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The Best Garage Door Openers of 2021

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It used to be that a garage door opener’s controls were pretty basic. It raised or lowered the door with the push of a button from a remote or wall-mounted control. However, like many modern home appliances, devices, and gizmos, today’s garage door openers now have smart technology that allows the homeowner to control them via a smartphone app. These powerful apps expand what a garage door opener can do, allowing the owner to monitor the door’s status, set schedules to automatically open and close the door, and even create permissions to allow temporary access for a friend, family member, or delivery person.

With so many features to consider, shopping for a new garage door opener can be a little overwhelming. This guide will explore the smart functions today’s garage door openers offer as well as vital nuts and bolts such as horsepower and type while reviewing some of the best garage door openers on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Genie StealthDrive Connect 7155 Garage Door Opener
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Genie Ultra-Quiet Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
  3. BEST SCREW-DRIVE: Genie Signature Series Screw Drive Garage Door Opener
  4. BEST WITH CAMERA: Chamberlain B4545T Smart Garage Door Opener
  5. BEST FOR HEAVY DOORS: Genie Signature Series 2HP Garage Door Opener
  6. BEST WALL-MOUNTED: Genie Signature Series Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Garage Door Opener

Read on to learn about the different types of garage door openers on the market as well as other features that are vital to consider when shopping for one, including horsepower and smart features.

Types of Garage Door Openers

There are four types of garage door openers to choose from, including chain drive, belt driven, screw driven, and wall mounted.

  • Chain drive: Well regarded for its strength and affordability, a chain-drive garage door opener uses a chain that pulls a trolley up a track, lifting the door. This type of garage door opener is very durable, but the metal chain can be noisy.
  • Belt driven: Belt-driven garage door openers use a rubber belt to pull a trolley that connects to the garage door. They are quieter and require less maintenance than chain drives but are also more expensive.
  • Screw driven: This type of garage door opener uses a threaded steel rod and a wire. The steel rod rotates, wrapping the wire around it, which pulls up the door. They work more quickly than other garage door openers but generally require more maintenance.
  • Wall mounted: Wall-mounted garage door openers mount to the wall beside the garage door as opposed to on the ceiling. This design is ideal for garages with low ceilings or for those who want to free up the ceiling space above the vehicle for storage or other uses.

Size of the Door

Nearly all garage door openers are designed to work with a door that is 7 feet tall, which is the standard height of a garage door. To use a garage door opener for a garage door that is 8 or 9 feet tall requires a compatible extension kit, which is sold separately.

Horsepower and Lifting Capacity

Garage door openers have motors that range from ½ horsepower to 2 horsepower. The more horsepower a garage door opener has, the more weight the opener can lift. Generally speaking, a ⅓-horsepower garage door opener will be able to lift a one-car garage door. A ½-horsepower opener, which can lift up to 300 pounds, can handle most two-car garage doors, while a 1½- horsepower garage door opener is suitable for heavier wood garage doors of up to 400 pounds.

Battery Backup

While garage door openers add convenience, they can also leave one trapped outside during a power failure. Some garage door openers come with battery backups, which have enough juice to open and close the door in the event of a power outage. Most battery backups can raise and lower a garage door about 50 times on a single charge.

Safety and Security

Garage door openers do have the potential to be dangerous as they create enough force to crush someone in the event one is caught underneath it. All garage door openers come with laser sensors that are installed on either side of the door no more than 6 inches off the ground. These sensors automatically stop the door from closing if the laser eye is tripped, preventing pets and children from being trapped under the closing door.

Garage door openers add security by preventing the door from being opened manually when the door is closed. Some higher-end garage doors have deadbolt locks that engage automatically when the door closes, adding an extra layer of security, while others have alerts that let the homeowner know when the door has been left open, helping to protect items stored in the garage.

Smart Features 

Many garage door openers have smart capabilities that allow them to connect to a smart device via Wi-Fi, turning the smart device into an automatic garage door opener. Using the garage door’s compatible app, the user can monitor the door’s status, open and close the door remotely, and even perform more advanced functions, such as scheduling specific times for the door to open and close and setting permissions to allow visitors to access the garage door’s controls. These apps also allow the user to set alerts in the event the garage door is accidentally left open. Many smart garage door openers are also compatible with digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Our Top Picks

The list below takes into account the above considerations to include some of the best garage door openers on the market. It includes basic affordable garage door openers as well as more advanced smart models.

The Best Garage Door Openers Option: Genie StealthDrive Connect 7155 Garage Door Opener

Photo: amazon.com

Genie manages to pack a lot of features into this reasonably priced garage door opener, including Wi-Fi connectivity, making it one of the best all-around options for garage door openers. This opener checks all the boxes when it comes to features, with two wireless remotes, a wall-mount console, keypad, backup battery, and wireless connectivity. It’s also powerful enough to handle heavier doors, thanks to its 1¼ horsepower motor, and it features a steel-reinforced belt, making it both durable and quiet.

Genie’s Aladdin app allows the user to check the status of the door as well as operate it or program the door to auto-close after it’s been left open for a certain amount of time. It will also pair with a digital assistant for voice control.

Product Specs

  • Type: Belt drive
  • Horsepower:
  • Smart functions: Yes

Pros

  • Smart features
  • Keypad and remotes included
  • Powerful motor
  • Battery back

Cons

  • Extension rails required for 8-foot-high garage door
The Best Garage Door Opener Option: Genie Ultra-Quiet Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Photo: amazon.com

This bare-bones garage door opener is a great buy for those who aren’t interested in all the bells and whistles that typically boost the price of other garage door openers. With its ½-horsepower motor, it’s capable of lifting garage doors up to 500 pounds. And it uses a belt drive, which makes it much quieter than chain-drive garage door openers.

There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity with this garage door opener, and it lacks a keypad, but it does include a wireless garage door opener that goes in the car. It also works with the HomeLink and Car2U system that is in many late-model cars, eliminating the need for an opener.

Product Specs

  • Type: Belt drive
  • Horsepower: ½
  • Smart functions: No

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Quiet operation
  • High weight capacity

Cons

  • No keypad or smart connectivity
The Best Garage Door Opener Option: Genie Signature Series Screw Drive Garage Door Opener

Photo: homedepot.com

Those who want more power and speed out of their garage door opener should look no further than this screw-drive garage door opener from Genie. Its 2-horsepower motor, coupled with its screw drive, makes it twice as fast as most chain- or belt-drive garage door openers while maintaining quiet operation.

In addition to being fast, it also has robust smart controls. It uses Genie’s Aladdin Connect Wi-Fi smartphone technology, which allows the user to control the door from a smartphone or with voice command via a digital assistant. The Aladdin app allows the user to monitor the door’s status, open or close it, set schedules, and create codes for temporary access. While the Genie Signature Series opener also comes with wall-mount controls and two wireless remotes, it does not include a keypad.

Product Specs

  • Type: Screw drive
  • Horsepower: 2
  • Smart functions: Yes

Pros

  • Fast operation
  • Smart connectivity
  • Compatible with digital assistants

Cons

  • No keypad included
  • Backup battery sold separately
The Best Garage Door Opener Option: Chamberlain B4545T Smart Garage Door Opener

Photo: amazon.com

While a doorbell camera may be a great security tool for a front door, it won’t allow one to see who’s coming and going if the garage door is the home’s most-used entrance, which is often the case. This model from Chamberlain fixes that issue thanks to a 1080p motion-activated camera that streams live and recorded video footage to a smartphone via the myQ app.

In addition to providing remote garage surveillance, the app also allows the user to set schedules, open and close the door, and program access. An integrated speaker allows for two-way communication between a smart device and the garage, while a belt drive powered by a ½-horsepower motor makes it one of the best quiet garage door opener options. Chamberlain also makes accessing the garage versatile thanks to a wireless keypad, two wireless remotes, and a wall-mounted control panel.

Product Specs

  • Type: Belt drive
  • Horsepower: ½
  • Smart functions: Yes

Pros

  • Live video monitoring via a 1080p camera
  • Smart controls
  • Quiet belt drive
  • Keypad and wireless remotes

Cons

  • More expensive than other garage door openers
The Best Garage Door Opener Option: Genie Signature Series 2HP Garage Door Opener

Photo: homedepot.com

Heavier doors require more power, which is what this model from Genie’s Signature Series line of garage door openers offers. With its 2-horsepower motor, the garage door opener is capable of lifting heavier wooden or insulated garage doors. And since it uses a screw drive, it does it twice as fast as other opener types.

In addition to being strong, it also comes with smart functionality via Genie’s Aladdin Connect app, which allows the user to operate the door, create open and close schedules, and control access when the opener is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Other features include two remotes and a vacation-lock feature on the wall-mounted control pad.

Product Specs

  • Type: Screw drive
  • Horsepower: 2
  • Smart functions: Yes

Pros

  • Powerful and quiet screw drive
  • Smart functionality via Aladdin Connect app
  • Fast operation

Cons

  • No keypad
  • No backup battery
The Best Garage Door Opener Option: Genie Signature Series Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

Photo: homedepot.com

This garage door opener mounts to the wall next to the garage door, freeing up the ceiling space for other needs, such as storage. It also happens to be loaded with additional features that improve functionality as well as security. This includes a deadbolt system that automatically engages when the door is closed, providing added security that prevents the door from being forced open. It also comes with Genie’s Safe-T-Pulse system, which monitors the cable tension on the door before closing it, ensuring there are no accidental drops. And, with its 850-pound lift capacity, it’s suitable for heavier wood doors.

This wall-mount opener is also Wi-Fi capable and works with Genie’s Aladdin app, which gives the user robust control and programming options via a smartphone. Other useful features include a Bluetooth LED light, backup battery, and wireless wall-mounted controls.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wall-mounted
  • Horsepower: 2
  • Smart functions: Yes

Pros

  • Deadbolt security locks
  • Safety system
  • High weight capacity
  • Wireless wall controls

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • No keypad included

Our Verdict

Features that include smart technology, wireless remotes, a keypad, and quiet operation along with a reasonable price make the Genie StealthDrive Connect 7155 Garage Door Opener a worthy option for most garage doors. Those in search of a more affordable garage door opener should consider the Genie Ultra-Quiet Belt Drive Garage Door Opener.

How We Chose the Best Garage Door Openers

We considered several criteria when making our list of the top garage door openers. While most garage doors have plenty of lifting capacity, not all include smart features. We chose mainly smart garage doors with robust controls that allow the owner to operate the door remotely, set schedules to automatically open and close the door, and create permissions for granting (and removing) access to family members, friends, and repair people.

Since garage doors can be surprisingly loud, we also leaned toward belt-drive models that offer quiet operation at an affordable price. For our high-performance selections, we favored screw-driven garage door openers, which boast the most lifting power while also being twice as fast as other garage door opener types.

Finally, garage door openers that offered the most versatility by including remotes, wall-mounted controls, and keypads as well as smart controls ranked higher than those that did not include all of these options.

FAQs

If you’re wondering how to program your new garage door opener or are debating whether to go with a chain or belt drive, then read on for answers.

Q. What size garage door opener do I need? 

That depends on the size and type of garage door. For a one-car garage, go with a garage door opener that has at least ⅓ horsepower. Most sectional two-car garage doors require a ½- horsepower opener, while heavier wooden or insulated garage doors require a 1¼-horsepower or even 2-horsepower opener.

Q. How do I program my garage door opener? 

Although programming may vary from garage door opener to garage door opener, most use the same method. Locate the learn button near the antenna on the garage door opener. Press and release the button. Within 30 seconds, press and hold the button on the remote you wish to connect to for a few seconds and then release.

Q. How much horsepower do I need for my two-car garage door?

Most sectional two-car garage doors require an opener with at least ½ horsepower; however, an opener with a more powerful motor will open the garage door more smoothly and with less wear and tear on the opener, extending its life.

Q. Is a belt or chain better for a garage door opener? 

A belt-drive system requires less maintenance and is smoother and quieter than a chain-drive system. They are also more expensive.

Q. How long does a garage door opener last on average? 

A garage door opener will last for 10 to 15 years. Exactly how long a garage door opener lasts depends on how frequently it opens and closes, the weight of the door, and how well it is maintained.

Q. How do I know when my garage door opener is going bad?

There are a few telltale signs of a failing garage door opener. One of the most common signs is if the garage door begins to open then suddenly reverses. A garage door opener that vibrates may also be near the end of its life.

Q. Do I need to hire a professional to install my garage door opener? 

Most garage door openers can be installed with basic tools and general knowledge of carpentry, making it a doable DIY project. That said, make sure to check the warranty before installing a garage door opener on your own, as some manufacturers will void the warranty if the opener is not professionally installed.

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