Best Garage Door Openers Consumer Reports

Best Garage Door Openers Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022

Are you in the market for a new garage door opener? If so, you may be wondering which model is right for you. Fortunately, Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the best garage door openers available this year. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at each of these models and discuss why they stand out from the competition. So, if you’re ready to buy a new garage door opener, keep reading!

What are garage door openers?

A garage door opener is a motorized device that attaches to your garage door and opens and closes it whenever you want. Most modern openers have a built-in keypad that allows you to enter a code, or press a button, which then prompts the door to open or close. This is a convenient way for your family members and friends to enter and exit the house without needing to use a physical key. Garage door openers also allow you to rest easy at night knowing that your garage is secure.

Most Common Types of garage door openers:

Chain-drive opener: If you choose an opener with a chain drive, make sure it has one that’s made from steel. As such, you can rest assured it won’t snap or get worn out over time. Though sometimes less powerful than belt drives, these chains provide smooth operation and last longer than other materials. This kind of door opener is the most basic and least expensive type available. It uses a metal chain to move the trolley, which operates along the track above the garage door. The advantage of this sort of system is that it’s simple and durable. However, these models are also loud during operation, so they may not be ideal for an attached garage or one near your bedroom.

Belt-drive opener: A belt-driven model doesn’t consume as much energy as a chain-driven device does but is a bit noisier. However, if you want a powerful opener for heavy garage doors, this belt-drive is worth considering as it can move them quickly and efficiently. A belt-driven garage door opener runs on a flexible belt instead of a chain. Like the chain-driven model, it travels along above the door itself to open and close it. However, because belts typically last longer than chains do (and make less noise), these types of openers are usually more expensive than chain-drive ones.

Direct-drive opener: This is the quietest type of garage door opener available because it doesn’t have any parts that move back and forth, or up and down. To open the door, a direct-drive system uses an electric motor to spin a trolley connected to the door itself. However, these devices are also more expensive than other types of openers are.

 

What should you know about garage door openers?

When you’re in the market for a garage door opener, there are a few things that you should know to help ensure that you get one based on your specific needs. First, consider the size of your garage and how much weight it will need to support. You can find this information in your garage door manual or online. Also, decide whether you want an automatic or push-button system, and if you’d like one with an emergency battery backup. These features typically increase the price, but they may provide extra peace of mind during power outages and other emergencies.

Factors to Consider before buying garage door openers:

Price: As with most products, you can find models that are very expensive and others that are more affordable. Garage door openers generally cost between $100 and $500, but it’s possible to spend as much as $1,000 on a high-end one if you’re concerned about style or features.

The price of your new opener will depend on the model and brand that you choose. While the more expensive models tend to have better overall quality, there are some affordable options that still function well. Be sure to set your budget before shopping around so you don’t spend too much money on something that doesn’t meet all of your requirements.

Durability: Durability is another important factor to consider when looking for a garage door opener because the unit will have to support your garage door during operation. You can check how much weight it can handle in the product description. If you want a model that lasts for many years without malfunctioning, choose a durable one with a strong motor and a sturdy exterior made from premium material.

Ease of installation: Some models require you to drill holes in your garage door to attach the opener, while others can be installed on any surface. Models that require drilling will usually come with hardware, so you won’t need to purchase additional pieces. These types of openers are also more likely to overpower your door if they support an excessive amount of weight, so consider the maximum capacity before making a final choice.

Ease of use: While some openers simply function as push-button devices, others include apps that let you remotely operate it with your smartphone or computer. This feature comes in handy for people who tend to forget whether they left their garage door open when they leave home (which could pose security risks). Also, make sure the model is easy for everyone in your household to operate.

Additional Features: Garage door openers come with a wide range of features and amenities. For example, some include rechargeable batteries that provide power during an outage or for activating the device when you’re carrying heavy items into your garage. Other models can be connected via Wi-Fi, so you’ll always know if your garage door is open. Some will even alert you if it’s been left open for too long or if someone opens it unexpectedly.

Some garage door openers come with various features such as automatic safety reverse and powerful lighting designed for dark garages (to help prevent accidents). Other extras include wall-mounted control panels and remotes that let users’ program in new entry codes. Good Housekeeping recommends choosing an opener that offers plenty of useful features to protect your family and your home.

Ease of Noise: Depending on where you place your new opener, the device could make a lot of noise during operation. Some openers operate smoothly and quietly, while others can be surprisingly noisy and disruptive (particularly if the door is loose). If you prefer to sleep with your garage door open or plan on installing it just outside of your bedroom, choose one that operates as quietly as possible.

Warranty: If you’d like to be completely confident that your new opener will operate properly for years without experiencing any malfunctions, choose one with a strong warranty. Typically, garage door openers come with limited warranties of between one and three years (although some higher-end models may include longer ones).

Safety Features: Before you purchase a new garage door opener, make sure it comes with safety features that let the device stop operating immediately if heavy pressure is applied to the door. This feature is especially important if there are children or pets in your household who could accidentally get trapped under the door as it closes.

Security Features: If you want to ensure that no one can access your garage except for those inside your home, look for a model with security-related features such as fingerprint scanners and PIN codes. These types of openers typically cost more than standard models, but they may be worth the investment depending on how much security you need.

Style: Garage door openers come in many different styles and designs so you can choose one that matches your home. You can find openers that attach to your door in a variety of places, such as at the top of the door itself. The type you need will depend on what’s already installed on your unit.

Ease-of-Use: For a garage door opener to be effective, it must be easy to use. That means you should choose one that you can activate by pushing a button or moving a switch. Plus, the remote control should have a long range, so users won’t have problems accessing their openers from inside their vehicles.

Wired/Wireless: While some openers are operated with wireless key fobs, others require you to hook up wiring directly from the opener to your vehicle’s ignition system. If you don’t want to bother with adding any wiring and simply want a device that can be controlled remotely, choose an opener without wires, which is also known as “wireless.”

Portable Design: Some openers come with wheels and removable parts so they can be easily moved if necessary (for example, if you rent an apartment). Before purchasing a new opener, make sure it has this portability feature as it’ll give you more flexibility when using the device.

Feature-Rich: Some garage door openers come with a wide range of features, including the ability to monitor the temperature in your garage and a large LCD screen that displays status alerts. If you want a model that has every feature imaginable, choose one that includes as many as possible.

Brands:  When it comes to garage door openers, brands are more important than you might think. For example, Genie is known for its top-notch products while Craftsman has a good reputation for producing high-quality garage door openers with many useful features.

Space-Saving:  If you live in a small home or apartment and want to save as much space as possible, choose a garage opener that has a vertical design. These types of openers typically come with remotes, too, so you can easily access them even if your device takes up all the horizontal space on the wall.

Narrow Design: If you have limited clearance around your garage door (usually because it’s positioned near other items such as trees), look for an opener with a narrow design so it won’t block everything else when closing. These devices usually include wheels that allow users to move them out of the way when needed.

Remote Controls: Many garage door openers come with remotes, but some also let users hook up their own universal or programmable remotes. If you want a model that allows you to use the same remote as before, make sure it has an IR (infrared) receiver and if possible, choose one that can be programmed for multiple openers. The latter feature is particularly useful because you can then give your opener’s remote to someone else who needs access to your house.

LED Lights: Some garage door openers include LED lights that help illuminate dark garages as the device opens and closes the door. Before choosing such a model, however, be sure it doesn’t produce too much light so other homes nearby aren’t affected by its glow.

Security: While some garage door openers have a security feature to alert owners whenever the device goes off-line or someone tampers with it, others come with a safety beam that stops the door from closing if something gets trapped in its way. To prevent serious injuries and property damage, look for a model that has one of these two security features as it’ll protect you from harm.

Energy Efficiency: Although they don’t use much electricity compared to other appliances such as your refrigerator or washing machine, garage door openers still consume energy as you activate them over and over. As such, choose an opener that’s designed to be as energy efficient as possible, so you don’t waste money on operating costs. Plus, make sure it doesn’t produce a lot of noise whenever it opens.

Width: If you have a standard double-car garage with 8- or 9-foot ceilings, all openers will work fine for you since they’re designed to accommodate a wide range of widths and heights. However, if you want a model that works well with odd dimensions (for example, 7 feet), make sure it’s compatible before buying it.

Height: If you live in a two-story house with 9- or 10-foot ceilings and need an opener that can be mounted on your garage door, choose one that has a powerful enough motor to lift not just the door but also its frame. Otherwise, you might have to purchase extensions so the track can work properly.

Material:  Garage door openers are typically made from either steel or aluminum. If you want a model that includes other add-ons such as weather stripping and plastic covers to keep out moisture, choose one with a durable material so it lasts for many years.

Timer:  If you want to time your arrival home every day, choose a garage door opener with a built-in timer. These devices can be programmed to open and close the door at specific times, which eliminates the need for owners to turn them on or off as they leave or enter their homes.

Precision: When shopping for a garage door opener, look for one that provides a smooth lift and decent speed to ensure you don’t damage your vehicle as it enters or leaves your garage. Some openers come with a slow start feature that lets users control the speed at which they move up and down so owners can back out of their garages slowly.

Radio transmitter: If   you want to be able to control your device from a long distance, select one with an RF (radio frequency) transmitter. These models let owners activate their openers from the comfort of their cars as they park in and pull out of garages and driveways.

Security:  While most garage door openers have a security feature that alerts owners whenever the device goes offline or someone tampers with it, others come pre-equipped with a safety beam to stop doors from closing if something gets trapped in their way. To prevent serious injuries and property damage, select an opener that has at least one of these two security features as it’ll protect you from harm.

Household power supply:  In case of a power outage, people can still access their garages with the use of a backup battery that comes with most openers. While these batteries have limited lifespans and need to be replaced from time to time, they provide a temporary solution for emergencies.

Wall Button: While it’s possible to control the door using a remote or smart device, you always have the option of activating it manually through a wall button. Some openers come with extra buttons so users can program them to perform different tasks. For example, owners can set one to open and close the door while another activates an automatic timer function that runs even when they’re not at home.

Key switch: This device is helpful for people who want to add more security to their openers and prevent someone from opening garage doors while they’re away. These shortcuts give owners the power to control their devices with a simple push of a button instead of using remotes or smart devices that might be easier for intruders to hack into.

Emergency release: If you want more flexibility, choose an opener that comes with a manual release feature. This additional element enables people to disengage their doors by pulling on the garage’s handle if they need to get inside quickly.

Battery or solar module:  When installing your garage door opener, make sure you have the necessary power supply to power it. Choose one that is compatible with your home’s electrical grid or opt for a solar module if you want an eco-friendly solution. Most openers are compatible with both battery and solar modules so owners can pick what works best for them.

The Pros and Cons of garage door openers:

Pros:

They make your life easier by allowing you to open and close garage doors without leaving your car.

Most devices come with safety beams that stop doors from closing if something gets trapped in between, which prevents serious injuries and property damage.

Cons:

While most units have backup batteries for emergencies, these supplies can run low on power after a while depending on how often owners use them.

If you lose the remote or smart device needed to control your opener, some openers lock down and become impossible to open unless you get new ones programmed for it.

FAQs:

How do garage door openers work?

Garage door openers work by using a motor and pulley system to lift the garage’s door. The device creates enough force to pull cords in opposite directions so they can move wheels connected to the door up and down. This process is controlled with the help of an automatic hand-held transmitter, wall button or smart device owners can use depending on which type their opener uses.

How do I maintain my garage door opener?

Regularly clean all external components of the opener so they don’t catch rust and dirt over time. Once every month, lubricate the door’s tracks and springs with mineral oil to prevent them from wearing out.

What is the best garage door opener brand?

Some of the most well-known brands include Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Craftsman and Genie so you can choose one based on your budget and preferences. If devices have battery backup or solar modules for emergencies, you can choose almost any brand without worrying about quality levels.

When should I replace my garage door opener?

If you notice that parts are rusting or getting worn out over time, then it might be time to get a new opener depending on how often you use yours. Window sensors also stop working after many years so it’s important to examine your device occasionally, to determine when it’s time for a replacement.

How many remote controls will my garage door opener support?

If they use radio frequencies to control openers, you should have no trouble getting enough remotes for your device so everyone in your household can have one.

Is my garage door opener compatible with a smartphone app?

Most openers work with smartphones and some also have Wi-Fi compatibility for even more convenience. You can check the product manual to see what your options are when installing a new device in your home.

What is the difference between a garage door opener and an automatic garage door?

An opener is a device that allows you to open and close your garage door from a remote or push button inside the house. An automatic garage door also uses an electronic control system but instead of humans, it’s controlled by sensors and mechanical parts.

Where should I install my new opener?

It’s best to install it in a dry area with easy access to the control panel if you’re using one. If you want your opener to have Wi-Fi compatibility, look for places near outlets so you can connect it easily.

What is the average lifespan for a garage door opener?

The lifespan of garage door openers can range anywhere from 10 to 20 years depending on how often people use them and if they take good care of the device.

What is the best way to replace my opener?

If you’ve never installed one before, it’s best to ask for help or call in a professional so you don’t make mistakes when installing it or damage your door in the process. You can also watch videos online that teach different installation techniques for better results.

How much does it cost to install a new garage door opener?

It depends entirely on what model you want and where you live but most openers cost between $100 and $400 depending on which features you need your device to have. The more time it takes, the more you’ll pay for installation so investigate what your device needs before scheduling an appointment.

How do I know if my garage door opener’s battery is dead?

You can tell by looking at the light on top of the wall button or remote. If it doesn’t blink when you push a button, then it might be out of juice and need to be replaced with a new one.

Is there any way to fix my broken garage door opener?

If you notice that multiple parts inside your device are broken, it’s best to get a replacement instead of trying to fix everything because some parts might still work while others don’t so, they can cause damage over time.

Are all openers designed equally?

Almost all openers have the same components, but some brands focus more on specific features to make them stand out from others in their line. For example, Genie is known for having products that are tested for strength and durability while Craftsman focuses more on style and design with multiple features that make it unique from other models.

 How much motor power of a garage door opener is available on the market?

It depends on the model you get but most openers have between 1/2 and 3 horsepower. This can be more than enough for your garage door depending on how heavy it is.

Conclusion:

With so many products available on the market today, it might be difficult for beginners to find the right model for their needs. However, after understanding how these devices can help secure homes and prevent car accidents, users should have no problem finding one that works well with various types of garages. Remember, not all openers are compatible with every type of door or wall switch so carefully read through product descriptions before buying to ensure you’re investing in something that’ll work well for your home.

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