Those bulky and clunky machines of the 1970s and 1980s are gone. Garage-door openers are whisper quiet with attractive designs today. They also come with a variety of features, which can make them difficult purchases from a consumer’s perspective. Take some time to explore the opener’s available today and how one of them can fit into your garage. These openers last for many years with the proper installation.

Location is Everything

Before you run out and purchase an opener, consider the installation area. If you have an old opener in operation, a power source should be available. A power outlet in the ceiling is a common partner with the old opener. A home that’s never had an opener before may need an outlet installed. Deal with the power issue first.

In addition, look around the proposed installation area. Is the garage right below a bedroom? If so, you want to prioritize the purchase of a quiet machine. A noisy opener will be disruptive below a bedroom.

Mechanical Design

There are four mechanical designs to evaluate during your opener research. Direct-drive openers put the motor into action as the only moving part. Quiet operation is the result of this installation.

A close competitor with the direct-drive mechanism is the screw-drive design. A long rod rotates with a threaded length to move the door up and down. This mechanism is quiet as well.

Chain-drive openers operate with a metal-chain pull. Although it’s a sturdy mechanism, it can be noisy with each activation. Belt-drive models, in contrast, employ rubber on their belts. They’re extremely quiet and strong at the same time.

Horsepower or Strength

Cars and trucks have horsepower values numbering in the hundreds. A basic opener usually varies in strength between one-half and 1.5 horsepower. For a single-car garage, a one-half horsepower is sufficient.

Think about the 1.0- or 1.5-hp units for two-car garages and heavier doors. Matching the door’s weight to the opener will prolong its lifespan. You don’t want the opener to struggle with each pull.

Pricing Consideration

Prices vary on each opener, which makes it a necessary facet to consider as you shop around. Openers with extra horsepower have a larger motor so you’ll pay extra for this feature.

Think about consulting with a professional when it comes to an accurate match of an opener with your door style. Garage-door experts can narrow down your choices to a certain group that’s adequate to lift the door’s weight. There’s no need to buy extra features when they don’t apply toward your door’s specifications.

Ease of Installation

Some people enjoy DIY projects. They’re handy around the home. In contrast, other people want a professional on the job. Take a look at the installation instructions. If they’re too confusing as a DIY project, you must account for installation labor in your costs.

Most basic openers are easy to install, however. This statement is particularly true when you have an old opener in place already. Simply swap out the main motor and adjust the mechanical features.

Safety Sensors

Sensors placed on the sides of the garage door will tell you if there’s an obstacle. These sensors have been required of opener manufacturers for many years. They continue to improve as technology advances.

Once installed, your sensors should quickly react to an object or person in the entryway. The door should slide back and remain open until the obstacle is removed.

Smart Features

Today’s openers have even more options. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are possible. With an alert sent to your phone, you’ll know when the door is being accessed. This feature is particularly helpful if you aren’t at home. Loved ones can access the home, and there are no worries about intruders.

Smart features also give you more information about the system so that you understand diagnostics. Know when the motor is drawing too much current or when there’s a power outage.

Always hold onto your receipt so that you have proof of purchase. If an issue does arise with your opener, you can work with the manufacturer on warranty coverage. Most openers stand the test of time even with multiple door pulls in a given day. Trust in your garage-door opener for reliable operation through the years.