An automatic garage door opener might seem unnecessary at first.
But when you find yourself caught in the rain, needing to go out of your car to open the garage door, you may start to see that it’s not just a fad for rich people.
While a few years ago, it seemed that only the financial elite could afford the best garage door openers, nowadays things have changed. The prices have plummeted so much that you can find basic garage door openers at slightly above the 150 dollar mark.
Why do you need garage door openers?
In this best garage door opener buying guide, we will focus on the benefits of getting a garage door opener, what specs you should look for, and help you choose the best garage door opener for your needs and budget.
Garage door openers offer you peace of mind
It might seem like a dull reason at first, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. How many times have you found yourself stuck in the middle of traffic, contemplating if you’ve left the door open?
More people than you might think worry about leaving their door unlocked. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the door to your house, apartment, car, or garage.
This seemingly little and ignorable compulsive disorder affects almost everyone. But the sad truth is that it drives your anxiety nuts. In time, this can lead to high amounts of stress. A garage door opener takes care of closing the door automatically after you leave, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
A reliable garage door opener offers security
This point ties directly to our previous one. Often overlooked, garage doors can be an entry point for burglars inside the house. Moreover, even before entering your house, intruders can still steal valuable items that you keep in the garage. Your car, bike, tools, and other equipment can vanish in the blink of an eye without a secured garage door.
Smart garage door openers offer that extra layer of security that you need. The market is full of affordable options that provide a reliable locking mechanism and even lasers and motion sensors. The more premium models also send push notifications to your phone.
It’s going to rain or snow
The weather can be unpredictable, and a storm might come when you least expect it. Why bother getting out of your car in a massive storm when you could just push a button and have the garage door open automatically?
Admittedly the latter option sounds more appealing. If you’ve ever found yourself in such a scenario, we don’t need to tell you how much of a blessing a garage door opener can be.
Basic specifications to look for when choosing a garage door opener
Older garage door openers lack many of the features that modern ones have. When replacing your old garage door opener, make sure to check for the following features and specifications so you can get the most bang for your buck.
“Rolling code” option
Without getting too technical, older garage door openers had a fixed code that you would use to open or close the door. Thieves had the possibility of sitting outside for hours to get a glimpse of the code you were inputting on the remote with a particular device. However, things have changed.
Modern garage door remotes come with a rolling code feature that changes the code every time you use it. This way, no one can duplicate the code you’ve used once to gain access to your garage.
Just like the remote controls, old models used to rely on having a key or a numeric keypad on which you could enter a code. Keypads are useful in case you want to get into your garage on foot from outside the house without having to take the remote with you.
Sophisticated keypads nowadays use a wide variety of security features that make it harder and harder for thieves to bypass. Biometric keypads offer you the possibility to unlock your garage door by using fingerprint or face recognition, just like many modern smartphones today.
Power outages can occur when you least expect them. With old garage door openers, you would find yourself being stuck outside waiting for the power to come back on, or getting into the garage through your house to pull the emergency release lever.
Nowadays, you don’t have to do this anymore. The best garage door openers are energy efficient and can hold a charge for quite some time before going empty. You’ll be able to open your door through the remote control even if the power spike has lasted for several hours or even days.
Do you have kids or pets? Then you’ll find this feature to be a true lifesaver.
This feature utilizes two sensors about six inches above floor level on both sides of the door. Thus, when your child or pet runs through the beam, the garage door stops and opens back up again instead of closing all the way through.
There’s no universal horsepower measurement that is right for all people. You should choose a garage door opener with enough horsepower to lift the door properly without squeaking or exhausting its mechanism.
Typically, if your door is more than 20 feet wide, you will need a motor that has at least half horsepower. The speed at which the garage door gets closed also depends on horsepower. Let’s view a quick rundown of different garage opener horsepower options:
1/2 or half horsepower is generally the most popular option. This is because it’s decent enough for wider garage doors and does a fantastic job on medium-sized doors as well.
3/4 or three-quarter horsepower is the best choice for opening heavier, insulated garage doors. Obviously, it’s also faster at opening garage doors than the half horsepower motors, and it tends to last longer than its under-powered counterparts.
By far the best option to go for, but also the most expensive. Getting a full one horsepower garage door opener will make your life much easier if you have a cumbersome wooden garage door. And it’s also got the best power, efficiency, and speed ratio out of the bunch.
If your garage door is 7 feet tall at most, you can skip this step. If, on the other hand, your door is taller than 7 feet, you’ll need an extension kit.
All garage door openers are made for standard heights, and they won’t be able to open taller doors on their own, even if they have more than enough horsepower to handle the weight.
Fortunately, getting a garage door opener extension kit doesn’t cost too much. In most cases, you’ll probably spend around $50 for a good one, so don’t cheap out and buy it.
Types of garage doors openers
Since the average garage door opens about 1,500 times a year, you’re going to want the best you can get. Like with all technical things, the best garage door openers come in different shapes, sizes, and types.
Let’s look through the three main types and two derivates plus all of their strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to decide which type is best for you more quickly and narrow your search.
CHAIN-DRIVEN GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
Many good things can be said about chain-driven garage door openers. For a start, they’re usually the least expensive type that you can get. They’re also very durable and more comfortable to install than the other types of garage door openers.
Their strength is also another aspect that attracts customers towards them. If you have an old, wooden garage door, chances are that a chain-driven garage door opener is your best bet.
Chain-driven openers work the same way that a bike does. An industrial chain is attached to a motor that lifts the door by pulling a trolley connected to a J-bar on your garage door. It’s a simple yet effective mechanism that has worked well all these years. However, as you can imagine, there are also certain drawbacks.
One major turnoff that keeps people from buying chain-driven door openers is the noise.
The metal chains get pulled by metal parts, and the metal-on-metal friction can get louder than the average consumer might want it.
The added noise might not be a big problem if your garage is detached from the house. However, if your kids’ bedroom is right above the garage door, you’ll surely wake them up if you get home late.
Another drawback is that it requires maintenance to keep the chain running smoothly over time. However, maintenance should be a breeze as long as you know what you’re doing. And we’ll get to it further down the line in this article.
BELT-DRIVEN GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
Similar to the chain-driven models, when it comes to design, the belt-driven garage door openers operate by lifting the door through a comparable mechanism.
However, instead of a chain, they use a belt made out of fiberglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber to do the job. The main advantage that these models offer over the previous type of openers is less noise. Because of this, you will also notice a slight decrease in vibrations.
As such, if your kids’ bedroom is above the garage, you’ll want to opt for a belt-driven garage opener. Not even the more sophisticated and silent chain-driven models compare to belt-driven openers when it comes to producing fewer vibrations.
While you’ll see a significant decrease in noise and vibrations, you’ll also get a significant increase in price.
You’ll spend anywhere from $30 up to $100 extra cash on a belt-driven garage door opener. And even though the opener itself is quieter, don’t expect it to fix your door as well miraculously. If you have an older garage door, you’ll still hear squeaks and feel vibrations.
SCREW DRIVE GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
Screw drive garage door openers use a completely different approach from the previous types when it comes to how they function.
Instead of pulling the door up, these openers use a threaded metal rod that rotates like a screw to lift your door. And with this mechanism comes a big selling point: reliability.
Because there have far fewer moving parts than chain or belt-driven openers, the chances of screw drive garage door openers breaking down are also reduced significantly.
And while they aren’t as quiet as belt-driven models, they’re still far quieter than chain-driven openers and produce a notable amount of fewer vibrations.
Of course, not everything is just bells and whistles.
Just because the mechanism is reliable, you shouldn’t forget that it exists. You’ll need to lubricate the screw heads from time to time to keep the system functioning correctly. Maintaining the screw heads and the rest of the opener’s system isn’t hard, but it can get costly if you neglect it.
Also, if you have an older garage door that you don’t want to get rid of because of aesthetic reasons, keep in mind that screw drive openers might not be your best option. While they come with just as much horsepower as the previous two types, the screw threads can loosen up quickly when dealing with heavy weights.
JACKSHAFT GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
Jackshaft garage door openers have only recently began to rise in popularity.
What sets them apart from all the other previous types is the fact that you can mount them next to the door instead of the ceiling. You’ll get more headroom as a result.
Many models also offer increased security because they include a deadbolt that gets shut whenever the door closes. As you can probably imagine, this is a big detriment to burglars and other would-be intruders.
Furthermore, the manual release isn’t hanging from the ceiling, so you’ll no longer have to pull the manual release with a long hook. Similarly, because this type is far newer, the models usually have a lot of automation and connectivity features.
With new and impressive technology also comes an inflated price tag.
A lot of the onboard computerization can significantly increase the price to the point that most people would not only find it a waste of money, but they wouldn’t be able to afford it outright.
Because of the way the cable mechanism works, they can only be used on sectional doors. If you have a single-panel door, you won’t be able to use a jackshaft garage door opener at all.
DIRECT-DRIVE GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
Not long ago, any garage door opener without a belt or a chain could’ve been considered a direct-drive garage door opener. However, things have shifted in recent years, and now this category stands on its own, which is why we’ve separated it from the jackshaft type.
The biggest advantage is extremely quiet operation.
Many owners claim that the direct drive is even quieter than a belt-driven opener.
Direct-drive models are extremely reliable because the only moving part is the motor.
While belt or chain-driven models used a stationary motor and a moving belt or chain, the opposite is the case for direct-drive garage door openers. Because the engine is the only moving part, its reliability is much increased over all the other types we’ve showcased so far.
As you’ve probably expected, this type of openers don’t come cheap.
They’re also harder to come by in the United States, as these models have only recently begun to gain traction in Europe.
The best garage door opener brands
Ryobi is mostly known in the Americas as a power tool manufacturer.
They make all sorts of things from drills, drivers, saws, flashlight, and basically any other tool that you might need for general DIY projects and repairs.
While they might not have made quite a name for themselves as much when it comes to other categories, their garage door openers stand out because of their top-notch quality.
They currently sell two belt-driven garage door openers and several accessories and replacement parts for each one. Sure, having just two models under your belt might not seem impressive, but it is considering the fact that the brand isn’t specialized in this category.
Now we’re getting to the brands that are known almost exclusively for making the best garage door openers.
Genie was first founded in 1923 as the Alliance Manufacturing Company that made several consumer, industrial, and military products.
Fuse caps, generators, and even canteen handles were made by them during World War II to supply our troops with many of the necessities required on the battlefield and in military camps.
Their breakthrough was in 1954, however, when they made the first mass-produced, radio-controlled residential garage door opener. In 1958, they further refined the design by making the first direct drive screw opener. You can clearly tell that these people know what they’re doing.
Chamberlain is one of the Chamberlain Group’s most respected brands when it comes to garage door openers.
They offers a plethora of models to choose from, and they also sell numerous accessories related to garage door openers. In recent times, they have made considerable developments when it comes to smart features.
More specifically, they have launched models with integrated smart cameras, have made it easier than ever before to pair their garage door openers with the MyQ app, and Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, respectively.
Innovation has been been a part of their name for many years. And it looks like they’re willing to take that into the foreseeable future as well. What makes us think that this is a consumer-oriented brand even more is the fact that they constantly put tutorial videos on their website.
They consistently go out of their way to make the user experience as seamless as it can possibly get. And we can only sit back and appreciate such actions.
Refoss is relatively new in the game, as they were founded only a few years ago, in 2016.
However, they have managed to impress smart home enthusiasts all over the world through their top-notch products. Their garage door openers include a lot of smart features that the modern day American might want to play with.
An All-American brand that prides itself in making quality tools, Craftsman has been around for nearly 100 years.
What makes this brand special is that they test their products in real world scenarios so that they always deliver top-notch quality.
For their garage door openers, they offers a three-year warranty on every single model, be it store-bought or purchased online. This is a huge deal because not many companies offer such an extended period of manufacturer guarantees.
Coming from the Chamberlain Group, Liftmaster is yet another appreciated brand when it comes to the market of garage door openers.
They offer many smart home and security features with every model. And they’ve even recently launched a patented Corner to Corner 3,100 lumen LED system that promises to keep your garage as bright as possible even during night.
All of the garage opener types that they offer are of high quality. These include belt-driven, chain-driven, wall mount openers, and smart garage openers with Wi-Fi and MyQ integration.
ATOMS is a garage door opener brand owned by SkyLink.
The ATOMS garage door openers all come by default with a built-in powerful LED that illuminates the entirety of your garage and saves energy in time.
They’re an excellent choice for those looking for budget-friendly garage door openers that still bring a lot of value. They also sell different accessories for this brand, such as keyless entry pads, backup batteries, and keychain remotes.
Decko has a rich family business history starting all the way back in 1932.
While they don’t have many garage door openers on sale, what they do have is fantastic.
We especially like their heavy duty model that can lift even old wooden doors without a hitch. And we also love the fact that they offer good customer support and a hefty warranty despite their budget-friendly prices.
Tips for installing a new garage door opener
While every garage door opener has its quirks, a few key elements remain true when installing all models. With that said, here are a few tips that will make installing your new garage door opener much easier:
Make sure the old garage door opener actually needs replacing
While what you do with your money is strictly your business, we advise you not to dive head-first into buying something new that you might not necessarily need. If your old garage door opener is making noise, that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs a replacement. Scroll further down the article to get a few tips on how to fix this issue.
Choose a garage door opener within your budget
While you might be tempted to buy the most expensive high-end garage door opener, there are other models that have smart features at lower prices.
Choose the type of garage opener that you want and compare its features and price. We have even listed below several models that might interest you. All of them are relatively affordable and you can take a glance to see which one suits your needs the best.
Read the owner’s manual
Like we said, each model has its own quirks. So take the time to go through the manual carefully. Make sure you understand all the instructions before getting into the actual installation.
Make sure you have the right tools
Many models already come with the necessary parts in the package. And some don’t even require specialty tools. However, you will most likely need a basic set of tools that should be in your garage. These include a sturdy ladder, a drill, a well-stocked toolbox, and some sheets of steel just in case.
Save time if you’re replacing an old garage door opener
If you’re replacing your old garage door opener with a new one of similar type, you can probably use the same supports that hold the motor unit (if they’re still in good shape).
You might also be able to reuse the wood blocking for the bracket above the door. Doing so will save you quite some time when installing the new unit. However, we can’t stress this enough: make sure that the components are still in good shape.
Now you might think that it’s a good idea to also reuse other old components. Don’t. No matter what, don’t try reusing old electrical parts, such as sensors and whatnot. Newer models most likely have better alternatives anyway. While it may seem tempting to save time by reusing old sensors, you’ll be wasting a lot more time configuring them for the new model and replacing them anyway when they finally break.
The best garage door openers currently on the market
Best chain-driven garage door opener: Genie ChainMax 1000 Garage Door Opener
- RELIABLE AND QUIET: Traditional, dependable chain drive system offers value and quiet performance with...
- SMOOTH OPERATION: 140-volt DC motor operates with soft start and stop control for easier installation and...
- SLEEK AND CLEAN: Premium reinforced low-profile c-channel rail protects against dirt and debris buildup...
|Dimensions:||40 x 12 x 9.5 inches|
|Coverage:||Works on residential garage doors up to 7 ft in height, Extension kit available for 8 ft doors Model EKCC|
|Average battery life:||2 years|
Coming from one of the most reliable brands in this category, the Genie ChainMax 1000 Garage Door Opener user reviews clearly show that people love this model.
The Genie ChainMax 1000 comes with two pre-programmed remotes so you don’t need to waste any extra time pairing them with the unit.
What’s more, they come with the rolling code feature, so they generate a new access code each time you use the garage door opener. This adds a much needed extra layer of security to your entire household.
And in case you’re worried about the noise that chain-driven garage door openers usually generate, note that the 140-volt DC motor operates with soft start and stop control for easier installation and smoother door travel, which in turn makes this model way more silent than others of the same category.
The Genie ChainMax Garage Door Opener is quite impressive overall, especially for a chain-driven model.
What we love about this garage door opener is that it comes with a five-year parts warranty and a lifetime motor warranty. When you pair this with its relatively affordable price, you know you’re getting a good deal.
Best belt-driven garage door opener: Chamberlain B970 Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
- Smart garage door opener comes with built-in myq technology to keep you connected and protected: Open,...
- Get a $30 Amazon credit. When placing your first In-Garage Delivery, enter KEY30 at checkout to receive a...
- Battery backup - ensures safe replacement ins-and-outs even during power failures. Radio Frequencies:...
|Dimensions:||18 x 10 x 6.5 inches|
|Coverage:||Exclusive Triband technology boosts remote range up to 1,500 feet for a quicker entrance and exit|
|Battery backup:||Included, ensures safe replacement ins-and-outs even during power failures. Radio Frequencies: 310, 315, 390|
With built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to control it through the myQ smartphone app, the Chamberlain B970 Garage Door Opener is a belt-driven model that brings a lot of conveniences.
The app allows you to close and open the garage door from anywhere you might be, provides 24/7 surveillance options, and allows two-way communication from your smartphone to the interior of the garage. What’s more, the app also sends you notifications whenever the garage door requires your attention.
This Chamberlain belt-driven garage door opener comes with a quiet and robust steel-reinforced belt that offers smooth and almost tranquil operation. And even better, you get Posilock anti-theft protection with easy-to-follow wireless programming that allows setup in seconds and eliminates the need for electrical connections to the side of the garage opening.
The Chamberlain B970 Belt Drive Garage Door Opener has a wide range of convenient features for the modern gadget enthusiast who wants a bit of security and comfort for their garage.
Apart from all the things mentioned above, this garage door opener also comes with motion sensors that automatically turn on the lights if it detects movement. It’s compatible with a multitude of apps, such as Google Assistant and IFTTT, but we didn’t like the fact that you need to pay a subscription if you want to continue using those.
Best jackshaft garage door opener: Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
- The wall mount garage opener mounts discretely on the wall next to the garage door, increasing the...
- Get a $30 Amazon credit. When placing your first In-Garage Delivery, enter KEY30 at checkout to receive a...
- The included automatic garage door lock secures your door every time it closes, so you always know that...
|Dimensions:||6.85 x 6.01 x 16.25 inches|
|Warranty:||Lifetime Motor, Lifetime Belt, 5 Year Parts, 1 Year Accessories|
|Included components:||RJO Heavy-Duty Garage Door Opener, Remote Light, (1) Three-Button Elite Remote Controls, Wireless Keypad, Automatic Garage Door Lock|
If your main goal is to save space and eliminate noise as much as possible, then the Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener might be your best bet.
As with the previous Chamberlain garage door opener on our list, this one also comes with a promotion from Amazon that offers you $30 credit after your first in-garage purchase using the Amazon Key system.
The Auto-Lock system on the Chamberlain RJO20 deadbolts the garage door every time it closes for extra security and peace of mind. Also, the wifi smart garage gateway allows the RJO20 to connect directly to your devices through the myQ app, which allows all family members to gain control seamlessly through their smartphones.
The Chamberlain RJO20 Garage Door Opener reviews showcase that the majority of people who have used it are delighted.
What’s more, the company rigorously tests every unit that they assemble, so you can rest assured that chances of you getting a defect model are astronomically low. And even in the unlikely case that this happens, you’re covered by a lifetime warranty for the motor and belt, as well as a five-year parts warranty and a one-year accessories warranty.
Best budget garage door opener: ATOMS AT-1611 By Skylink Garage Door Opener
- Powerful DC motor provides extremely quiet operations compared to traditional garage door Openers with AC...
- Durable chain drive delivers reliable performance
- 12W LED built-in to the garage door opener for long-lasting illumination
|Dimensions:||27.5 x 8 x 4.5 inches|
|Included components:||Atoms 1/2 HPF Garage Door Opener, 1 x One Button Remote, Safety Sensor, Push Button, Sectional Rail Kit, User Manual|
If you’re on a relatively tight budget, the most economical option is the ATOMS AT-1611 Garage Door Opener.
You’ve got two options when selecting this garage door opener: either a version with WiFi, which brings you compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other smartphone apps, or one without WiFi, which is relatively barebones but does the job well.
Unlike the previous models on this list, the ATOMS AT-1611 comes standard with a built-in powerful LED on either model you select. Its durable chain drive delivers excellent performance on most standard doors, and the 0.5 horsepower motor is suitable for a wide variety of uninsulated garage doors.
The ATOMS AT-1611 By Skylink Garage Door Opener is a truly fantastic option for budget buyers.
While it may not be as impressive as other more expensive garage door openers on the market, it still manages to perform well, especially when regarding its soft start and stop feature that reduces the movement speed when the door is almost entirely open or closed, which allows it operate more silently.
Best high-end garage door opener: Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener
- This sleek, space-saving design mounts on the wall beside your garage door, freeing up ceiling space
- This elite series model comes fully equipped with security 2.0, myq
- Get reliable, durable and powerful performance with our p3 motors
|Dimensions:||48 x 12 x 16 inches|
|Note:||Not compatible with Low Headroom Track, Wayne Dalton Torquemaster or ROLL UP DOORS (only sectional)|
|Included components:||3-button Visor Remote Control, Remote Light, myQ Control Panel|
The sleek, space-saving design of the Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount makes it an attractive option for those looking for the absolute best garage door opener they can get.
It offers myQ connectivity, runs ultra-quiet by eliminating sound and vibrations through the ceiling, and a reliable motor that will last you for years to come.
The Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener comes with a pre-programmed remote control, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Its security features include the rolling code option that significantly reduces the risk of it getting hacked.
While we were disappointed by the lacking remote range, the Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener still manages to hold up well regarding other aspects.
Furthermore, it opens and closes quickly, and decelerates before the top and bottom of the travel, putting less stress on your garage door and keeping things as quiet as humanly possible.
Best heavy-duty garage door opener: Decko 24503 3/4 Horse Power Garage Door Opener
- Easy installation featuring non-polarized wiring making installing the wiring error free
- Handles sectional garage doors up to 7 feet tall and 18 feet wide
- 8 foot extension is available to accommodate larger doors
|Dimensions:||25 x 11.9 x 9.1 inches|
|Warranty:||Limited lifetime warranty|
|Note:||You have to hold the button for about one or two seconds to close or open the door. It doesn’t work by just tapping the button on the remote like with other garage door openers.|
Made specifically for heavy-duty operation, such as opening and closing classic wooden doors, the Decko 24503 Belt Drive Garage Door Opener comes with 3-function locking wall control, two 3-button remotes, and a wireless keypad.
You can also purchase an 8-foot extension to make this product compatible with taller garage doors. The Decko 24503 garage door opener has a powerful 3/4 horsepower engine and comes with an auto-reverse function to protect your children and pets, in case they come through when the door is closing.
The Decko 24503 Garage Door Opener is quite an impressive surprise coming from a brand that isn’t nearly as well-known as Genie, Chamberlain, or Liftmaster.
This belt-driven garage door opener comes with an included 8-foot extension that widens its compatibility with taller doors. And the 3/4 horsepower engine makes it resilient even against the heaviest garage door you can currently find on the market.
Best garage door opener for ultra-wide doors: beamUP Centurion BU800 Two-Car Garage Door Opener
- WILL IT OPEN MY GARAGE DOOR? Whether your garage is 8'x7' single door or 16'x7' double door, the BU800...
- ULTRA LIFT POWER TRANSMISSION: Powerful enough to lift the heaviest of carriage house doors, the...
- ENGINEERED WITH SECURITY IN MIND: The Centurion Smart Garage Door Opener allows for smartphone access &...
|Dimensions:||12.4 x 10 x 6.7 inches|
|Warranty:||Lifetime Motor & Belt, 5-Year Parts, 2-Year Accessories|
|Included components:||Motor & Rails, Belt, Smart Controller, Wireless Door Sentry, Two 3-Button Remote Controls, Keypad, Door Control, Photo Eye Safety System, Trolley & Pulley, Hardware|
If your garage fits two vehicles inside, then the door is likely wider than regular garage door openers can handle.
This is where the beamUP Centurion BU800 Two-Car Garage Door Opener comes in. It comes with a step-by-step installation guide that’s easy to follow, and no specialized tools are needed for the installation either.
The beamUP Centurion BU800 also comes with smartphone connectivity, integrated 3000 lumen energy-efficient LED security lighting, motion sensors that cover the entire garage area, and a proprietary app that allows you to pair the garage door opener without any subscription fees.
Even more impressive, the Smart Garage Door Controller shares access with unlimited users via the beam Home app. The app also sends out real-time alerts and notifications, and it has auto-close reminders for your peace of mind. And it’s compatible with all generations of HomeLink, covering a wide array of older cars as well.
There are many great things to say about the beamUP Centurion BU800 Two-Car Garage Door Opener.
While we believe that this is the best garage door opener for wide doors, we also believe that it’s one of the best models for smart home enthusiasts. The simple fact that you can pair it with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple Watch, and more without paying any subscription fees is outstanding.
Best quiet garage door opener: Chamberlain B730 Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
- Powered by Chamberlain’s PLUS Lift Power System, the B730 delivers, the highest lifting force...
- Battery backup ensures safe replacement ins and outs even during power failures.Maximum Open Size 7 feet...
- Ultra Quiet and Strong Belt Drive Steel reinforced belt drive and constructed with high grade materials...
|Dimensions:||18 x 10 x 6.5 inches|
|Warranty:||Motor & Belt: Lifetime; Parts: 5 Years; Accessories: 1 Year|
|Included components:||Garage Door Opener, 7 FT Rail Kit, Multi-Function Wall Control, Two 3 Button Remotes Transmitters, Keyless Entry Keypad, Safety Sensors|
The Chamberlain Ultra-Quiet Garage Door Opener is made with a reinforced belt drive and constructed with high-grade materials for years of reliability.
It comes with Chamberlain’s patented PLUS Lift Power System, which gives the motor the equivalent horsepower of 3/4 or 0.75 HP. And it also comes with tri-band technology that gives you a higher remote range, so you can control it from further away when riding along the driveway.
The Chamberlain B730 Garage Door Opener includes two 3-button remotes that can operate it from up to 1,500 feet away. Included in the box is also a motion-detecting control panel allows easy programming of remote controls, keypads, and MyQ lighting accessories, and it will turn lights on automatically when motion is detected.
The Chamberlain B730 Garage Door Opener is a fantastic model from one of the most respected garage door opener brands.
If you truly want something quiet that is still affordable, you can’t go wrong by purchasing this garage door opener.
Maintenance tips for garage door openers
While garage door openers are quite rugged, that doesn’t mean that you can just install and forget about them. They still require a bit of maintenance from time to time if you want to keep them functioning accordingly for years to come.
Monthly garage door opener maintenance
Travel limits and force
This should be especially concerning during the cold season, as temperature fluctuations affect how well a garage door is able to open or close.
Freezing-cold weather thickens the oil in the garage door opener motor and on the rollers. This in turn will cause the door to reverse because the integrated sensors will think that it has hit something.
Heat, on the other hand, can affect the electronic parts of a garage door opener, yet again causing it to not open or close as it should. To solve these issues, you can adjust the travel limit and force at which the opener operates.
By doing so regularly, you’ll ensure that the garage door opener will work as it should and it won’t break down in case it applies too much or too little force.
Safety reversal system test
You’ve probably already figured out by now that many garage door openers come with sensors that automatically retract the door in case they detect something passing through while it’s closing.
To test the system out, open the garage door and place an object on the ground beneath it. Ideally, you’ll want to place something that is a little lower than the sensors to test if they can truly detect everything regardless of height and width.
Next, close the garage door and notice what happens. The door should retract before hitting the object. If the door stops when it hits the object, but doesn’t raise back up on its own, increase the down travel limit setting.
Now repeat the test and see what happens. If the door retracts, then everything should be ok. Still, you should repeat the test about three or four times to make sure that it wasn’t just a lucky shot. We also recommend doing these tests whenever you repair the garage door, floor, or opener.
Manually operating the garage door
Once every now and then, open the garage door by hand to check how smoothly the door opens and closes.
To do so, first close the door and pull the red emergency release cord until it snaps the trolley release arm into a vertical position. Now you’re free to operate the door manually.
If you notice that one side of the door opens better than the other, you might be dealing with a loose bracket connecting the door to the tracks. Check for obstructions on the brackets and realign them as necessary. Usually, a rubber mallet is enough to do the trick.
Twice a year maintenance
Every six or so months, check the chain tension if you have a chain-driven garage door opener.
Do so by disconnecting the trolley and seeing if the chain is about 1/4-inch above the base of the rail at the rail’s midpoint. Follow the instruction manual to solve this issue.
The garage door rollers, hinges, and bearings should be lubricated every year with white lithium grease that you can spray using a grease gun. Don’t use WD-40 because it will dry out the bearings. Also, don’t lubricate the door tracks because grease will attract dust and inhibit movement.
Check the emergency release handle
You might not need to use this handle a lot. If you have a good garage door opener, you probably won’t need to use it ever. However, you never know when the time comes to use it, regardless of your previous experiences. As such, it is important to check on it every year or so. Simply make sure that the handle is no more than 6 feet above the ground.
Test the battery backup
If you live in a big city or a metropolitan area, chances are you’ve rarely experience a blackout. Even so, it is better to be prepared than to face the consequences of a blackout by having to manually open the door in dark if you get home at night. To test the battery, just unplug the garage door opener from the power outlet. Usually, your opener should have a LED indicator light. If it glows orange, that means it’s running on backup battery power. But if it’s red or flashes intermittently, it means the backup battery is running low and needs replacement or recharging.
Troubleshoot common garage door opener problems
My garage door opener won’t respond to either the remote or wall switch
If this happens, it’s almost certain that the your opener’s connection to the power source has been disrupted in one way or another.
- Check to see if the opener is plugged into the outlet correctly. Sometimes the vibrations might impact the cord, making it stick out of the outlet.
- Check for burnt-out fuses, circuit breaker, or GFCI outlet. If you find that other lights or electrical circuits in the garage aren’t operating, this is the likely cause. Reset the breaker and replace any burnt-out fuses.
- The other problem might be that the motor has burned out. In this case, you should contact customer support for warranty and replacement information.
My garage door opener is making more noise than usual
How to fix a noisy garage door? The trouble is that it’s not as straightforward as it might seem.
There can be numerous problems that cause this issue, from loose nuts and bolts, inadequate lubrication, unbalanced doors, loose roller or hinge, and improper installation, to name a few.
Whatever the case may be, you’ll have to check several things to see if they are in order:
Tighten the nuts and bolts
The screws that keep the opener’s mechanism intact can come loose after numerous uses.
Checking every single one can be a tedious process, but it’s a necessary step you’ll have to take if you want to solve this matter.
Lubricate the metal components
You should take the time to lubricate rollers, hinges, tracks and springs.
Check the condition of the rollers and tracks
See if the rollers or tracks are damaged. Also, take note that the rollers should roll, not slide inside the rails. If so, reposition them properly.
Add noise insulation
If all else seems to fail, you can try installing noise insulators between the motor block and the slotted metal brace used to attach the motor to the ceiling.
My garage door opener reverses on its own
More often than not, this problem is usually caused by a problem with the sensors.
Either something really is blocking the sensors, they are misaligned, or they have malfunctioned and need a repair or, preferably, a replacement.
My garage door opener won’t open or close all the way
However, if the garage door stops and reverses after it’s more than halfway down, inaccurate travel limits might be the problem.
But first, you should check the opener alignment to see if it still adequately placed. Garage door openers might tilt to one side or the other by a bit with numerous uses.
Adjust and align the garage door opener
First, you should check the alignment of the motor unit and rai, then realign them accordingly if necessary.
Secondly, adjust the settings for travel limits and force limits by following the guidelines in the user’s manual. More often than not, taking these two steps is usually enough to fix the issue. If the problem persists, move on to the next step:
Replace the garage door opener logic board
If the previous steps didn’t fix the problem, there might be a problem with the opener’s logic board.
Unfortunately, only a professional can accurately diagnose this issue with the right tools. If somehow, you’ve gotten your hands on reliable diagnostic tools, and you’re 100% sure that this is the problem, you can replace the logic board on your own.
Replace the garage door opener travel limit switch
If the logic board wasn’t causing the problem either, there’s one final step you can take to fix this issue.
Replacing the travel limit switch differs from one garage door opener to the next. Your instruction manual should cover this step by default.
If not, search for a professional in your area, or look for instructions online for your specific model if you’re brave enough to undertake this task on your own.
My garage door closes or opens by itself
This problems might be caused by a number of issues. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a problem related strictly to the opener, but it can also indicate something is wrong with the garage door itself. Here are a few ways to try and solve this problem.
Check for radio interference
Regardless if you’re using passcode entry, the buttons inside the garage, or your remote opener, all of them need to operate on the same radio frequency to work properly.
CB radios, ham radios, police radios, and even your neighbor’s garage doors may be on similar or the same frequencies, causing interference with your own. To test if this is the problem, simply reprogram the garage door opener. If it turns out that, indeed, the frequency was causing the issue, then reprogramming will fix it immediately.
Check for debris
Sometimes the sensors might be fine-tuned to pick up even the slightest amount of debris. If this is the case, then the fix is as simple as getting a broom or a vacuum cleaner and clearing out any dirt that might be tampering with the garage door’s opening.
Check the remote opener’s batteries
Most garage door openers’ remotes don’t have a battery indicator level, so you won’t be able to tell how much juice you’ve got left just by looking at them. More often than not, this turns out to be what’s causing the problem and you don’t even realize it. Put fresh batteries inside the remote and try opening or closing the garage door. Did it work? Problem solved.
Search for broken springs
Broken springs are another thing that can cause your garage door to open and close on its own. However, replacing a broken spring is harder than it looks. You’re going to need a friend to help out or preferably a technician. The bright side is that the cost of replacing broken springs is relatively low.
Check the control buttons
If you also have a keypad that controls the garage door opener, the problem might be that a button is dirty and stuck. This tends to happen if you live in a polluted area, but it’s not a hard fix.
Disassemble the keypad and clean out the interior of the buttons. While you’re at it, you can also check the wiring to see if everything’s in place and that there’s no damage. Worst case scenario, you’re going to have to get a replacement keypad.
Check the control board and transformer
If none of the above fixes worked, then your problem might be a little more serious. If you have an automotive multimeter, check the voltage into and out of the circuit board and transformer.
If the readings are off on either of them, you’re going to need a replacement. Get in touch with the company from which you’ve bought the opener. If you’re still under warranty, you can get the spare parts for free most of the time. If not, you’ll need to shell out some cash.
Frequently asked questions about garage door openers
How long does a garage door opener last?
The average lifespan of the best garage door openers is around 10 years, with many models being able to resist up to 15 years if taken care of properly.
Some people have even been keeping their garage door openers functional for 20 or more years. It all depends on the horsepower, build quality, how much you use it, and, most importantly, the maintenance process.
How much horsepower do I need for a 2 car garage door?
You should consider getting at least a 3/4 horsepower garage door opener for this task.
0.5 HP might still be able to get the job done, but it will break down much faster and you’ll realize that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on a complete waste.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the horsepower, the better the performance. Of course, you’ll also need to take into consideration things such as noise if your garage is integrated into the house.
How much does it cost to replace garage door springs?
Extension and torsion springs are kept under high amounts of pressure when the door is closed so that you can open it adequately when you need to.
In many installations, the springs can last up to 30 years. But because of the varying pressure and frequency of use, they might also break down sooner than expected.
However, do keep in mind that this isn’t a job for amateurs. Serious injuries can occur if you try to do this by yourself without any prior knowledge. If you want to come out of this a little cheaper, just order the springs and then contact a professional repairman to do the job for you.
Does a new garage door opener increase home value?
There haven’t been studies regarding the openers themselves and an increase in home value, at least not as far as we can tell.
However, there have been studies made that show how a new garage door can increase the real estate value of your house. Consider this if you plan on selling your home in the near future.
An improved street view lets you pump up the price for your house. Choose a unique door style that matches the rest of the view and improves upon it.
Once you get a new door and opener, you can advertise the fact that your house is energy efficient.
Like with all new technology, not just performance is improved, but also electricity consumption. As such, you can increase the price for your home with the simple argument that the buyer will save a lot of money in the long run.
Safety and Security
We mentioned earlier that many of the garage door opener models come with improved security features.
New garage doors are no different either. A combination of high-tech garage door opener and a sturdy door will offer the buyer’s family peace of mind and safety.
Burglars and other would-be intruders will have a much harder time getting through rolling code accessible openers and doors. Similarly, they won’t be able to break in if the door has a large and sturdy shutter and bolt.
How do I convert my garage door opener to WIFI?
Most garage door openers built after 1993 have accessory ports in which you can plug all sorts of modern tech.
The best retrofitting package that can add WiFi capabilities to an old garage door opener is the LiftMaster MyQ Retrofit Package. You can get it by click on the name of the item.
After reading the instruction manual and figuring out where everything goes, you should be able to figure it out by yourself. Here are a few tips to make the experience a little better:
Add a WiFi Extender near the garage door to boost the signal. If you have a large home and many people who use the same WiFi connection, your garage door opener might not be able to pick up the frequency. This is especially important if the garage is completely separated from the rest of the household or if the router is further away from the garage itself.
Take your time to familiarize yourself with the MyQ app. While the app isn’t hard to use, getting to know all the features can take some time. As with any smartphone app, it does have its quirks and you might need to go through a different setup process depending on your garage door opener type.
Can Siri open my garage door?
Yes, as long as you have a smart garage door opener or if you’ve bought a Homekit from Chamberlain or other similar devices.
Take your time to pair your iPhone or Android Phone with the device and setup the MyQ application. From there, you will be able to pair it with all your favorite voice assistants, be it Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, Alexa, and many more.
Are LiftMaster and Chamberlain the same?
While both brands come from the same company and share a multitude of features, they are not the same.
Chamberlain is targeted toward the DIY crowd that like to get things done easier and install garage door openers on their own.
LiftMaster, on the other hand, is targeted at a more professional crowd. They offer more security features and complex mechanisms that will require you to contact one of their authorized personnel for installation.
Final thoughts on the best garage door openers
Now you’ve seen everything there is to know about the best garage door openers.
Take what notes you find necessary from this article and select the model of your choice. In most cases, one of the above-mentioned garage door openers will be more than enough for anyone – be it people looking to save money, those who want the best features, and anyone in between.