Pros And Cons Of Different Garage Door Drive Mechanisms

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Your automatic garage door has two different types of openers: the remote you keep in the car to open the door and the actual drive mechanism that pulls the door upwards so that it physically opens. When considering a new garage door purchase, drive mechanism selection can become one of the major decisions in both the price, noise, and maintenance level of the door.

There are three main types of garage door drive mechanisms and each has its own pros and cons. If you are on the market for a replacement garage door opener, here are some of the factors you can consider. You can always ask your garage door installation company for more details.   

Chain Drive 

A chain drive mechanism has three components: a metal chain that does the pulling, a trolley or carriage, and a metal bar. The chain attaches to the trolley, which attaches to the metal bar that attaches to the door. The setup ensures the mechanism can lift the weight of the door easily and smoothly.

Chain drives are the lowest cost drive mechanism and require little maintenance due to the simplicity of the system. On the downside, the metal-on-metal setup of the mechanism can be a bit noisy while in action. If you have a freestanding garage, this shouldn't be a problem. But you might want to go with another mechanism if the garage is attached to your bedroom or an echoing area of your home.

Screw Drive

A screw drive mechanism also has three parts: a trolley, a threaded metal rod, and a motor that turns the rod to pull the trolley. The system essentially has one moving part – the rod – and is relatively low maintenance and quieter than a chain drive mechanism.

The screw drive's metal rod is made of steel, which makes the screw drive a bit more expensive than the chain drive. That same steel rod also makes the screw drive higher maintenance as the rod needs to receive periodic lubrication to function properly.

Belt Drive

The three parts of a belt drive are the same idea as a chain drive except the belt drive uses a higher quality chain. Think of the chain drive's chain as a regular bike chain and the belt drive chain as a reinforced belt made of a durable material.

Belt drives are one of the quietest drive mechanisms available, but also carry a higher price tag than a chain drive. Belt drives are similarly low in maintenance as the chain drive and thus lower maintenance generally than a screw drive. For more information about your options, consult Don Johnson's Door Service.