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Guide to Garage Door Openers

Guide to Garage Door Openers

Your garage door opener is one of the heaviest purchases you will make for your home, and its weight on your wallet makes it a huge investment. Garage door openers last for around 15 years, so if your opener needs a repair and is nearing the end of its lifespan, it’s probably time to replace it.

Pro-Tip: You can locate the manufacturer date printed on the unit to see the age of your garage door opener and start budgeting accordingly!

If your garage door opener was manufactured prior to 1994, we highly encourage you to replace it, since these doors lack the safety sensors that make modern garage doors much safer for kids, pets, and other objects that may be in their path.

When it comes time to replace your garage door opener, the decisions can be confusing. There are 3 main types of residential garage door openers that have slightly different functions and offer benefits that may best suit your home.

These 3 types come in a variety of models, some of which include handy features like battery backups and wifi capabilities to make your life safer and easier. Battery backups are now mandatory in states like California and allow for a homeowner to open the garage door without electricity. Wifi capabilities allow you to connect your garage door opener to your smartphone and operate it via a mobile app.

You can choose a garage door opener model with any of these upgraded features, and to help, we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you decide which type of garage door opener is best for you!

1. Chain Drive

A chain drive opener uses a thick chain, similar to a bike chain, to open and close your garage door.


  • Common
  • Most affordable


  • Noisy units

If this is the product you want, our experts recommend the Liftmaster 8165 or a comparable model for the most affordable option. However, this is a very basic garage door opener that might drive you crazy if your spouse leaves the house before you get out of bed! If you are interested in a quieter model with upgraded features, we would recommend looking into a belt drive.

2. Belt Drive

A belt drive uses a rubber belt instead of a chain, so it is smoother and quieter.


  • Quieter operation than chain drive
  • Have options that are good for heavy lifting, like the Marantec Synergy 380.
  • Have options that are affordable


  • Some options can be expensive

If you’re ready to invest in your home’s value, our experts recommend the Marantec Synergy 370, an affordable all-around powerhouse of a belt drive garage door opener. For a smooth, quiet garage door opener, our experts will gravitate toward a belt drive opener.

3. Wall Mount

It’s just how it sounds: instead of mounting to the ceiling, this garage door opener mounts to the wall beside the door to save space.


  • Takes up less space
  • Quieter operation than chain drive
  • Works well in tight spaces with less room


  • Most expensive option

Our experts recommend the Liftmaster 8500. This option is the most expensive, and can easily run higher in price, with add-ons like a battery backup or wifi capabilities. However, it is a real space-saver and reliable garage door opener, which can be worth the cost.

Here’s a good summary of this information:

ProLift Garage Doors believes in safe, reliable service to ensure your garage is up to date. Give us a call at (888) 754-3063 to arrange a free estimate from your local ProLift Garage Doors.