We at Neighborhood Garage Door Service of Raleigh, North Carolina frequently get questions about which type of garage door drive system is best. There are three main drive types – chain driven, belt driven, and screw driven. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, meaning no one choice is clearly the best. The choice will come down to your preferences and needs. Let’s take a look at each system type and compare. We’ll specifically look at the two major difference – cost and noise level.
Garage Door Opener Option 1: Chain Drive
Chain drive garage door openers are the traditional option. This system is probably what you think of when you picture a garage door opener. A chain, like you would have on your bike, is connected to the opener motor on one end, and the trolley on the other. The j-arm on the door is connected to the trolley. When the motor is activated, the chain pulls the trolley and lifts the overhead door.
Chain Drive Noise
By the nature of their design, chain drive systems have more vibration in their moving parts. This can cause friction between metal parts resulting in more noise than the other two options. For those who want to minimize noise, this option is better suited to detached garages with more distance between them and living space. Others see this additional noise as an advantage, alerting them to possible intruders entering through the garage door. Over the years, improvements have been made to chain drive design resulting in quieter operation.
Chain Drive Cost
Chain drives are the most economical option.
Garage Door Opener Option 2: Belt Drive
The overall design and operation of belt drive systems is identical to that of chain drive systems. The only difference is the use of a belt to connect the motor to the trolley and j-arm, rather than a chain. These belts are typically made of either fiberglass, polyurethane, or a steel-reinforced rubber.
Belt Drive Noise
Because the belt eliminates most of the vibrations caused by the chain system, it is the quietest option. They have been called virtually silent compared to chain drives.
Belt Drive Cost
Belt drive systems are considered to be a higher quality product, and thus cost a little more than chain drive systems. For some, the added quiet of the belt drive more than makes up for this additional cost.
Garage Door Opener Option 3: Screw Drive
Screw drive garage door opener systems are the most distinct of the three options. Rather than pulling a trolley by chain or belt, the trolley is mounted to a long screw. The threaded motor of the opener turns, pulling or pushing the steel screw rod, thereby lifting or lowering the overhead door.
Many people prefer the screw drive system because of its few moving parts compared to chain or belt drives. Screw drives also exert less push and pull force than the other two. It’s important to note that the screw drive is the most temperature sensitive and is not ideal for areas that experience sudden shifts in climate.
Screw Drive Noise
The screw drive system can’t compete with the near-silent belt drive system. They tend to be quieter than the noisy chain drive systems.
Screw Drive Cost
Screw drive systems are the most expensive of the three options. While they are more simple in construction and design, they do require more material, particularly the long, threaded, steel screw rod.
Chain, Belt, and Screw Drives: Which is Best for You?
The choice comes down to which priorities you have for your particular needs. If the information here has helped you make up your mind, call us right away to discuss installation options. If you still have questions, contact us at Neighborhood Garage Door Service of Raleigh, North Carolina and one of our professional customer service representatives will be glad to answer all your questions. Don’t wait, call today!