There are two different types of garage door operating devices. The most common is a standard drawbar operator that has a chain, belt, or screw drive mechanism. Motor sizes are available in 1/3, 1/2, and 3/4 HP. All three work great and have about the same lifespan but some do have added benefits over the other. We will discuss all three and let you decide which is best for you.
Chain driven operators have been around the longest and are still very much in use today. These openers use a standard bicycle style chain that will need to be lubricated and tightened on a regular basis. A lot of people have the misconception that they are very noisy but if adjusted properly can be very quiet and trouble free. The chain drive is usually the least expensive and a great option for detached garages or homes with only storage above the garage. We carry all chain drive operators manufactured by LiftMaster and Linear.
Screw drive openers at one time were the next best thing in residential garage door openers. They utilize a direct drive from the motor to a long screw that drives a trolley back and forth on the rail. When new these openers are relatively quiet and very efficient. Screw drive openers when older tend to get very noisy and need to be lubricated on a very regular basis. The Genie Company is widely recognized for their screw drive products.
In our opinion belt drive operators are the best way to go when choosing a new garage door opener. These work just like the standard chain drive only they use a kevlar belt. They are very quiet and require very little maintenance. The belt comes with a Lifetime warranty and are very durable. We always suggest a belt drive when there is a bedroom over or near the garage. The most popular belt drive is the LiftMaster 3280 and 3850 DC battery backup.
Direct drive operators are becoming very popular and with the introduction of the LiftMaster 3800 it is a great new way to open doors. The LiftMaster 3800 is a direct drive opener that mounts directly to the spring system to the side of the garage door. This opener is perfect for customers that have a lot of high lift, where the door travels high up into the ceiling rather that straight back overhead. We can retrofit any garage door to allow the use of this opener and it installs in very tight spaces.
Our technicians are familiar with all brands and we would be glad to install an operator if it has already been purchased by you. We are an authorized Sear installer for their Craftsman line of garage door openers.