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Increased security. Easier operation. Low energy cost. Don’t these all sound good?
They’re the best way we can describ each of the best garage door opener models we’ve chosen to showcase on this buying guide.
Many people don’t realize just how much easier their life would be if they incorporated an automatic door opener into their garage.
Well, now’s the time to figure it out. They’re easier to maintain than ever before, and wildly inexpensive compared to company-installed systems from 20+ years ago.
You can do it yourself, and it doesn’t have to take long. Let’s take a look.
Best Garage Door Opener Reviews & Recommendations For 2019
Chamberlain Group B550 Opener
Garage door opener ratings usually hinge on two things: durability, and accessibility.
Well, Chamberlain’s B550 basically covers both aspects with an intuitive app-accessible design and a belt-driven drive system that rivals everyone else on this list.
Log into your app, and open or close your door from up to 1,500 feet away.
You could be halfway down the road before remembering that you left the door open, press the button, and it’ll tell you if it’s going to go through or not.
You can also use Amazon’s exclusive key service to allow postal workers entry in your garage to leave packages in a secure spot, then have them close the door when you go to leave.
The ½ HP MED lift system pulls your door up like it’s nothing, and is set to work for years to come.
With the full steel design, you’d expect a louder clanking sound from metal-on-metal friction.
In fact, Chamberlain’s B550 uses a quiet belt-driven system that won’t disturb the wife while you’re leaving the garage in the morning for work.
While this unit doesn’t come with backup power, you do get a 100 billion code encryption to thwart any attempts at hacking your garage.
Let’s put it this way; if someone wanted to hack it that bad, they’d be there for a very long time trying to figure it out. Long enough to catch them.
Genie 4042 SilentMax Garage Door Opener
Genie was one of the other highest rated garage door openers that came in a close second. It matches the B550 in price and included components, but fell short on just a few tiny marks.
First and foremost, the remote comes pre-programmed to eliminate unnecessary pairing and setup. Just pop it out of the box, and put it to work.
Genie’s SilentMax system didn’t earn that name for nothing: the belt-driven drive system is whisper quiet, so you won’t disturb anyone in the house when you pull out of the garage in the morning. Easy open, easy close, all nice and silent.
While you don’t get Wi-Fi connection through a smartphone app, you do get multiple remotes to stick in your car(s) for easy entry to your garage.
With ¾ HP, you’re getting the top-tier end of horsepower for most garage door openers on the market. It’s not going to give out on you without a long fight.
The encryption on this unit is also top-notch, featuring the Safe-T beam system that helps prevent accidents, while working in tandem with the Intellicode Security technology that all but eliminates the possibility of unauthorized access to your garage.
Overall, it’s a slightly less accessible unit, but built sturdier than just about anything that you’re going to find.
Chamberlain Group C450 MED Lift Garage Door Opener
Chamberlain makes the list again. Utilizing their myQ technology through the smartphone app, you’re able to access your door operations with absolute ease.
Chamberlain took a different approach with this unit though; they went with a chain drive as opposed to their usual belt drives.
That actually makes the unit about 15-17% cheaper, which is nothing to complain about.
Just like their B550, you can use Amazon’s key delivery service to allow postal workers into your garage to safely deliver packages, and keep them away from the prying eyes of the public.
Chamberlain’s 100 billion code encryption system is state-of-the-art, so you won’t have any worries in the security department.
Just be on the lookout for occasional firmware updates in your email.
With ½ HP on a MED lift system, you’ve got power in the bag. The thing is, due to the chain drive, this isn’t as quiet as their other units.
You’re going to hear a touch bit of rattling, but it’s nothing compared to what 5-10 year old garage door opener units sound like.
With quick installation and an entire team of representatives at Chamberlain Group to help you out, there’s nothing you can’t do.
Liftmaster Chamberlain/Sentex Door Opener Backup Battery
Top rated garage door openers that don’t have a backup battery source simply need one.
Most units don’t come with them, but Liftmaster by the Chamberlain Group comes with every bit of power that you need to supplement the might of your new or pre-existing garage door opener.
Designed with EverCharge, a standby power system, the LiftMaster gives indicator lights to warn you if it’s in service or if the battery is being used.
These functions unintentionally act as a diagnostic report for your actual opener, since you can inspect how often it’s drawing off the backup power source.
You’ll hear a beeping sound when the door is in operation, which will help you keep tabs on this when you’re on the outside of the door.
Simply put, it’s an inexpensive and durable backup power source for just about any garage door opener.
Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
Last but not least, we get to Direct Drive’s system, and I’ve been itching to talk to you about it.
Much like the company name, this uses what’s called a direct drive: there’s no belts or chains, it runs off of a single drive that doesn’t rely on secondary components.
Less that can break, less to replace or maintain.
It’s also the heaviest of all the garage door openers we’ve reviewed today. You’ll need a spare set of hands to help you install it.
¾ HP is top-of-the-line; you don’t need more horsepower than that for a double garage door opener like this.
In your kit, you’ll receive two separate two-button transmitters for operation. One for the car, one for emergencies or your second vehicle.
Everything here is secured with Rolling Code technology on a 310 MHz setting, which is compatible with HomeLink, and Sommer USA customer service is available to help you out with any technological issues you might face.
They’re a little less helpful with physical issues that you might be experiencing with your unit as a fair warning.
Instead of a fastening bolt, you’ll have a pressure plate to connect everything together.
This system is going to weigh down on your ceiling, so be sure you have a secure place to fasten this to before making a purchase decision.
It’s a good price, a solid unit, but it would have been better with app accessibility features included.
Garage Door Opener FAQ
How Much Does it Cost to Put in a New Garage Door Opener?
If you look at garage door opener reviews, you’ll find two people: those who successfully installed their own, and people with no idea what they were doing. It’s one or the other.
Truth is, you don’t have to pay anybody to install a garage door. You can look at the total cost of the new garage door opener as the only introductory cost, if you can install it yourself.
Now, it is a bit of a tedious task, but every single opener comes with specialized instructions and what to look for when hanging a door.
It’s important to know your door’s dimensions and weight before beginning.
If you’re going to install it yourself, it would be wise to have another set of hands. The unit itself can be around 35-40 pounds, but you also have to account for the door.
There are parts of the installation process where some of the door weight will be leaning on you while you’re trying to screw something into the ceiling.
If you have a friend that can spare twenty minutes, give them a call.
However, if you aren’t able to hang it yourself, we have some bad news for you: the average cost to install a garage door opener, regardless or what you paid for it, is around $400.00—and that’s not even the highest number.
Luckily, Amazon offers services for professional in-home installation along with the arrival of your garage door opener for certain models.
It’s usually about one-hundred bucks cheaper, on average. This is always a route you could explore if you’re not comfortable installing it yourself.
How Many HP do I Need for Garage Door Opener?
It depends on the drive system. The best drive belt garage door opener requires around ½ HP, while a standard single door and basic system requires ⅓ HP.
A major factor that goes into determining the right horsepower for a garage door opener motor is the balance.
If your door isn’t balanced on the system, it can’t really pull any extra power from reserve; it’s never going to be more than a full HP.
If balanced properly, ⅓ HP can lift a standard, heavy single-car garage door. ½ HP and ⅔ HP models are usually used in direct drive or chain drive systems.
Direct systems usually get by on less horsepower, but since there’s only one component to rely on, they like to add extra.
Chain systems are subject to rust and corrosion, so they usually have more horsepower to back it up.
For two doors to simultaneously raise on a two-car garage, ½ HP or higher is required.
Still, throughout all of this, ensure that the door is balanced or you’re going to receive weird feedback from the door.
Balancing should be the first thing you check if you believe the opener is malfunctioning.
How to Install a Garage Door Opener?
Most garage door openers work the same way, so installation is often universal.
Your specific garage door opener might have unique instructions, so be sure to inspect them before continuing with these recommendations.
- When removing the garage door opener from the packaging, use the torque tubing and put the drive motor directly onto it.
- Replace the torque tube, the cable drum, and then the end bracket.
- It’s time to mount it to the ceiling of your garage. Use mounting screws specifically, and ensure you’re installing it to a solid spot where weight and tension won’t be an issue.
- Run the wiring and necessary brackets down the side of the garage door. During this time, you will set up the emergency disconnect option via the instructions you received with your door.
- Plug everything in.
- Use the remote control (which should come pre-configured) to test out the door. If all is well, then proceed as planned.
Is it Hard to Maintain a Garage Door Opener?
Even the top garage door openers are going to run into problems now and again, but they don’t have to be world-ending.
It’s not difficult to maintain a garage door opener. Look at these ten preventative measures to help you out.
- Listen closely. Does it sound like it did right out of the package? If not, it could be enduring some metal clashing or light-grade damage. Consider greasing it to prevent this from continuing.
- If you have rollers, give them a quick inspection. It’s not uncommon for them to fail. If they’re chipped or worn-in, that’s an indicator that they’re not working as planned.
- Loose cables will make you feel silly if you call a repair specialist in. Check for them, since they’re a lot more common of an issue than most people think.
- Apply some lubrication to all moving parts, especially the drive. If you have a direct drive, make sure you take the necessary steps to lubricate it properly.
- Check the tracks on either side for debris or buildup. Inspect them and clean them properly to avoid the door from getting stuck at any point.
- Clean the door itself as well. This could be just as dirty as the track. If there was snagging or any issues with metal-on-metal grinding, lubricate the edges of the door and the track as well. Open and close the door three times. Did the door keep its balance? If it did, then it’s good. If not, you’ll have to disconnect the handle and reapply it to see if it’s fixed.
- If there’s an auto-reverse feature, test it out. Put something like a block of wood underneath the track, and then close the garage door. If it worked fine, then… well, it works fine, and there’s no issue in this department.
- Is the weatherstripping fresh or is it worn down? This can mimic a lot of other problems with most garage door openers.
- Go around and tighten everything. If the hardware or mounting brackets look loose, just give them a bit of a tune-up, if you will. This should prevent wobbling and keep everything nice.
Maximizing Your Garage Efficiency, One Piece at a Time
The best garage door opener isn’t just going to save you time; it’s going to make your life easier.
Whether you’re parking in the garage over your new DIY pit, or you’re simply trying to make it easier to get in and out when hauling tools and cargo, you’re going to use this more often than you think.
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