When you select a garage door opener for your home, you have a lot of options to choose from. Operations-wise, you have two main options for an opener; a chain drive or a belt drive. There are a few factors you must consider in the way each drive operates the garage door on a daily basis.
Learn about the differences between each drive type. The more educated you are about each type of opener, the better a decision you’ll be able to make for your garage.
Obviously, both the chain and belt drives are strong because they can lift a whole garage door, but a chain drive will have slightly more strength to pull up the garage doors. Garage door openers are already limited on speed, but the strength of a chain door allows the door to open slightly faster.
If you have a heavier garage door, the chain drive may be the better option. For example, you could have an insulated garage door, which is a lot heavier than a hollow one. The chain drive has the strength to lift the door smoothly. Garage door technicians will also know the weight of the door and the strength needed to lift the door.
If you still prefer a belt drive, you may need to opt for a larger opener with a more powerful engine to lift some of the heavier garage doors.
Even though a chain drive can lift heavy garage doors, you will encounter a lot of noise with the garage door. The chains operate on a metal-to-metal contact system, which results in a louder opener than belt drive systems. Garage door openers may have insulated cases to block out the noise, but a belt drive will almost always be quieter overall.
The noise factor can make a big difference, depending on the location of the garage. For example, if you have a bedroom or living room near the garage, the sound of the opener could be a major distraction every time the garage door opens and shuts. If the garage is a standalone structure on the property, then the noise factor may not matter as much.
Both the chain and belt drive openers require proper maintenance to last and operate smoothly. A chain drive needs proper lubrication so that the drive does not stiffen or wear out. A belt drive can wear down as the belt materials weaken and slowly deteriorate over time.
You can usually hear the first signs of a problem, as the openers will squeak, clang, or stutter while opening or closing. Yearly inspections will spot any problems and help with repairs before the problem gets worse. With a chain drive, you can have a single link repaired when damage has occurred. With a belt drive, the whole belt needs replacement when problems arise.
The cost of a chain drive is typically more than a belt drive because of the material cost, but prices vary and depend on the size and specific model of the garage door opener. For example, the main price of a garage door opener may include the motor size and any extra features like Wi-Fi and app connectivity.
When you purchase a garage door opener, you can consider the add-on of an extended warranty so that the price of the repairs and materials is not a factor. Garage technicians will complete inspections and repairs as part of the warranty deal. The overall price of the drive type should be the least of your concerns when choosing an opener.
Browse our wide selection of garage door openers at AA Garage Door. We will use our experience and knowledge to help you select the best options for both chain drive and belt drive openers.