Which garage door openers should I get?

Home Improvement

Garage door openers add an extra layer of security to your home and offer many additional features and benefits besides convenience.

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The best garage door opener

Motorized garage door openers were introduced in 1926 to facilitate easy, convenient access to your garage and also to provide added security to your home. Since then, they have evolved to use several different mechanisms and functions. For example, some garage door openers are more powerful than others, and some are notably quieter. They often incorporate additional security measures such as door sensors, deadbolts and alarms. Many modern units work with companion phone apps or smart controllers that wirelessly operate features such as intercoms, lighting and remote locking.

Types of garage door opener

Garage door openers commonly use one of five mechanism types. Four of these are driven by a power unit that hangs from the ceiling of the garage. This typically moves a trolley along a track, which pulls the top of the garage door up and over on rails. Their main differences lie in the way that the trolley is maneuvered.

  • Chain-drive systems are usually more affordable and use a chain, like those on a bicycle, to pull the trolley backward and forward. Belt-drive systems are similar but use a rubber belt instead of a chain, making their operation quieter.
  • Screw-drive systems use a rotating, threaded shaft to wind the trolley back and forth.
  • Direct-drive systems have a motorized trolley that drives itself along the track. Screw-drive and direct-drive systems are generally the quietest mechanisms out of the five.
  • Jackshaft openers use a different mechanism and have recently started to become popular for residential use. These are highly secure, wall-mounted units that free up ceiling space but incorporate a more complicated design. They are strong, often employing computerized deadbolts for extra security, but they can be noisy when in use. You can find a selection of the best garage door openers in the BestReviews buyer’s guide.

Garage door opener features

Modern garage door openers have joined the Internet of Things by incorporating mobile apps. These expand upon their basic functionality by using Wi-Fi, cellular or Bluetooth technology to remotely program, operate and monitor your garage door. These functions can often be deployed using virtual assistants such as Siri, Google Nest or Alexa, making them compatible with your home’s existing AI. 

Video cameras

These add an extra element of security to your garage space and can be activated using sensors or via the door opener’s companion app. They are usually incorporated into the body of the power unit and may combine with external cameras for inside and outside monitoring.

Two-way intercom

This can be useful for communicating with unfamiliar visitors or alerting intruders that you are aware of their presence. However, you’re far more likely to use a two-way intercom to tell a loved one to come in from the yard when lunch is served.

LED lighting

Some garage door openers incorporate high-power LED lights that illuminate your entire garage space. These carry the additional benefits of being low on energy consumption and very long-lasting.

Smart locks

These allow you to remotely lock or unlock your garage door. This is handy for granting access to delivery services, or for letting friends and family enter the house. They also instill peace of mind by assuring you that your door is secure from intruders long after lights out.

What’s the best garage door opener to buy?

Chamberlain B6765T

Chamberlain B6765T

This belt-driven unit comprises a 1080p motion-activated camera with a night vision lens and corner-to-corner lighting. It is notable for its smooth and quiet performance, which makes it well suited to houses with built-in garages.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Genie QuietLift Connect

Genie QuietLift Connect

The Genie QuietLift runs on DC power, making it much quieter than AC-powered units. It has a tough, steel-reinforced belt that can lift doors of up to 500 pounds in weight and 7 feet in height. Accessories include a wireless keypad and wall console.

Sold by Amazon

Chamberlain B2405

Chamberlain B2405

This Chamberlain door opener boasts extremely strong encryption, with over 100 billion possible codes. Its myQ app makes setup and operation very easy, and it comes with two remote controls and a wireless keypad.

Sold by Amazon

Liftmaster Elite Series 8500W

Liftmaster Elite Series 8500W

This Liftmaster garage door opener works with a jackshaft system, which saves on ceiling space. It uses the brand’s powerful P3 motors, making it a good choice for heavier doors. However, it is not compatible with all types of mechanisms, such as roll-up doors or low-headroom tracks.

Sold by Amazon

Skylink Atoms ATR 1611-C

Skylink Atoms ATR 1611-C

This affordable model from Skylink is simple but effective, with a chain-drive mechanism and a bright 12-watt LED lamp. It has a soft start and stop operation to prevent excessive noise.

Sold by Amazon

Craftsman CMXEOCG571

Craftsman CMXEOCG571

This belt-driven Craftsman garage door opener is a good choice for those who don’t want too many bells and whistles. It has no companion app; however, it does include a wireless keypad, a three-button remote and a dual-function wall control.

Sold by Amazon

BeamUp Workhorse

BeamUp Workhorse

The moderately priced BeamUp Workhorse is a strong and durable solution with a chain-drive operation and built-in LED lighting. There are a number of instructional resources available to assist with installation and maintenance.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Chamberlain RJ020 Wall Mounted

Chamberlain RJ020 Wall Mounted

This direct-drive model by Chamberlain is wall-mounted and can be installed on either side of the garage door. Its smart operation works with IFTTT, Google Assistant and Wink, and it comes with a host of accessories, including auto-lock deadbolts, safety sensors and a three-button remote.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Genie B6172H Smart

Genie B6172H Smart

This Genie model can handle tougher tasks, with the capacity to lift sectional doors of up to 850 pounds in weight, and 14 feet in height. Despite this, it is one of the most compact wall-mounted models currently available. Notable features include battery backup, an automatic door lock, a companion app and a wireless console.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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