The useful life of a garage door opener is typically around ten to fifteen years. There are various factors which determine how long a device of this type will last for. The list includes not only the make, but also the frequency of use and even the climate of the local area. In general, a homeowner decides when it is time for replacement. Usually, the system is replaced if it is greatly damaged, if the components are extensively worn or if they are outdated. When it comes to getting a new one, it pays off to consider all of your options. Find out what these garage door experts have to say about how the main ones compare.
Overview of the Options
The chain drive opener is a true classic. It is the oldest and most widely used of all three types. It uses a chain very similar to that of a bicycle. The chain is connected to the motor via a sprocket, shaft and moving gear. It runs a trolley along the rail. The trolley is attached to the door via a moving arm. When the chain drives the trolley along the rail, the door is lifted or lowered respectively.
The belt drive system works in exactly the same way. The only difference is that there is a belt instead of a chain. It is usually made from steel-reinforced rubber or polyurethane, but it can also be made from fiberglass or another type of material which is flexible yet strong. The screw drive electric operator has a metal rod set inside the rail. It is rotated around its axis in different directions to enable opening and closing with the use of the trolley.
Performance, Care and Cost
The chain drive systems offer reliable performance above all. The chain is very strong and durable. It can last for many years to come. The main downside is that due to the friction occurring when the chain moves, the operation of the device is quite noisy. In order to reduce both the friction and the noise, you will need to take care of the lubrication maintenance on a regular basis.
With a belt drive system, on the other hand, noise production will be reduced to the possible minimum. In fact, this is the quietest of all options. Since the belt is not made from metal, lubrication is not required. At the same time, these door operators tend to be the most expensive, all other things being equal.
The screw drive systems fall in between the other two in terms of operation, care and pricing. They perform reliably and have some of the fastest opening speeds. However, these openers have been known to have difficulties running in areas where there are huge temperature drops in the winter. Since they have fewer moving parts, they are easier to maintain, but the metal rod still requires lubrication on a regular basis.
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