Garage door openers are a great convenience. They allow you to open and close the door without having to get out of your vehicle — something that is very helpful when it is raining or snowing.

If you park your car in the garage, an automatic garage door opener will help you get into your house quicker. You won’t have to get out of the car in bad weather, and your home will be more secure because you can close the garage door before getting out.

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However, if you have never purchased a garage door opener before, there are a few things that you should know before buying one.

What’s Your Budget?

The first step is to set a budget. If you’re not sure what type of garage door opener that you have, use this guide to help determine whether you have a screw drive, chain drive, or belt drive garage door opener:

Screw drive garage door openers are less expensive but can be noisy. They’re best for garages that are not attached to the house.

Chain drive garage door openers are the most common type and are good for all types of garages. These openers are noisier than other types, but they’re also more affordable.

Belt drive garage door openers cost more but are quieter than chain drives and ideal for attached garages.

Now that you’ve set your budget and figured out what type of garage door opener will work best for you.

1. How big is your garage door?

If you’re buying a new garage door opener, make sure it’s rated to handle the weight of your garage door. If you’re replacing an existing opener, this should be printed on the unit itself, but if you can’t find the information — or if you’re installing a new system — take a look at your old opener before heading off to buy a new one. There are many options available for light-weight, and heavy-duty garage doors, so make sure to choose the right model for your needs.

2. What kind of drive do you want?

Garage door openers use one of three different types of drives: direct drive systems, belt drive systems, and chain drive systems. Direct drive systems are the quietest option because they have no moving parts besides the motor itself. Chain drive systems are the most affordable option but tend to be loud due to their moving parts.