Garage Door Openers - General Info | Best Pick Reports

Available in a variety of sizes and designs that fit almost any door, automatic garage door openers are a welcome convenience for most homeowners. The opener motor is usually between one-third and one-half horsepower, depending on the weight of the door; the heavier the door, the more power the motor must have to lift it. Most openers either use a screw drive, a belt drive, or a chain drive to move the door. The screw drive is typically quieter but more expensive than the chain drive.

Current government regulations require all new door openers to be equipped with auto-reverse capabilities and photocells to prevent injury or damage to people and objects in the door’s path. The sensitivity of the auto-reverse can usually be adjusted by homeowners themselves with some guidance from their owner's manual.

When the remote control is used to open the door, it transmits a specific code to the opener signaling the door to open. To prevent criminals from obtaining and using the code to enter the house through the garage, the code should be changed periodically. Some openers allow the owner to manually change the code; however, most newer openers use rolling codes and automatically change the code every time the remote is used.