Choosing the Best Garage Door Opener for Your Garage

Finding a garage door opener to match your garage shouldn't be confusing, especially if you are looking to replace an old garage door opener that no longer works. Garage door opener shopping, however, is different from merely selecting a garage door for your home. Purchasing a new garage door opener can be a lot like purchasing a new piece of heavy, albeit smaller, machinery for your garage, and there is a need to be very meticulous with your purchase if your goal is to own an opener that will last you for a long time.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Garage Door Opener

When purchasing a new garage door opener, you will encounter certain terms that may be foreign to you, especially if buying garage door openers isn't something you do at a regular basis. Knowing what these terms are will actually help you make a better decision, so before you talk to a salesman, familiarize yourself with these standard features.

Lifting Capacity (in Kilos or Pounds)

The lifting capacity of garage doors can come in kilos or in pounds. Ideally, your garage door should be able to lift the weight of your garage door, and then some. Over time, a garage door can get heavier depending on how it reacts to changes in the weather. As a benchmark, go for garage doors with a lifting capacity of 300 pounds to 550 pounds.


A garage door opener relies on its motor to do most of the heavy lifting, so it is important to choose a garage door opener that is equipped with the ideal, powerful motor. The most common motors today come in 1/2 horsepower-motor and 3/4. Garage doors made of standard aluminum materials can be easily lifted by 1/2-horsepower motors, while heavier garage doors will need the pulling power of a 3/4-horsepower motor.

Lift System

Garage door openers come in three types: those that are equipped with a chain, a belt, and a combination of both, or direct drive. The lift system refers to the contraption in place that is responsible for lifting (as well as closing) your garage door.

If you seek a heavy duty garage door lifting system, a belt-drive garage door may be your best bet; however, these can be quite expensive, and are difficult to install if you do not possess the right installation tools. In most cases, an expert is needed if you need to maintain or install a new belt.

For homeowners on a budget, look for a chain-drive garage door, instead. Lightweight and easy to install, chain-drives are also affordable, but they can get noisy when poorly-maintained.

Alternatively, if you seek a garage door opener that is both affordable and sturdy, some types of direct-drive openers may be ideal for your home and budget.

Door Height (in feet or meters)

A standard garage door opener can best lift (and close) garage doors that are 7-feet in height. Any taller, and a garage door opener might have trouble lifting your garage door correctly. Although garage door openers can work with just about any garage door, especially custom-made ones, they do function best when used with standard doors.

Home Automation Features

Some garage door openers come with additional features that many might find too complicated. For example, many garage door openers today may be activated over the internet rather than solely rely on commands transmitted by a garage door opener remote.

If you chance upon a new garage door opener model, try to find out if it has any wireless opening feature, as well as other home automation features.

Opening and Closing Timer

Some garage doors come with a timer feature to make it easier for homeowners to enter and exit their garages without having to open or close their garage door every time. The garage door timer can keep the garage door open for a few minutes, and close automatically when the timer runs out. This can be a convenient feature for those who often face the early morning rush.

Knowing what these features are should help you make your next garage door opener purchase stress-free. Ask about these features when looking for a new garage door opener to complete your garage.