1. Horsepower / Newton
Horsepower or HP is very basic information you need to know. The horsepower is related directly to your garage door, the horsepower will assure that the garage door opener has enough power to lift your garage door. Therefore make sure you have checked your garage door, including height, weight, balance and type of garage door.
For most single and double car garage doors (up to 350 lbs), the 1/2 HP is adequate. Horsepower also refer to Newton, 600-Newtons is similar to 1/2 HP. The 1/2-horsepower motor is the most common type for residential use. It will work on one or two door garages. For heavier garage doors such as carriage house or solid wood garage doors, the 3/4-HP is ideal choice. The 3/4-HP is for super-heavy garage door (up to 500 lbs), more power is better than not enough. Don’t make the mistake of buying a 1/2-HP opener and installing it only to find out that you need a stronger opener to open your garage door.
2. Type of drive
Chain drives are noisy because they use a metal chain along a metal trolley, but it’s inexpensive. It’s the least expensive and most popular garage-door openers.
Screw drives lift the door with a threaded steel rod. Look for the latest models that use a plastic-lined track to reduce noisy metal-to-metal contact and to increase opening speed.
Belt drives are the best in quiet performance. If you’re worried about noise and such, belt drives are the best choice. They are the quietest, making them ideal choice if you have rooms positioned above the garage.
Another type of drive is direct drive. Unlike conventional garage door opener that use a noisy chain, belt or screw, the direct drives have only one moving part with no moving chain or belt. They are strong and durable like a chain drive, quieter than a belt drive. For direct drive garage door opener product, Marantec synergy 270/ Liftmaster 8550/ Genie inteliG1000 are the best direct drive garage door openers today.
3. Safety & security features
It’s a must for people who are very concerned about security and safety. Fortunately, the best garage door openers on today’s market also utilize with the safety and security features. Here are some basic security and safety features:
- Security system to prevent unauthorized entry – anti-burglary.
- Safety system to protect users from accidental closings, as well as from break-ins. Provide quick-release mechanism on the trolley that allows for the garage door to be disconnected from the garage door opener in the event of entrapment.
More safety and security features have been added over the years, in addition of two mentioned above.
4. Remote Controls
With the remote controls getting into and out of your garage is easier and more convenient these days. You won’t have to get out of your car, drive inside and then shut the doors using the remote before you have to get out of your car. Also, the availability of accessories has increased, including such features as wireless keypads and key remotes.
The full variety of controls may not be provided for all garage door opener packages. Be sure that what you want is included the remote controls. If not, choose another unit or buy them as accessories.
5. Motor (AC or DC)
Efficient openers use a direct current (DC) motor instead of standard alternating current (AC) motor. A DC motor uses less electricity and its speed can easily be controlled, allowing a simpler drive mechanism to be used for reliability and less noise. Nevertheless, some garage door openers that utilize AC motor also allows for a soft start and stop. The door starts closing slowly, reaches full speed and then slows down again just before it touches the floor.
The most important thing regarding to DC or AC motor is a DC motor uses less energy than an AC motor. Usually a DC motor can be expected to deliver higher torque in a smaller size package.
A warranty is an assurance and it makes you comfortable using the product. Make sure know the terms of the warranty. Some garage door opener manufactures give warranty for the entire package, others only give warranty for its parts, and others only give warranty for the motor.