One of the things you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be innovated on but has been are garage doors. No longer are you limited to just a few garage door opener types to choose from. There’s a wide selection available, but typically they fall into three main categories: standard, jackshaft and direct-drive, and DC-powered.
We discuss each in detail below to help you decide which type is perfect for your needs.
Garage Door Opener Types: Standard Options
The most common garage door openers are generally one of these three design types:
Chain-Driven Garage Door Opener
Easily the most common one, this opener works similar to that of a bike chain to draw open the door. It pushes/pulls a trolley that connects to a metal bar called a J-arm which is attached to the garage door.
While newer models are much quieter, the metal-on-metal contact of older models can be significantly noisy.
Belt-Driven Garage Door Opener
Very similar to chain-driven models except instead of a chain, a reinforced belt pushes or pulls the trolley along to open or close the door. These belts are most often made from fibreglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber.
As such, they are also significantly quieter while still being an affordable pick.
Screw-Driven Garage Door Opener
The fastest kind of garage door opener, screw-driven models benefit from fewer moving parts and can open a door quicker than any other option on this list.
In this design, the trolley rides on a threaded-steel rod as a motor rotates the rod. Noisier than belt-driven models, they can also require more consistent maintenance in areas with significant temperature fluctuations between seasons.
Should You Choose a Direct-Drive or Jackshaft Garage Door Opener?
While each has its differences, both jackshaft and direct-drive garage door openers are some of the quietest models on our list.
Jackshaft Garage Door Opener
To open the door, a 24V DC motor drives pulleys and cables that turn the torsion bar opening the door. Cable tension is then loosened when the door is lowered.
Consistently reliable and quiet, this one of the most popular newer designs. It’s also advantageous to homeowners with garages that have lower ceilings since the unit is attached to the wall, not the ceiling of the garage. However, this model is less affordable than others on the list.
Direct-Drive Garage Door Opener
If you’re looking for the absolute quietest garage door opener type, a direct-drive model should be your pick.
Unlike other models, the motor moves with the garage door in the case of a direct-drive model. A J-arm connects the moving motor to the door while the motor travels along a stationary chain that is embedded in an overhead rail to open or close the door.
This model also offers a lifetime warranty and is approximately the same price as belt-driven models.
Benefits of Choosing a DC-Powered Garage Door Opener
Finally, DC-powered garage door opener models have plenty of features that make them attractive to many potential buyers.
This primarily comes down to the core way most garage doors motors are powered using AC. DC motors are quieter, faster, smaller, lighter, smoother operating, and more efficient than AC motors on the whole.
Unlike other garage door openers, DC-powered garage door openers often come with a variable speed selection. Plus, even if the power goes out in your home, many of the newer models have backup batteries built in so that you can still use your garage door when you don’t have power.
Overall, choosing a garage door opener comes down to your budget, and primarily the noise-level you’re comfortable with.