  This means that the opener is mounted to the ceiling in the car bay area, and uses a pulley system to raise the door up and overhead.  For garages with particularly low ceilings, cathedral ceilings, or obstructed ceilings, jackshaft opener styles must be used.  Jackshaft openers are wall mounted, and often receive high ratings for quiet performance.

When it comes to garage door openers, size matters.  For most insulated metal and fiberglass garage doors, an opener with 1/2 horsepower is ample.  However, specialty doors are often heavier than more standard doors, and likely require more heavy duty openers.  Most carriage house style garage doors need an opener with 3/4 horsepower to handle the heavy lifting.  Likewise, solid wood doors, which are extremely heavy, need at least 3/4 horsepower to handle the weight.

It is vital for safety that automatic garage doors have the appropriate horsepower to handle the size and weight of the doors that they must lift.  Without the correct horsepower, automatic openers can easily falter and fail, creating serious safety hazards.  Because it is so important that the opener matches the door, it is a wise decision to consult with a garage door service about the power and style of opener that is needed.

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