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A Homeowner’s Guide to the Different Types of Garage Door Openers




Are you looking for a new garage door opener?

You might not give it much thought but your garage door is a powerful tool in keeping your car and your home safe. And when it’s time to replace the opener, you need to make the right choice for your door’s needs. With so many options on the market though, it can be tough working out which one to choose.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Keep reading for our guide on the different types of garage door openers on the market.

The Four Types of Garage Door Openers

First, let’s take a look at the different garage door openers you’ll see available. You’ll see that they each function differently and suit different situations.


Of the 4 types, chain-drive openers are the most inexpensive and common. Chain-drive openers connect to the motor using a chain, much like one found on a bicycle. A sprocket fixed onto the motor shaft propels it. While they’re simple and reliable, they can be noisy.

This likely won’t be a problem if your garage isn’t attached to your home. If it’s fixed to the side or beneath you, it might be better to consider a quiet garage door opener instead.


Belt-drive openers don’t use a chain, the motor drives the carriage with a toothed belt instead. The belt itself makes these openers quieter in general.

Most use DC-powered motors rather than AC, like chain-drive openers. Compared to AC motors, DC ones are smaller and quieter, often with a battery backup if the power goes down.


The motor for these openers uses a threaded shaft, drawing the carriage along the shaft as it’s turning. These are another quieter option to chain-drive openers and don’t need much maintenance. You only need to make sure you’re lubricating the screw shaft now and then.


These openers turn the way the other three work on its head. The chain on direct driver openers remains tensioned and stationary.

Instead, the motor moves along it, pushing or pulling the carriage this way. The motor is the only moving part, making this opener reliable and quieter.

Features to Consider

Nowadays, most modern garage door openers come with a multitude of extra features. Here are some things to consider.


On average, you can expect a garage door opener to last between 10-15 years. All openers must have an automatic reverse function if the door meets an obstruction.

They must have a light bean and sensor at the base of the door too. If there is an interruption of this beam, it won’t allow the door to close. See more on how long do garage door openers last.


Before, limited code combinations were the only option. This meant you and your neighbor could well end up having the same code.

Now, the best garage door opener will have rolling-code security technology. Every time you use your remote, it’ll create a new code from almost limitless possibilities.

Smart Technology

The desire for a smart garage door opener continues to grow as smart homes become more popular. Most openers made in the last 25 years can integrate into your smart home with a smart hub.

If you have a smart home already operating, your choices are a little limited though. Each hub differs in which smark home systems they can work with, so do your checks first.

Different Types of Garage Door Openers Explained

So, there you have it! Now you know the different types of garage door openers, you’re set to make the right choice for you.

The main consideration is the noise and maintenance requirements. You also need to consider your budget and what you’re willing to spend.

Chain-drive openers are cheaper, but they need oiling and can be very noisy. If you’re willing to pay a little more, there are quieter options on the market. It all depends on where your garage sits and what features you’re after.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other blog posts for more!

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