Automatic garage door openers come in all shapes and sizes, and while they all serve basically identical purposes, they use different mechanisms to open and close garage doors. Some garage door openers are fitted with robust chain drives or sophisticated screw mechanisms, but most homeowners will get the most benefit from a belt-driven garage door opener.
Belt-driven garage door openers use flexible belts made from rubber, plastic, or fiberglass to transmit lifting and lowering forces to your garage door. While they lack the load-bearing strength of chain or screw drives and may not be suitable for heavy timber or windowed garage doors, they have many advantages to counteract these limitations. Here are three of the biggest advantages of choosing a belt-driven garage door opener:
Smooth, Quiet Functionality
The chains and screw drives fitted to other types of garage door openers are made from metal, and come into direct contact with the metal sprockets, trolleys, and pulleys fitted to your garage door. This constant metal-on-metal contact can make chain and screw drive door openers very noisy while they operate and leads to increased wear over time.
Chain-driven garage door openers have an additional problem. As they operate, the gaps in their chains become interlinked with a toothed drive sprocket attached to your garage door. The forces created as these teeth interlock with the gaps in the chain can cause your garage door to bounce and vibrate as it opens and closes, creating additional noise and mechanical wear.
Belt-driven garage door openers avoid this problem by using belts made from relatively soft, pliant materials. They are generally much quieter and smoother than chain and screw drive openers, which can be particularly useful if you frequently use your garage door in the early morning or late evening. Soft belt materials also help to minimize wear on your door's metal components.
Easy Installation And Repairs
Belt drive garage door openers are more mechanically simple than complex, screw-driven openers, and their flexible belts are easier to attach and remove than stiff metal chains. As a result, they are easier and faster to install than other door opener types, which is ideal if your existing door opener has broken and you need a quick replacement.
Less mechanical complexity also leads to easier repairs if your door opener suffers a malfunction. With a minimal amount of moving components, any malfunctions can be isolated and repaired quickly and easily.
Despite these advantages, belt-driven garage door openers tend to be less expensive than chain-driven openers and significantly less expensive than screw-driven models. If you need to fit a new garage door opener on a tight budget and your garage door is not unusually heavy, a belt drive opener is an economical choice that does not compromise on functionality.