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How to choose the right electric garage door opener?

Which door opener is the right one for your home? The answer to that question will vary for each home and the best way to find out is by answering a few basic questions:

Should I buy ½ hp or ¾ hp motor?

The size and weight of the door will determine how powerful the opener needs to be. While a single door really only requires a 1/3 h.p. motor, few companies even stock them anymore. A ½ h.p. opener will handle almost any double door, but if you have a high end heavier double garage door a ¾ h.p. opener might be better for you. You will also need to know how tall your door is. 7’ and 8’ heights are both common, while some custom doors can be much taller.

Chain, Belt or screw drive?

Chain drive openers
 

Chain drive openers are the least expensive and most commonly purchased models. The main benefits to a belt drive model is that it will be quieter and will likely have a longer warranty. Screw drive models often do not perform well in cold temperatures, so most door companies don’t stock them in Canada. If you want to free up ceiling space, side mount openers are also available that mount on the wall beside the door. They are more expensive but are very quiet and can often be installed in situations where normal opener installation is impossible.

 

AC or DC motor?

While AC (alternating current) motors have been the standard for many years, in the past 10 years most manufacturers have gone to DC (direct current) motors in their higher-end models. The main reason for this is that DC motors are much, much quieter than AC motors. Since most of the noise produced by door openers comes from the motor, going to a DC motor will make the biggest difference in how quiet your opener will be. Going to a belt drive instead of a chain drive will make a little difference, but the big payoff in quietness comes in going to a DC motor. So if the small price difference isn’t a concern, DC motors are the way to go.

Should I buy from a Professional Door Dealer or a Home Improvement Store?

The answer to this question usually lies in who will be installing it. If you have the skills and are willing to put in the time (about 3 hours for most people), you can usually save yourself around $100 to $150.00. If you will be paying the store or someone else to install it anyway, you’re usually way better off to purchase it through a professional door company with installation included. You will end up at a similar price but the professional grade models they carry are better quality and tend to be less problem prone. One of the major differences is that the 10’ to 12’ long rail is broken down into short pieces that need to be assembled together in the retail store models so it can fit into a small box you can bring home in your car. Professional grade models have a much more solid 1 piece rail system with no joints for the slide mechanism to catch on if the rail joints go out of alignment.

What features are available that I might like?

Here’s a short list the features available on different openers. If a feature is important to you look for a model that has it.

AC motor (cheaper) – DC motor (much quieter)
Chain drive (cheaper) – Belt Drive (a little quieter)
Battery back-up – keeps door operational during power outages so you don’t have to manually lift the door
Wifi – allows you to download an app to your smartphone or tablet to control your door from anywhere in the world you have wifi
Motion sensing wall control – turns the lights on when it senses motion, so you never have to enter a dark garage
Timer to Close – automatically closes the door if you forget after the time delay you select.
Warranty – can vary from 4 years to lifetime on the motor and from 1 to 5 years on other parts

We hope this article has helped you better understand what you would like. If not, don’t worry! Your local professional door company would be happy to help you figure out which model is best for you.

If you are in Calgary, Canada, you can see all the garage opener models we carry (and installed pricing) here.

  • Residential Garage Doors
  • Door openers
  • services offered

About Us

As a family owned and run business for over 20 years, we have always strived to meet and exceed customer expectations and our online reviews prove it. We love happy customers! Our staff is experienced, professional, polite and work quickly. Above all, we commit to honesty in our dealings with every customer. Our evaluation of your needs will be based on what is best for you – not us. No “running the bill” with unnecessary items.

"YOUR TIME IS OUR PRIORITY"
We know your time is valuable so we will schedule your appointment to within a ½ hour so there is no need to wait around for hours.

Featured Video

“From affordable garage doors to luxury high end custom garage doors, whatever your budget we can help!”

Client testimonials

Maintenance tips

Helpful Tips For Maintaining Your Garage Door And Opener

Garage

We recommend performing the following inspections every 6 months: Check lift cables and rollers for visible signs of wear (cable fraying, roller bearings loose or sloppy). Never attempt to adjust or replace the springs, cables or bottom roller brackets yourself as all of these components are under extreme tension and serious injury can result. Call us if you notice any problems with these items.

Read More

Electric Opener

We recommend performing the following inspections every 3 months for safety reasons. Electric openers are capable of producing significant force when opening or closing your door and if not properly adjusted can cause serious injury or death from being hit or trapped by the moving door.roller bearings loose or sloppy). Never attempt to adjust or replace the springs, cables or bottom roller brackets

Read More
Our respected manufacturers include:

Things to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

A garage door often makes up one of the largest areas of the front of today’s home, so it can have a very significant impact on curb appeal. This fact combined with the relatively low cost are some of the reasons garage door replacement usually ranks in the #1 or #2 position of highest return on investment of any home improvement you can make. Here are a few simple things you should consider before buying a garage door.

A great quality garage door doesn’t have to cost a lot
The difference between a cheap entry level quality garage door and a good quality door is often as little as $50.00 but the quality difference can be massive. Be sure to ask for pricing on a few different quality levels – you may be surprised at how much difference a few extra dollars can make.

Decide what look you want your new door to have
Less than 10 years ago, all garage doors looked pretty much the same. In the past decade, the industry has become very innovative and there is now a huge variety of door styles to choose from. There are 3 basic categories the various door styles fall into: Traditional style, Contemporary Style, and Carriage Style. The style of your home will usually dictate what door style best compliments your home. There are so many door styles available now that it can become quite overwhelming when trying to choose which door is the best for you. For this reason, it is highly recommended to work with a qualified, experienced door company. They should be able to look at your house and based on experience, and their knowledge of what is available, very quickly suggest 2 or 3 door styles that will best suit your home.

What material should my door be made from?
Insulated steel doors make up over 90% of the garage door market in Canada. For most people they really do offer the best combination of quality, price, durability and low maintenance. Some steel doors are even available in simulated stained finishes to emulate the look of a stained wooden door without the extra maintenance wood doors require. However, nothing is as beautiful as a real wood door, so if for you the additional maintenance is worth it for the enhanced beauty and curb appeal, a real wood door might be for you. Real wood doors are more expensive, but many owners of estate homes wouldn’t consider anything other than a real wood door with real wood charm. There are also garage doors made from composite materials which look more like real wood than steel doors, but they are much more expensive (even than real wood). They promise lower maintenance but there still is additional required maintenance. Garage doors made from composite materials do look more like real wood, but again, nothing looks as good as the real thing.

Have it professionally installed
While you might be interested in saving a little bit of money by installing your new garage door on your own, this can be a hassle that may result in damage to your new garage door. Chances are you’ll be purchasing your door through a reputable garage door dealer who will also install it at a very reasonable price. This is one of those things that really is not worth attempting yourself.

Research which garage door company would be best for you
Before you purchase your new garage door, you need to research and find which local garage door company is going to be the best fit for you. Having a company that will help you choose and install the right garage door is going to make all of the difference. A quick google search and you should see plenty of customer reviews. Even great companies are likely to have a few customers who were less than fully satisfied, but if you see lots of negative reviews there is likely a reason, so pay attention.

These are just a few of the many things that you should know before buying a garage door. With this knowledge, you will be able to make a better decision about which garage door is right for you, and which company you can trust to install and service it properly.

  • Residential Garage Doors
  • Door openers
  • services offered

About Us

As a family owned and run business for over 20 years, we have always strived to meet and exceed customer expectations and our online reviews prove it. We love happy customers! Our staff is experienced, professional, polite and work quickly. Above all, we commit to honesty in our dealings with every customer. Our evaluation of your needs will be based on what is best for you – not us. No “running the bill” with unnecessary items.

"YOUR TIME IS OUR PRIORITY"
We know your time is valuable so we will schedule your appointment to within a ½ hour so there is no need to wait around for hours.

Featured Video

“From affordable garage doors to luxury high end custom garage doors, whatever your budget we can help!”

Client testimonials

Maintenance tips

Helpful Tips For Maintaining Your Garage Door And Opener

Garage

We recommend performing the following inspections every 6 months: Check lift cables and rollers for visible signs of wear (cable fraying, roller bearings loose or sloppy). Never attempt to adjust or replace the springs, cables or bottom roller brackets yourself as all of these components are under extreme tension and serious injury can result. Call us if you notice any problems with these items.

Read More

Electric Opener

We recommend performing the following inspections every 3 months for safety reasons. Electric openers are capable of producing significant force when opening or closing your door and if not properly adjusted can cause serious injury or death from being hit or trapped by the moving door.roller bearings loose or sloppy). Never attempt to adjust or replace the springs, cables or bottom roller brackets

Read More
Our respected manufacturers include: