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An automated garage door opener increases convenience when it comes to securing your vehicle from burglars and environmental elements. Operated at the click of a single button, it dispenses with the need to raise and lower shutters every time you step out. In order to secure these benefits and to find good value, you should choose the right garage door opener with the right features.
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Garage door openers like every other security mechanism on the market have a number of options to choose from. Here are tips to pick the best.
Type of Drive –
This is the first and most important consideration because as the name suggests it is the mechanism that drives it. There are 3 main types – the chain, the belt and the screw drive.
- The chain drive is the oldest, cheapest and the most popular. It works like a pulley in which a chain is attached to a series of rollers, gears and pins. The mechanism is powered by an electric motor. The system is advantageous because in case of a power outage it can be operated manually. However, it is noisy in its operation.
- In the screw drive system, the garage door travels along a plastic-lined track or a threaded rod. The door raised or lowered as the rod turns. This trolley system is a good option for heavy and wide doors. It is expensive upfront, but quite reasonable in the long run because it is low maintenance.
- The third drive system is the belt drive mechanism. The operation is similar to the first except that it uses flexible rubber belts instead of a chain. Its rubber components make it noiseless in its operation.
Power Requirements –
Garage door openers are powered by an electric motor. The amount of power varies based on the size and weight of the doors. A single door garage operates on a small motor without a glitch, but for a double door garage you should invest in a half-horsepower model. Oversized and heavy doors such as carriage doors demand minimum 3/4th horsepower. One also needs to consider the speed. An ideal model is one that opens quickly and lowers at a comfortable speed to ensure your safety.
Safety and Security Features –
Since garage door openers are automated systems, it is necessary to have a safety mechanism in place. This applies especially when there are small children and pets at home. The first is the reversing mechanism. Controlled by a light beam, the door stops and reverses immediately if any object crosses its path or comes beneath it. This is a mandatory, legal requirement.
The rolling code feature included on almost every garage door opener model today is a security feature. It generates a new, random code every time the door is opened. This prevents code theft thereby blocking access to burglars.
It can be looked at as a security feature and also one that improves functionality. Garage door opener models are usually fitted with LED lights or a 100 watt bulb. The lights come on when the system is activated. It stays on for quite some, many-a-times till you can enter the house. On some models the switching on and off of lights is remote controlled.
Remote Controls and Keypads –
Garage door openers use a keyless entry pad. These are wall-mounted units that can be activated using a code combination. The latest models allow you to use your fingerprint to operate the door. Garage door openers are also controlled with a remote control. Standard remote controls feature a single button to open and close the door. Remotes with multiple buttons can be used to perform multiple functions such as operating more than one-door, operating the light or to delay closing.
A battery back-up can keep you from getting stranded inside or outside your garage in case of a power outage. This feature is not available on all models. Selected models feature a manual release system, which allows you to operate the door manually when there is no electricity.