Chances are, you don't think much about your garage door opener unless it is overly loud or giving you problems. Garage openers have become a standard convenience since their invention in the 1920's, but it wasn't until the mid-1980s that they became a staple in garages across the country. Today, garage door openers are readily available at retail hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe's, and you can even purchase them online from sites like Amazon.com and have them delivered to your doorstep.
Garage door openers have improved greatly over the past nine decades, with the best improvements made in safety and noise reduction. There was a time when the room above or next to the garage was a no-sleep zone. Garage door openers were so noisy and clunky they disrupted everything around them. The latest units, highlighted in many garage door opener reviews, are smooth operators – practically silent – and very easy to install and use.
On this site, you can find reviews of the best garage door openers available and articles about garage door openers. The best garage door openers, such as the Chamberlain Premium Whisper Drive, Chamberlain Ultra Quiet and the Liftmaster 8550 Elite Series offer solid combinations of safety and convenience features as well as powerful lifting capability and security functions.
The best garage door opener is the one you install and then never think about again. After that, it fades into the background of your life, offering years and years of hassle-free service. Here are the criteria we used to rank the best garage door openers:
We looked for garage door openers that had the power to lift the heaviest doors and found that the 1/2 hp motors are best suited for standard aluminum sectional doors used on most new construction homes and homes built from 1990 to today. The 3/4 hp motors are capable of lifting wooden doors up to 550 pounds. Each opener is capable of opening a standard seven-foot door and extension kits are available if your door is taller.
The best garage door openers are forward-looking, designed to integrate seamlessly with home automation systems and include a timer-to-close option that automatically closes the door for you. The finest garage door openers also offer a backup power source so you are never stuck with an inoperable door during a power outage.
Safety & Security
Most garage doors are heavy enough to cause serious injury and even death, so safety features on garage door openers are very important. Security features also are valuable considering the fact that the garage door not only secures vehicles and anything else stored in a garage, but also offers indirect access to your home in most layouts. We looked for things like automatic lights, reverse-opening capabilities and strong locking mechanisms on all garage door openers in our lineup.
You might not think it could get easier than pushing a big button to open a door, but some garage door openers make things even easier by offering keyless entry and multiple remotes. We examined each opener to determine what hardware and conveniences are included.
The best garage door openers are backed by a lifetime warranties on their motor and belt or chain. Having a warranty provides peace of mind that your opener will work for years or that you will be taken care of if your opener has a defect. We looked at how much coverage is provided by the garage opener manufacturer and compared them to rank this category.
Help & Support
Good customer service is important for any product. It is especially important for the class of garage door openers we considered. We looked primarily at garage door openers designed to be installed by a homeowner, not a professional door company, so it's vital the product you choose offers its own layer of customer support.
Even if you consider yourself to be a handyman, you are sure to have questions at some point along the way. We looked for the companies that are there to respond to any inquiries and for resources such as a downloadable manual to help with your install.
Your next garage door opener will likely last for years. Whether those years are carefree or plagued by calls to your favorite repairperson depends on the choice you make now. Our in-depth reviews can help you choose the best garage door openers for your needs.