Garage Door Openers 101

Need a new garage door opener but have no idea what to look for? The first thing you need to understand is how your garage door opener works and then, what type of opener is best suited for your door.


Here’s the 101 on everything you need to know before buying anything.

A drive is what makes your garage door opener function properly. This comes in three different types:

Belt Drive

Like tires, these drives are made from rubber reinforced with metal wires.



  • More expensive than chain drives

Chain Drive

As the name suggests, this drive uses a chain to push or pull a trolley that moves your door.



  • Noisy
  • More maintenance than belt drives

Screw Drive

The drive rotates a threaded steel rod to move the trolley that opens and closes the door.


  • Less parts, so less maintenance
  • Quieter than a chain drive
  • Easy installation


  •  Noisier than a belt drive
  • Repairs can be costlier than belt or chain drives
  • Parts harder to find

Here’s how your garage door opener works

The springs are the major component to a garage door’s counterbalance system and help balance the weight of the door to take pressure off the motor. If there’s too much tension in the springs, the door will be difficult to close. If there’s not enough tension, the door will be hard to open.

If your garage door isn’t opening or closing properly, book a service call with one of our helpful garage door repair team members.

The cables are connected to a drum at the top of the garage door, as well as the bottom of the garage door to assist in the lowering and lifting of the door when it’s in motion.

The track (rail) connects the operator to the trolley, which travels along the track. This guides the garage door as it moves.

The motor is the energy that enables a garage door to be pulled up or slowly descend without crashing to the ground. Not sure what size of motor you should choose (1/2 or ¾ HP; AC or DC motor)? We recommend consulting a professional technician to inspect your current system.

What garage door opener do we recommend?


The LiftMaster 8557W Garage Door Opener is an ultra super durable device that offers the latest in technology. For more recommendation, click here.

Figuring out which opener is right for you is only part of the process. Installing your new garage door opener takes certain skills best left to professionals. This ensures your device is properly installed safely and securely. Let our certified installation experts from any of our eight location across Western Canada—Vancouver and Kelowna, BC; Edmonton, Calgary, and Fort McMurray, AB; Regina and Saskatoon, MB; and Winnipeg, MB—get the job done right. Book an appointment now.

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