What is a Garage Door Opener
Nowadays, there are scores of different devices, gadgets, and tools that make our lives easier and safer. In this review, we'd like to draw the attention of car owners to a super-convenient tool - a garage door opener, a small and durable appliance that quickly and easily opens and closes a garage door. Having read our informative review, you will be able to make a reasonable choice of a garage door opening system which will be extremely convenient and reliable. Automatic garage door openers are not only useful but they also provide the maximum level of security of your car. A sectional garage door is opened and closed by a special drive that moves it along the rails inside a garage. It's only the owner who can activate the whole system, so no burglars can get into your garage.
What Features to Compare
Basically, there are several types of garage doors: swinging (also called hinged), sliding, and rollover. We would like to mention that most people prefer using sectional rollover garage doors; they are reliable, simple in installation, and rather affordable. Sectional doors are different in size and weight, so when choosing the door opener, start with analyzing the Door Drive Specifications. First of all, check the maximum door weight each appliance can lift - if your sectional door is too heavy, the drive might be useless. Next, find out the power of an electric motor each door opener has: it's measured in horsepower (HP). If your garage door has the size of 7 x 8 feet, the necessary power of the door drive should be around 1/2 HP. If your garage door is bigger - 12 x 14 feet - the electric motor of the drive has to yield the power of at least 3/4 HP. Moreover, pay attention to a drive type (belt, chain, or jackshaft) and mount type (wall or ceiling). There are several types of garage door openers used with sectional doors. Note that wall-mounted jackshaft door openers are the most popular. Attached to the door, their moving force relies on a jackshaft rotation applied by the drive. Such a system is used with big and heavy doors and, therefore, has a rather powerful motor. Another widespread mount type is the one attached to a ceiling. This one is used for smaller garage doors; the drive moves a belt or a chain, moving the door up or down. Some garage door openers have a drive that moves along a chain, making very little noise. This type of drives is mounted on a ceiling too. Of course, no matter what garage door opener you choose, you will need special rails so that a garage door can move along. Individual installation mightn't be easy, so if you are unsure of your own skills, we recommend you to invite a team of professional workers who will cope with the task within a day.
The next step you should make is check the Controls. All modern garage openers are remote-controlled, so you can simply push a button and the door will lift up or go down. The best garage openers are programmable: you can set a schedule and the door will be open at the time you need to drive out in the morning. Also, most of these appliances have a timer, which you can set to automatically close the door every time you leave the garage (usually, from 1.5 to 10 minutes). You might be wondering what will happen if you forget a remote, but most garage door openers come with a special wall console (it's installed outside the garage), so you can just enter a password and open (or close) the door. But that's not all - even if a long-term power outage occurs, you can still open or close a sectional garage door manually (though, it happens really once in a blue moon). If your vehicle is HomeLink compatible, you'll have the option to control the door remotely via a special transmitter from your car. The newest and most sophisticated garage door openers support WiFi connectivity by means of MyQ function, hence, you can control them right from your smartphone (via a special app).
Never forget about Security and Safety when it comes to your property and car is no exception here. A sectional garage door opener must provide the highest possible level of security. The best appliances use a floating code that changes after each use. This way, burglars can't grab (and then use) the code. Of course, any decent garage opener has a reliable lock that doesn't allow anyone to open it manually from outside. Also, the door opener you choose must be safe for you and members of your family. For example, most door opening systems come with a light that turns on automatically when the door is opened and shuts off when it's closed. Some door opening systems even have light sensors that turn the garage lights on/off when they detect some movements. Imagine the situation when your car engine stalls while the door is already moving down... In this case, a garage door opener with the special safety sensors is what you need. These sensors will detect the hurdle and reverse the door to its initial position.
Chamberlain Group WD1000WF
Door Drive Specifications
Chamberlain garage door opener is among the best devices of its kind. And one of its secrets of success is a state-of-the-art electric motor which delivers the power of 1.25 HP. That's why this door opener is capable of opening really big sectional doors at garages for multiple cars. And despite the impressive power, the motor is so whisper-quiet that you can barely hear it running! If the garage is on the ground floor of your house, pick Chamberlain garage door opener and you won't get disturbed by any noise at night. The maximum weight of the sectional door this opener can lift up reaches 550 pounds. However, there's a minor restriction - the height of the door must be no more than 7 feet. Yet if you wish to use this best garage door opener with a door higher than 7 feet, you will need to get one of the extension kits (8 feet or 10 feet).
The package includes a couple of remote controls, but even if you forget them for some reason, you will still be able to open and close the garage door with the help of an outdoor and indoor control panels. The wall control panel (for indoor use) has a relatively big LCD screen that shows time and temperature in the garage. As we've already mentioned, Chamberlain garage door opener is HomeLink compatible and if your car does support this technology, you can control the door right from your car. No need to use a remote! Also, this best garage door opener has a MyQ support. If your Wi-Fi network works in the garage, you can connect Chamberlain garage door opener to it and control the door via your mobile device (cell phone, tablet, etc.). You just need to download the necessary app while no additional hardware is required.
Security & Safety
Chamberlain garage door opener is protected against grabber attacks. The code is floating, which means it's changed after each use of the door opener. Thus, nobody can grab your code, open the door, and steal your car. As for safety, there's nothing to worry about - Chamberlain garage door opener comes with a couple of infrared safety sensors. These small devices detect an obstacle in the doorway and reverse the movement of the door. Therefore, if your kid accidentally drives into your garage on his tricycle, he or she will never hurt. Unlike many other garage door openers that require manual lifting and closing of the door in case of power outage, Chamberlain WD1000WF is different - it has a backup battery that powers the door opener even in the most extreme situations. No need to mention, the garage door opener has a built-in light that helps you drive in and out at night.
Genie 4042-TKH SilentMax
Door Drive Specifications
Genie SilentMax is a rather powerful garage door opener that has a motor yielding 3/4 HP. As a result, this opener can move a door measuring up to 8 x 14 feet. This opener has a belt drive with a smooth start (the delay is about 1-2 seconds before the door starts opening). The belt makes the operation of Genie SilentMax extremely quiet and nearly all owners of this garage door opener will confirm this.
This quiet garage door opener is controlled by 2 remotes that are rather compact and, therefore, take little space in your pocket or wallet. If you happen to forget a remote, the garage door can be controlled from an outdoor wireless panel. You need to input a password to open the door. No need to say, the unit has a fully functional control panel inside a garage. Due to the HomeLink compatibility, it’s possible to remotely control the garage door right from the car while approaching the garage. Though, make sure that you have a special wireless transmitter integrated into your car’s electronics. This garage door opener is also compatible with a new, smart connection option - Aladdin Connect. So, if you ever decide to control the door remotely from your smartphone, get Aladdin Connect transmitter and download the app on your phone.
Security & Safety
This garage door opener boasts Genie's proper Intellicode 2 technology which embodies a new generation of encryption. Every time you use the garage door, Intellicode 2 changes the code and, thus, prevents any unauthorized access. Thanks to Intellicode 2, piracy of the radio signal won't be possible and, therefore, your car will be safe even if you leave for a 2-week beach holiday in Hawaii. Genie SilentMax garage opener includes a handy Safe-T-Beam system, which means there are invisible beams in the doorway and if an obstacle is detected, the door stops moving and goes back. Also, this garage door opener boasts GenieSense Monitoring and Diagnostic technology - it controls the force required to open and close the door, making little noise and vibrations. No need to say, Genie SilentMax has a couple of lights (100W each) that turn on when the door is activated. Don't forget that a built-in motion sensor turns on the light in case it detects some motion in your garage.
Chamberlain Belt Whisper Drive
Door Drive Specifications
Chamberlain garage door opener has rather a powerful electric motor (1/2 HP), which is capable of moving a door measuring up to 8 x 16 feet. The drive uses a belt, so the opener makes little noise that won't disturb you at all. The steel-reinforced belt is rather durable and, of course, reliable. Moreover, the manufacturer developed the unique Motor Vibration Isolation System (MVIS) - it eliminates vibration really effectively. Therefore, if there is a room above your garage - don't worry, no noise will be heard.
You can control this best garage door opener using one of 2 remotes included in a package. The range of the remote is good enough, so you can control the door opener when approaching the garage. Of course, there's a large control panel inside, so you can open the garage door without a remote. Moreover, you can set the control panel and the garage door will close automatically after you leave your garage. If you forget a remote, don't worry - Chamberlain garage door opener is also controlled from the outside panel - you need to input a key (only you know) to open the door. You can also use an Internet Gateway (though it's sold separately) and MyQ technology in order to control the door opener directly from your smartphone. It's extremely useful since you can not only open or close the door but also check on it.
Security & Safety
If you worry about the reliability of Chamberlain garage opener, leave your doubts. The tool has a Security+ technology that ensures the best protection against burglars. A new code is generated and sent every time the door is moved. Moreover, PosiLock system keeps the door locked after it's been closed, so nobody can open the door manually. Even if a power outage occurs in your neighborhood, you can open the garage door from the inside using a manual release door. Of course, this garage door opener has safety sensors that stop moving the door if there's an obstacle in the doorway. Thus, if you've got kids who may hang around the garage, this safety feature is absolutely a must. Chamberlain garage door opener is also equipped with a built-in 200W light, which shuts on and off when the door is opened or closed. Of course, light bulbs must be purchased separately.
SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001
Door Drive Specifications
SOMMER Direct Drive garage door opener has a fairly powerful electric motor (3/4 HP). It's enough to handle a garage sectional door measuring up to 7 x 16 feet. It has the only direct drive, which means the motor unit glides along a chain embedded in a rail. The moving part is connected to a sectional door. Such a design eliminates vibrations and reduces noise, so you won't hear any noise while sleeping in your bedroom (even if it's right above the garage).
This garage door opener comes with 2 remotes. Inside the garage, there's a wall-mounted control panel. The operational range of remotes isn't record-high, thus, you can use them only near the garage, which is rather inconvenient for many drivers. Also, this remote garage door opener is HomeLink compatible, hence, you can open the door using your car's electronics. However, this might be quite difficult, so feel free to contact SOMMER's excellent support service.
Security & Safety
SOMMER is a German company and we don't need to remind you of German meticulousness. Of course, SOMMER engineers have done their best and used the most cutting-edge technologies to ensure the highest possible level of security. The rolling code technology changes the access code each time after the garage door has been opened and closed. The door is locked the moment it's closed and it remains so even if a power outage occurs. Thus, no matter what happens, your car is going to be safe. Furthermore, this garage door opener has a built-in motion sensor - an invisible beam controls the doorway. Note that if the beam is interrupted (which means something appears in the doorway), the door stops sliding down and reverses to the initial position. Thus, if your toddler sneaks into the garage, he or she won't be hurt. Also, there's a built-in light that turns on when the sectional garage door is activated. Besides, the dual light turns on every time a motion is detected too.
Door Drive Specifications
LiftMaster garage opener is the only jackshaft model. This means the drive turns the wide shaft which, in its turn, opens and closes the sectional garage door. The DC electric motor yields 1/2 HP - that's enough for lifting a garage door measuring up to 12 x 14 feet and weighing up to 650 lbs. Actually, this remote-controlled garage door opener can be used not only for home garages but for industrial facilities as well. For example, LiftMaster is very often used at car wash services, service stations. etc.
From inside, this garage door opener is configured by means of a wall-mounted control panel that also shows the time and current temperature. Additionally, the unit is supplied with a 3-button remote control that operates over a wide range. Furthermore, if you need additional remotes, you can buy them separately. Unlike many other remote garage door openers, this one comes with no outdoor control panel (but it's available optionally). The reason is simple: this appliance is unnecessary for industrial use. If you want to control your garage door from any part of the world, just use MyQ Home Control option. The only requirement is a round-the-clock Internet access.
Security & Safety
LiftMaster provides top security thanks to the Security+ 2.0 rolling code technology. To be more precise, each time you use the garage door a new code is generated (100 billion codes are available), so even if a burgling radar reads the code, it will be absolutely useless. There's also a bolt-like lock that prevents the door from being opened manually from outside. No need to say, this superb garage door opener has an emergency release handle, so you can open the door even if there's no electricity in your house (power failures do occur sometimes). LiftMaster 8500 has a 200W light that turns on when the garage door is moving. Moreover, a motion sensor turns the light on automatically every time it detects any movements. Unlike ceiling-mounted garage door openers, LiftMaster allows you to choose the place on a ceiling to install the light. That's a major advantage because you can pick the most convenient place (near a door leading to a house, for example). Finally, the garage opener prevents any accidents in case an obstacle is detected in the doorway.
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