How to Choose a Garage Door Opener

It probably wasn’t until you pulled up to your house in the middle of a storm when you realized you need a garage door opener. Rather than getting soaked in the pouring rain and struggling to open your garage, you could’ve clicked a button from the comfort of your car.

Ultimately, Choosing a garage door opener truly depends on your needs. Why do you need a garage door opener? For convenience? For safety? That’s the easy part. There are so many options available, so narrowing it down to one is the hard part.

We came up with the simplest options to consider when choosing a garage door opener:

Choose a Drive

Chain Drive

Chain drive garage door openers are the cheapest, but they are also the noisiest. However, they are the most popular opener for a reason: they are strong and inexpensive. These drives use a metal chain on a sprocket to lift and lower doors.

If you have a heavy garage door, like oversized doors or heavily insulated doors, this could be an ideal option for you. As long as your bedroom isn’t next to the garage or above it, the noise shouldn’t be a huge issue. Some newer models come with a chain separator to prevent the chain from hitting the track and cut down the noise. Ask your contractor if he offers this solution.

Belt Drive

A belt drive is similar to a chain drive except it uses a rubber belt instead of a chain, thus reducing noise. If there are living areas near the garage, this provides a quitter, smoother option than the chain drive. Belt drive openers don’t have as many moving parts which means less maintenance. This is a good alternative to the chain drive if noise is an issue.

Screw Drive

Screw drive openers use a long metal rod threaded like a screw to lift and close garage doors. In terms of noise, this option is somewhere in the middle. It’s more quiet than a chain drive but more noisy than a belt drive. Some newer screw drive openers offer fast speeds and can open at 10” to 12” per second – as opposed to the standard 6” to 8” per second.

If you have a lightweight garage door, like a single-car garage doors or steel doors, this would be a good option for you. If the screw drive has to do a lot of heavy lifting, it can wear out pretty easily. Even though it doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, the threaded metal rod meshes against a drive section with plastic teeth to catch the threading. If you decide to go with a screw drive, make sure you are giving it proper lubrication every few months.

Direct Drive

Direct drives aren’t as common, but they are quickly gaining popularity – and for good reason. The motor itself works as the trolley and travels along the track, raising or lowering the door. This means there is only one moving part, making the noise level as quiet as it can be and also lowering maintenance requirements. They are a little pricier than the other garage doors, but they usually come with a great warranty.

Other Features


Consider how often you use your garage door. Do you usually leave it open or do you use it regularly? You should be using it regularly for safety reasons. If you don’t use your garage door very often, a chine drive or a screw drive could be the best option for you. If you use your garage door regularly and don’t have any rooms near the garage, try a screw drive opener. If there are rooms close to the garage, choose a quitter opener like a belt drive or a direct drive.


Look for horsepower (HP) ratings to compare the lifting power between garage door opener models. For residential garage doors, ratings should be between 1/2-horsepower to 1-1/2 horsepower. A higher horse power model won’t have to work as hard and is an ideal option if you have a heavy door.

Safety and Security

Some garage doors include safety features with sensors. For example, if a garage door is closing and a child runs under the door, it will either stop automatically or reverse. Some have built-in overhead lights that turn on when the remote is clicked, so you never have to get out of your car in a dark garage.

Remotes or Keypads

Choose between a remote you can keep with you in your car or a keypad where you can manually enter a code to open your garage door. Remotes are most popular because they are safer and more convenient.


Some openers have built-in wifi or smart technology. You can access you garage door directly from your phone. For example, if you left your garage door open, you can close it from wherever you are.

Garage Door Repair Service in San Antonio, Texas

If you are searching for a garage door opener that is right for you, contact Premium Overhead Door at (210) 685-6427 for a free estimate. We offer a wide variety of garage door openers and brands, and we only sell the highest quality doors and openers.