Garage door openers are motorized drive systems that include a pulley of some sort that runs along the ceiling of your garage and attaches to the rear of the door for lifting. Different styles of openers exist that mainly differ in the type of pulley system used.
A chain drive system and a belt drive system both include a chain or belt pulley that moves through a metal track in the ceiling. A screw drive system has a trolley threaded onto a steel rod, which turns to activate the trolley and pull the door.
How do these different setups change the pros and cons of each garage door opener system?
Quieter, Faster Operation: Screw Drive
The chain drive's metal, bicycle-chain style pulley moves through a metal track system, which can cause some clanging when the door is pulling open. The noise isn't a deal breaker on a freestanding garage but might become an issue if the garage is next to your bed.
The trolley and rotating rod system of the screw drive doesn't make noise as the door is raised and lowered because there isn't the same type of resistance seen in the chain drive's tracks. The more fluid setup also means that the screw drive can lift and lower the door both smoother and faster than a chain drive system.
Stronger: Screw Drive
The steel rod on a screw drive is resistant to weather and wear damage to a greater degree than the chain in a chain drive. This means that the screw drive system is generally stronger than the chain drive system.
On the maintenance front, the systems pull out a tie since neither involves many moving parts that might individually break or need maintenance.
Lower Cost: Chain Drive
There's one battle where chain drive pulls ahead of screw drive systems and that's on the price front. The cheaper construction materials and simpler setup makes chain drive systems one of the most cost-efficient on the market, which is why the systems are so popular and commonly sold.
If you can afford the initial upfront cost, the pros of a screw drive system might be worth the investment. Otherwise, a chain drive system is a perfectly suitable opener if that's all you can afford.
Unsure of which type of opener is best for you? Discuss your options with a garage door installation company, which can offer more tailored advice and real world examples. To learn more, contact a company like Quality Doors.