Also known as automatic lifts or electric openers, garage door openers have been around a long time. Wikipedia tells us, in fact, that the electric overhead garage door opener was invented by C.G. Johnson in 1926 in Hartford City, Indiana, and became popular after World War II.
Since then, garage door openers have come a long way. They are stronger. They are quieter and some are even as quiet as a whisper. And they are smarter, some even working with your home’s computer or a personal cell phone.
Most of us can’t remember life before automatic openers, and those that do remember it may say, “I’ve never had a garage door opener, I’ve never needed a garage door opener, and I do NOT want a garage door opener”, which tells us one thing with certainty:
Garage door openers are a wonderful luxury but are not what actually lifts the door.
In other words, if your garage door is not working correctly, then a new opener, no matter how great it is, will not solve the problem.
Why purchase a new garage door opener?
There are two main reasons: convenience and safety.
Garage door openers provide the convenience of being able to get in to your garage quickly without having to leave your vehicle and being exposed to the elements.
A properly working garage door opener can be one of the best additions to your home in regards to garage door safety. A garage door opener can prevent you from injury while lifting a heavy door; it will tell you when your door is not balanced and is too heavy; and it lifts the door the same way every time at a speed that is safe.
Before you purchase an opener and have it installed, go through the following checklist:
- Make sure your door is rolling smoothly. Check to make sure that the rollers are not dragging, popping, grinding, or binding in any way.
- Make sure your door is balanced. This means that it should take the same effort to lift the garage door as it does to close the garage door.
- If your garage door is not working properly, and especially if it is heavy, do not try to rig your opener by turning the force up to higher levels in order to get the door up. YOUR OPENER IS NOT SUPPOSED TO LIFT THE WEIGHT OF THE DOOR. Doing this is extremely dangerous and even with lighter doors this practice can be fatal.
Now, on to the list.
The following garage door openers are all Liftmaster brand openers. In my opinion, no other brand even comes close to Liftmaster in terms of popularity, consistency (reliability), and features. Liftmaster (made by Chamberlain) comprises 70% of all the openers installed in the world.
4. 3255 Liftmaster ½ hp chain drive opener
This garage door opener makes the list for economical reasons. Extremely affordable, and quieter than its ancestors, this opener has all the power you need to get your garage door going.
The Liftmaster chain drive opener, if installed correctly, will last as long as you own your home and maybe even forever, with proper door maintenance. No bells and whistles here. Just gets your door up and closes it behind you.
3. 3280 Liftmaster ½ hp belt drive opener
This garage door opener is One Clear Choice Doors’ bestseller by far. This opener comes standard with a whisper drive motor for quiet and smooth operation, thanks to the anti-vibration hardware inside.
This opener is also reliable. I personally have never been on a service call that required a repair on this opener.
The wall button on this Liftmaster garage door opener has a light switch and a lock that enables you to lock out remotes when you are on vacation, or if you left your car in the driveway and your remote is in it and you don’t want to go get it. That way, if someone breaks into your car then they will not be able to get into your home.
In Part 2 we will reveal our top 2 picks for the best garage door openers. Stay tuned!