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.
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.
If you think about it, your garage door most likely experiences a lot of use-opening and closing as you come and go. Especially an older home, you may have to replace your garage door. You have a few signs that show you that you need to replace your garage door. What reasons do homeowners give for replacing an old garage door? Some of the reasons that they replace their garage door include:
Increase the value of the home
To replace a malfunctioning door
Improving the energy efficiency
Getting better security
Storing items in the garage more safely
To upgrade the style of the home
Increase the Value of the Home
To replace the garage door of the home, you will usually see an incremental increase in home value of between $8,000 to $14,000 just for upgrading to a new garage door. That should highlight the value of this undertaking. In particular, you will see the greatest return on investment when you have an outdated garage door. The garage door, when done well, improves curb appeal, which gets buyers into your home to begin with.
Replace a Malfunctioning Door
Let’s say that you have a garage door that has even begun to malfunction. It’s an older garage door. You could call out the technician to repair the door, but you could see more benefits to replace your garage door altogether. Not only that, but a malfunctioning garage door can be extremely dangerous. Every year in the United States, 20,000 to 30,000 people get injured because of it.
Improve Energy Efficiency
When you have an attached garage to the home, you can improve energy efficiency with the installment of a new garage door. Older garage doors simply don’t have the same level of energy efficiency that you would get with the newer technologies. Air conditioning or heating in a garage space will have greater effectiveness when your garage door was made to hold in the energy. Always check the R-value of the garage door to determine how well it will keep the cooling and heating in the home. A higher R-value will mean that your home has better energy efficiency. That’s a good reason to replace your garage door.
Unfortunately, older garage doors don’t have the same level of security as a new one. Newer garage doors will sometimes have smart technology on it, which can inform you if you left the garage door open or closed. In addition, they will usually include more advanced technology features for security, such as:
Remote lock out
Trolley release system
Advanced encrypted wireless technology
Storing Items in the Garage More Safely
With an older garage door, it may not be quite as safe for you to store the items in the garage. The materials could be rotting, which could lead to nature’s elements getting inside the garage. This can lead to problems where the water destroys some of your most prized possessions.
Upgrade Your Home’s Style
You can put style on your garage door so that it matches what the rest of your home looks like. In this way, too, you have made everything look fresh and new. As we said before, doing this can raise the value of your home price between $8,000 to $14,000. You may be on the lookout for a home improvement project that will enhance the style of your home. To do this, you might seek one that upgrades the home’s style and complements it. In this way, your home will look even better, and this can be what you need to bring in home buyers.
People have a lot of different reasons that they might want to replace an old garage door. As you can see, you have plenty of benefits that come with a replacement. If you’d like to learn more about getting a new garage door, please contact Garage Door Star. We do business in the greater Philadelphia area, and we would love the opportunity to prove our worth. You won’t regret it. We first opened shop in 2004, and we have happily kept our business running ever since with proud and helpful services to the community.
So which garage door opener is the best? It depends on the model, but most garage door openers last between 10 to 15 years before you need a new one. You want to get one that fits your own situation, and it fits with the garage door that you own. Let’s say that you have an older model. You may want to upgrade to a newer model if it starts to give you problems because of how it will include more safety features.
The Key Components
You mainly have two types of components that you need to consider with a garage door opener. First, you have the drive type, and second, you have the motor type. The drive type explains how the garage door travels along the glider as it opens. The guide rail acts as the rail above the center where it connects to your opener. Your guide consists of a chain, a screw or a belt that moves with the trolley for opening and closing the door.
Next, let’s look at the motor type. You have two basic motor types such as AC and DC power. DC motor types have conquered the industry as the standard. You have a couple of reasons for this. People choose DC motor types because they run quieter, are smaller and they weigh less. In the past, they designed AC motor types to use AC power, but advancements in technology and manufacturers have found a way to make stronger, better and smaller designs through the DC motor, which is why they gained popularity.
Why You May Want a DC Motor Type
You could think of AC motor types as traditional motors, and you could think of DC motor types as newer technology. With DC motor types, you get better features like a soft stop and start and lowering the wear and tear on the motor and the door. You can even choose a DC motor type that includes a battery backup option. This keeps your opener running even if you have a power surge.
The Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
This door uses a chain to open and close the door. You will find that the chain drive garage door opener works with most garage doors. Not only that, but you can get a chain drive garage door opener to last for many years if you do routine maintenance on it, and you can buy these openers for entry-level price.
The Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
You may especially like the belt drive garage door opener when the garage attaches to the house. The belt drive operates at a quieter level because of how it emits less noise and produces less sound and vibration as the door opens and closes. You would look at the belt drive opener as a higher level than the chain drive garage door opener. You can buy these garage door openers at three levels of power.
The Screw Drive Garage Door Opener
Typically, this garage door opener works best when you have a larger garage. For example, you have a garage door that measures 14 feet. You might also use it for a one-piece garage door over 8 feet. The screw drive openers have an exclusive direct drive system, and they transfer the power from the motor without a need to use a gear reduction system. This becomes your only choice for bigger garages.
How to Get Your Garage Door Size and Weight
To learn the size and what of your garage door, you will need to contact Garage Door Star. This company can help you to learn the size and the weight of your garage door. You will also need to look at the rail sizes because of how a larger rail size will usually equate to greater power.
How to Get a Quieter Garage Door Opener
If you want a garage door that opens and closes more quietly, you should choose the belt drive garage door opener. Because of the steel enforced rubber belt, they open and close more quietly than some of the other choices. You get exceptionally smooth operation of the garage door compared to other choices.
Look at the Horsepower Rating
You can determine the horsepower rating of your garage door opener by looking at the HP rating. The rating ranges anywhere from 1/2 to 1 1/2 horsepower with the residential models. Commercial models tend to have more power because they need it for the weight of the garage door and the size. The advantage of having a garage door with higher horsepower is that you have a model that will get less wear and tear on it.
You have many components with garage door openers like remotes, an owner’s manual, a security light and a rail segment that guides the garage door. Choosing a garage door opener takes time, but if you’d like to learn more, you may want to speak to Garage Door Star. Operating out of Philadelphia, we have the knowledge and expertise to help. We can help you to learn what you need in your next garage door opener. You have a few signs that you need a new opener such as loud noise, failure to open, sluggish movement, old technology and a lack of dependability. Any one of these signs could indicate that you need to buy a new opener.