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5 Ways to Keep Your Garage Door Running Smooth

The garage door is not only the largest door in your home, it is often the first thing people see and notice. It may also be the most undervalued/overlooked feature for homeowners – that is, until something goes awry.

In this case, homeowners are often left with an unexpected decision, not realizing their “old faithful” garage door opener was on its last leg. As one might expect, the options are typically limited to 2: repair or replace. For reasons of safety and performance, we recommend replacing units 20 years and older. Of course, there are more reasons to replace your existing garage door opener – with today’s technological advancements, modern automatic openers offer better security, noise reduction, and ease of use.

Comparing the options

So we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for a new unit – but with literally hundreds of options to choose from, the task of choosing your next opener can prove a bit daunting. Some of the features to consider include.

  • Chain, belt, or screw drive openers
  • Wall or ceiling mount
  • Motor strength (horsepower)
  • Smartphone synchronization
  • Added security and safety
  • Ease of use
  • Price

We realize there are DIYers out there that want to know all the technical stats, but in this post we’re doing all the work for you. We’ve compiled our list of the 5 best automatic garage door openers, ranging from the strongest, to the most quiet, most “techy”, most affordable, and best all around openers out there, so you don’t have to!

LiftMaster 8355 Premium Series

The Liftmaster 8355 Premium Series is a belt drive opener, meaning it’s much quieter than the standard chain driven openers and requires minimum maintenance. With 1/2 HP, the unit can handle an average 2-car garage door with ease, and will retain an affordable price point. For an affordable unit, the 8355 comes loaded with special features, including smartphone connectivity – offering the ability to monitor and control your garage door opener and houselights through a smartphone or tablet. This includes alerts, which can be received as email or push notifications on your mobile device, showing the status of your garage door and houselights.

  • Lifetime motor and belt warranty – 1-year parts warranty.
  • Average price: $179
  • Full unit specs

LiftMaster 8355 garage door opener

Craftsman 53918 Battery Backup

Rugged, sturdy, and dependable, the Craftsman 53918 is made to last through the toughest conditions (zombie apocalypse anyone?). With a DC belt system, one can be sure this opener will not be making much noise. Add to that a 3/4 HP motor capable of lifting heavier doors, soft start and stop operation (cushioning the landing), and a beaming bright 200W of light, this opener has your back. The standout feature for this opener is its included backup battery that allows for usage when the power goes down.

  • 10 Year motor warranty – 3 Year parts warranty
  • Average price: $200
  • Full unit specs

Craftsman 53918 Battery Backup garage door opener

LiftMaster 8557 Elite Series

A steel reinforced belt combined with a sturdy, 3/4 HP motor and LiftMaster’s Motor Vibration Isolation System (cushioning the unit against the racking) makes this opener extremely quiet and smooth riding. Along with the same smartphone-enabled technology offered in the 8355, this unit boasts added conveniences and security; including Security+ 2.0™ (creates a new code with every click, ensuring that only you can open your door), PosiLock® (deadbolts your door to prevent forced openings), a timer that closes the door when you forget, and a digital wall button which displays time, temp, and error messages.

  • Lifetime motor and belt warranty – 5-year parts warranty.
  • Average price: $260
  • Full unit specs

LiftMaster 8557 garage door opener

SOMMER synoris 550

Operating under a completely different mechanism, the SOMMER 550 incorporates only one moving part – the motor. Unlike the traditional opener, SOMMER uses a stationary chain, while the motor itself crawls up and down with the door, making for one of the smoothest and most silent units available. With 3/4 HP, this unit is capable of lifting heavier doors up to 550 lbs.

  • Full lifetime warranty (2 years on accessories)
  • Average price: $228 ($350 with wireless keypad)
  • Full unit specs

SOMMER synoris 550 garage door opener

LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series

Beauty is simplicity – the 8500 Elite Series incorporates a side-mounted jack shaft motor, freeing up space overhead and offering a much more visibly appealing design. Aside from its small, clean looks, the opener’s direct-drive technology makes this unit quite possibly the quietest machine on the market. LiftMaster has even gone so far as to include a beeper that can be turned on when opening, in the case that you would like to be aware when you door is opening, it’s that quiet. This opener comes fully equipped with LiftMaster’s bells and whistles, offering smartphone integration, digital wall button with time, temp, and error messages, as well as LiftMaster’s full suite of security features. As an added benefit, the opener can be optionally ordered to include a backup battery, allowing it to function when the power is out.

  • Lifetime motor and 5-year parts warranty.
  • Average price: $300
  • Full unit specs

LiftMaster 8500 garage door opener