Garage doors open and close using two types of garage door openers: chain drive and belt drive openers. In truth, you see this type of mechanism used in a variety of machines, such as motorcycles, bikes and cars.

Chain drives have more widespread application than belt drives and each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We will look at each to help you decide which one to install with your garage door.

Durability: Which One Wins?

Belt drives don’t last as long as chain drives, but they still do a fair job at lasting. Chain drives have the advantage because they’re made of metal. You can repair and depend on chain drives better than you can with belt drive openers.

In most cases, a chain drive opener will have two gears. Belt drive openers don’t operate as effectively in wet environments. Like with chain drives, belt drives can last for years, but you should replace them when you notice that they have become cracked or frayed.

Unlike chain drives, belt drive openers don’t rust, but the chain drive still wins in the durability department because it lasts longer and can handle more stress.

Noise Factor: Chain Drive vs. Belt Drive Opener

Chain drives put out a lot more noise than belt drives. Many homeowners choose the belt drive opener because it operates more quietly and smoothly. The only noise heard from a belt drive opener comes from its engine. You don’t get the noise, vibration or harshness with a belt drive.

Most of the noise from a chain drive comes from the chain engaging the sprocket. With a metal chain and a metal sprocket, the chain drive opener emits more noise as it begins its motion.

Efficiency: Who Wins?

You get much greater power from a chain drive opener. With chain drives, the transmission efficiency puts out 98 percent. With a V-belt, you get a transmission efficiency at between 95 to 98 percent at peak. As they begin to wear out, the efficiency drops to 93 percent.

Why does this matter with a garage door? Efficiency means that the garage door opens faster. Because we live in a fast-paced world, most people don’t want to wait too long for a garage door to open. You receive better performance with chain drive openers while they don’t cost as much as belt drives.

Replacement: Which One is Easier?

For the most part, you won’t have a problem with either one with replacement. The cost to replace belt drive opener will average anywhere from $170 to $350 with professional installment like the ones at Garage Door Star in Cherry Hill, NJ. Because it has the potential to cause serious injury or death, you shouldn’t work on the garage door yourself.

Still, belt drive opener will often cost a little more to replace than chain drive opener. You will pay anywhere from $150 to $300 to replace a chain drive opener.

Maintenance: Belt Drive vs Chain Drive

Belt drive opener don’t require much maintenance. Inspect the belt for frays and cracks. Dust off the dirt and debris from it and remove any buildup of foreign materials. Finally, you will check the tension on the belt. You can usually spot signs of wear and tear on a belt drive much easier than a chain drive.

Chain drive, in comparison, requires that you oil it every six months. We’d advise you to use white grease on the chain. You should check the chain for tightness because they loosen over time. To avoid injuries, a professional does this best as tightening a chain drive can take a few hours, and there’s always a risk when working on a garage door if you don’t know what you’re doing.

People have died from messing with the high-pressured spring. Hiring a professional also ensures that it gets done properly because doing this incorrectly can cause damage to the door. Belt drive opener win in the maintenance department.

Smoothness

Belt drives run far more smoothly than a chain drive. Chain drives will sometimes open and close in a jerky manner. The smoothness of the door opening and closing looks better, and it increases your safety. Imagine a child that runs underneath a jerky garage door. This increases the danger.

Because chain drives require grease to operate more smoothly, when the garage door starts to operate in a jerky fashion, this can signal that you have to grease the chain. The rollers wearing out can be another cause of a jerky garage door. If all else fails, call in a professional.

Heavier Garage Door? Here’s What You Need….

You can use a belt drive opener on a heavier garage door, but it might struggle to open the door. The stress on the belt could cause it to snap. Chain drives, on the other hand, don’t experience trouble with heavier garage doors, and using one on a bigger door increases your safety too.

Hopefully, this outlines the differences between the two types of garage door openers. Understanding the differences between the two can help you to decide which one will work best. A lot of people prefer the chain drive opener because it has more advantages.

However, for those who want a quieter garage door with a smoother operation, belt drive openers offer a superior experience. They do tend to cost more than chain drives doe maintenance and even the cost of having one installed. For a lot of people, the chain drive will be enough.

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