Guide to Automatic Garage Door Openers

You’ve secured your vehicles and other belongings in a closed garage. Now, it’s time to make sure they are really safe and secured, while keeping your way in and out convenient. One way to do that is to invest in a quality, automatic garage door opener that will offer you convenience in closing and opening the garage (no more “reach up and pull!”) and security that all your belongings will remain intact.

Factors to consider in choosing an automatic garage door opener

Opener design

Garage door openers have the power to lift heavy doors, and they don’t work the same way. Most garage door openers run on either chain-, belt- or screw-drive lift system.

Chain drive units are the most common type of garage opener, and also the least expensive. They make use of metal chains to open and close the garage. Because of this, it needs maintenance from time to time, like oiling (as these mechanisms may not run smooth after some time) and tightening (as the chains stretches over time). It’s also a fairly noisy garage door opener, perfect for families who don’t mind the noise of their garage door opening.

Belt drive garage openers have few moving parts and use flexible rubberized belts to raise and lower the door. These are some of the most expensive and quietest garage door openers. These are also most suited for garage doors directly adjacent to the house.

Screw drive systems are heavy-duty garage door openers that lift your door using a threaded steel rod. These also have the fewest mechanical parts, making it very low-maintenance. It uses plastic-lined tracks to reduce noise. They are suitable for most garage doors, but it’s best to use with heavy double doors.

Safety features

Garage doors are most probably the largest and heaviest moving object in your home. Many are heavy enough to cause serious injuries, so it’s important to make sure the garage door opener you choose have enough safety features. Federal law has required that all garage door openers must include sensors that detect anyone, such as a running child or a pet, to prevent the door from striking anyone who may be blocking the door. Good garage doors must also have an automatic reverse feature, which can stop the door from moving in case there are any obstructions on its way. Since you’re looking for an automatic garage door opener, this features are a must, otherwise it can cause accidents.

If security is your priority, go for auto door openers that feature a rolling code. A rolling code mixes the code your remote sends to the opener every time you use it to help prevent criminal activity. This can also keep your neighbor’s remote control from accidentally opening your garage door. If you have a bigger budget, you may even choose an opener with a fingerprint keypad.

Noise

If you are sensitive to noise, and if your living space is directly above or next to your garage, a quieter garage opener is your best choice. A chain-drive unit is a budget-choice, but it tends to be loud when it operates. You may steer clear from this type of garage door opener if noise is a concern.

Access

Think about how you want the door to open. Do you want a keypad or touch pad for the door to open, or would you rather choose something that uses a remote control? Do you want something that offers automatic closing and opening via timer, or do you want to go for an opener that is compatible with Wi-Fi so you can control your garage door opener with your smart devices?

If you’re going for a remote-controlled opener, make sure it’s reliable. If you happen to live in a place where a lot of your neighbor’s garages make use of remote-controlled openers, their signals may interfere with your opener. It would be helpful to choose a dual-frequency garage door opener that automatically switches between two frequencies to reduce interference.

Motor size and power

The heart of the garage door opener is the motor. For longer life, the garage door opener must be at least a ½-horsepower unit. The larger the motor, the longer it will last. A garage door opener with higher horsepower (such as ¾, 1 or 1 ¼ HP) will work with less strain, making it a better choice for heavier and larger garage doors. Units with higher horsepower are also advisable for a home with multiple vehicles and multiple drivers, so it will work with smoother operation and longer life, even if the garage door is opened and closed multiple times a day.

Best automatic garage door openers

Here are some of the best automatic garage door openers available from Amazon:

1. Chamberlain WD832KEV Garage Door Opener

If you’re looking for a smooth, quiet garage door opener with plenty of goodies, the Chamberlain WD832KEV is a great choice. Chamberlain has been a trusted brand in the field of garage door openers, and you will be seeing a handful of their products in this list. This model has a lot of useful features a garage door opener must have. It uses a0.5 HP steel-reinforced belt drive, making it a quiet door opener. Besides that, it’s also equipped with the exclusive Motor Vibration Isolation System which eliminates vibration and reduces noise. This unit is a MyQ-enabled technology, meaning you can set it up and control using a MyQ gateway from your smartphone, computer or tablet. You can also set its timer to close the door after one, five or 10 minutes, in case you left the garage door up. It also has safety sensors, and lights automatically when motion is detected.

2. Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

One of the best wall-mounted garage door openers, the Liftmaster 8500 performs very well in offering strong security. This unit provides an auto-force feature to monitor the whole garage door system. It lets you set security codes electronically via the MyQ control panel. This door opener even has advanced sensors that stop the door closing on any obstruction when it’s going down, and has motion-activated light switches that automatically turns on when you enter the garage. It operates with a powerful 24-volt DC motor that can be operated at different speeds. However, Liftmaster garage door openers usually come with a greater price, but you will be assured of its longevity and performance.

3. Decko 24300 Heavy Duty Garage Door Opener

Decko may not be as well-known as Chamberlain or Liftmaster, but this unit can give you the best bang for your buck. The Decko 24300 is a chain-drive garage door opener running on ¾ HP, making it suitable for doors up to about 500 lbs. and 7 ft. in height. It is easy to install with its non-polarized wiring, making installation less prone to error. Besides the rail assembly, it comes with accessories such as two 3-button remotes, a wireless external keypad for keyless entry, and a wall panel. It also has the optical safety sensors needed to prevent injuries or accidents by the closing of the door. The door can also automatically reverse if it senses resistance.

4. Chamberlain WD962KEV Garage Door Opener

The Chamberlain WD962KEV is one of the best high-end garage door openers out there. Featuring an ultra-quiet belt drive, it will be operating smoothly without disruption to adjacent rooms. It operates on a powerful ¾ HP DC system. It’s also got a battery back-up function so the garage door opener can still work during power outage for up to 20 open and close cycles. This unit also supports MyQ smartphone control technology, so you can control the door using an app. You can even receive safety notifications if you’re away from home and the garage door opens or closes. It can also automatically close for a set period of time after opening. For the safety part, this unit has Protector System safety sensors as part of a security structure.

5. Chamberlain WD1000WF Garage Door Opener

For heavy duty and oversized garage doors, Chamberlain WD1000WF is the best garage opener for the job. This is a steel reinforced belt drive with 1 ¼ HP, meaning this garage door opener can quickly and quietly open big garage doors with ease. The best feature of this unit is the built-in Wi-Fi that can connect to the network from your house. It can also be operated using the MyQ app, making it a reliable wireless garage door opener. It also has the battery backup function so your door can still open automatically even in a power outage. Plus, it also features an LCD wall control, to let you view the time, temperature, diagnostics and other additional functions. You can even turn on opener lights with the remote or thru motion-activated lighting, to light your garage automatically.

6. NEXX Garage NXG-100 Nxg Remote Compatible Door Openers

Another great choice for a smart garage door opener, the NEXX Garage NXG-100 Nxg is for people who do not like needing a separate remote for opening the garage. With this door opener, you simply need to use your smartphone to operate the opener via the Nexx mobile app. You can also hook it up to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device so you only need to use voice commands to open and close the garage. What a neat choice for tech-savvy, smart home owners, right? Because of this features, you can monitor and control your garage door even if you’re away. It’s also easy to install the device – no need to hire a pro or whomsoever.

7. Sommer 1052V000 Garage Door Opener

Sommer 1052V000 is unlike the conventional garage openers. It’s one of the uncommon direct drive garage door openers that has lesser moving parts as opposed to chain-, belt- and screw-drive door openers. It produces virtually no vibrations, making it ideal for houses wherein living spaces are adjacent to the garage. It has two transmitters and an interior wall station, compatible with Home Link and has secure rolling code technology. This unit is powered by a 1 HP motor that can handle heavy or oversized garage doors up to 7 foot tall.

8. Liftmaster 8587 Elite Series Garage Door Opener

The Liftmaster 8587 is one of the best garage door openers from Liftmaster’s Elite series. This chain drive unit with 0.75 HP motor has a special rail system and reinforced chassis for support. If you are concerned about the noise, this unit is integrated with the Motor Vibration Isolation System to ensure smooth and quiet operation. For extra security, it also sends a new code to you every time so the access will only be provided to you. It is also equipped with the PosiLock system that keeps the door locked when closed. This door opener is also controllable via your smartphone devices because of the MyQ technology integration. There is also a timer-to-close option, so you can set the door to automatically close after a certain time it has been open, and the Alert-2-Close warning system that gives visual and audible signs that the garage door is about to close.

9. Chamberlain PD512 Garage Door Opener

Another reliable garage door opener from Chamberlain, the PD512 is a great option for those on a budget. It’s an industrial-strength chain drive garage door opener with a powerful 1/2 HP motor. It has safety sensors that prevent the garage door from closing on anyone or anything. It also features a rolling 2.0 code technology for added security and protection. It comes with a pre-programmed, one-button remote for operation that can be used even over a long range.

10. Chamberlain PD762EV Garage Door Opener

Chamberlain PD762EV is a solid and durable chain-drive unit that can be operated with MyQ smartphone control technology. It even comes with a motion-sensing wall control panel. Another great feature of this machine is its compatibility with HomeLink, which is one of the most trusted wireless control systems out there. With HomeLink, you can operate the closing and opening of the garage door, and control the lighting, security system and other functionalities. When it comes to motor, the unit is powered by a 0.75 HP AC motor that handles normal garage doors with ease.

11. Genie Chainmax 1000 Garage Door Opener

A tough, reliable and refined garage door opener, Genie Chainmax 1000 operates with ¾ HP, making it capable of lifting heavy doors. Though it’s a chain drive opener, it is relatively quiet and works quicker than most equivalent types because of its sophisticated rail and inner systems. It has its own self-diagnostic Safe-T Beam system that aids in preventing accidents through an invisible infrared beam, opting the door to reverse if the beam crosses an object or a person. Its 140-volt DC motor works with a soft start and stop control for smoother door movements, while giving it an opening speed of up to 7.5 inches per second.

12. Craftsman 53930 Garage Door Opener

Craftsman 53930 is a chain drive garage door opener from Sears. It uses a ½ HP motor that can open single or double car garage doors. It offers the Security+® rolling code remotes, infrared safety reversing sensors and the PosiLock system that ensures the garage door stays locked when closed. It offers two 3-button remote controls and a standard control panel with LED light for visibility at night. This unit is also compatible with HomeLink for better control and monitoring.