A Replacement Garage Door Opener Guide

Person making an adjustment to a garage door opener
  • 8-12 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-1,000

You may need a replacement garage door opener if your opener has stopped working or has malfunctioned.

There may be other reasons to replace your opener as well. However, you may need to replace only a part of your opener rather than the entire unit.

Step 1 - Determine the Need

garage door opener

First, decide if you may need a replacement garage door opener.

Although some openers will continue working for many years, new openers have safety features not found on old doors.

For example, doors made before 1993 did not come with the electric eye safety reverse feature that causes a garage door to stop going down if the light beam is broken by a pet, child, or some other object.

If your door does not have this feature, it may be time to consider a replacement.

If your old opener is extremely noisy, it is probably an older chain drive unit.

If the noise level bothers you or you would simply like to have a less noisy opener, you could replace the old chain drive unit with a newer belt or screw drive.

Both are known to be quieter than the chain drive. If you like the chain drive system, a newer opener will likely be quieter than the old types.

Of course, if the unit is not working, it may be time to consider replacing it.

Step 2 - Consider Type of Opener

If you are buying a replacement garage door opener, then you’ll need to decide between the three main types: chain, belt, and screw drives.

Chain drives are the oldest technology, so they have a proven track record. However, they are the noisiest type on the market. The chain drive is good for heavy doors.

The screw drive was supposed to be a design improvement over the chain drive. While some people like them and think they are quieter than a chain drive, others do not agree.

The belt drive is the quietest model on the market. A rubber belt, instead of a chain, raises and lowers the door.

Step 3 - Choose the Features

garage door opening

There are some features you may want on your replacement garage door opener.

A handy feature that is found on some newer models is a battery backup. This feature allows you to open your garage door with a remote, even when the power is off in the house.

If the power is off because of a storm or outage, this is a very useful feature.

Keyless entry pads are a very popular feature you may also want to consider. These pads are mounted on the exterior of the door, and you use a code to open and close the door.

This can allow you to get in and out of the garage without a key or remote to keep track of.

Many people like this feature, and it will help you if you lock yourself out of the house or lose your keys.

For security, you’ll want to look for a unit with a rolling remote code. Fixed codes are vulnerable to thieves, so most new models feature a rolling code.

Step 4 - Decide on Installation

Sometimes the homeowner can install a replacement garage door opener. Most places you purchase openers from also offer installation.

You should have a good idea of your abilities if you are going to undertake the task yourself, and you should feel confident you can install the safety features.