Different Types of Garage Door Openers

If you are looking for garage door repair or are purchasing a new garage door opener, you should prepare yourself by learning the basics of the different types available on the market. There are three main types, screw, chain, and belt, but jackshaft models are also available to homeowners. Here are the basic descriptions of the differences.


Screw Drive

As the name implies, this system operates via a “screw,” really a steel rod with threads, connected to the motor, which lifts and lowers the door. Although improvements have been made, these systems do not generally handle large swings in temperature and can be quite noisy to operate. The main benefit associated with these systems is that they have fewer moving parts than chain or belt systems and therefore, theoretically, are easier to maintain. Slightly rarer the other types, it is still highly likely that a garage door service in Virginia Beach, VA, would be able to install this type of system.

Chain Drive

The chain drive system is likely what you think of when you think “residential garage door opener.” A motor and metal chain pulls, or pushes, the system of slats connected to the rails on either side of the door. Chain drives are generally quite loud, though advancements in motors have improved this characteristic, because the motor needs to repeatedly “catch” the chain as it operates. Dependable and relatively cheap, a detached garage might be the most likely place to install one of these.

Belt Drive

Belt drive garage door openers are nearly identical to chain drive systems in most respects, but a belt is connected to the motor and operates the door instead. Because the material of the belt is invariably not metal, the operation is usually much quieter than a chain system or a screw drive. If you have an attached garage, especially if it shares a wall with a bedroom, a belt-drive system might be your best bet.

Direct-drive and Jackshaft

Two relative newcomers to the garage door opener market are direct drive and jackshaft openers. Direct drive systems operate by reversing the usual operation: the chain is stationary and the motor travels with the door. Because the motor is the only moving part, these systems are generally quiet and reasonable to maintain.

Jackshaft motors mount to the wall next to the door, and raise and lower it via a system of pulleys and cables. The initial cost of a jackshaft system can be quite high, but it moves the motor out of the center of your garage and opens up that space. These are most, if not all, of the common garage door openers in Virginia Beach, VA. Make sure to do further research on the types that interest you, and consult a professional before buying.

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