February 13, 2020

Benefits of Using a Belt-Drive Garage Door Opener

Before you choose your next electric garage door opener, you should be aware that there are different types available. There are various drive mechanisms. Some utilize chains and are similar to those found on a bicycle. Others are on a rubber belt or a screw. The Jackshaft is the latest model and is installed next to the door. Many people spend a lot of time wondering which of these options will be the best for their door.

Typically the “best” is going to be what’s best for your applications and requirements. Many times, an opener that has a belt‑drive will be the best choice, though. Read on to find out why that’s the case.

Myths or Facts

First, Some Background Info

Let’s look a bit more at the other parts of the garage door systems before we look further into the drives. There are differences between the AC or DC motors used. The DC motors will start slowly and then speed up to its normal speed. It will then slow down toward the end of the cycle. AC motors will keep a constant speed throughout, though. However, both of these types of motors tend to be about the same speed. They will raise or lower the door by six to eight inches (16 to 20 cm) per second.

You will also find that the DC motors tend to be quieter, and the DC motors will allow you to use a backup battery, which is a huge advantage. It is something that the AC motors will not allow.

How Does the System Work?

Door openers with central trolleys install at the middle of the door on the ceiling. The belt that is used to open and close the door is made from a rubber that has been reinforced with metal wires. In some cases, the manufacturers might use belts that use fiberglass or polyurethane. The rubber loop runs on the T‑shaped track on the ceiling. There are ½ and ¾‑horsepower motors available. Those who have a double door that’s 16' wide will likely want to have a ¾‑HP motor. Single doors will probably be just fine with a ½‑HP motor.

The motor is meant to replace manual power, and when the garage door is balanced correctly, the weight of the door will feel as though it is about 10 lbs. If it feels heavy and hard to open, there is a problem whether it is being opened manually or the opener is working overtime to raise and lower the door safely. In those cases, you want to have the door looked at by a professional.

Why Choose the Belt‑Drive Opener?

One of the most appreciated benefits of the belt‑driven opener versus the chain‑drive opener is the sound. The belt‑drive will be far quieter than the chain. It is between 25% and 30% quieter. This is especially important for those homes that have a bedroom located anywhere near the garage. If you choose a DC motor, such as LiftMaster’s 8550W, you will find that it is even quieter.

It’s normal that a garage door makes noise

The rubber belt helps to make the movement more fluid, and it reduces the amount of vibration in the system. It is what helps to make the opener quieter than the other options.

If the belt‑drive is so quiet and it makes for a perfect option, you might be wondering why it isn’t the only system available. The fact of the matter is that the price tends to be more expensive than a chain‑drive opener, and many people do not want to spend the extra money. However, for a relatively small amount more, you could be getting a belt‑driven model that is quieter. For some, it is well worth the difference in the cost.

Other Ways to Reduce Garage Door Opener Noise

While changing out the drive is one of the best ways to help keep the noise from the opener down, there are other methods, as well. If the opener mounts on wooden joists, for example, you will want to secure it properly. Using a strip of semi‑ridged rubber between the wood joist and the steel angle can help to reduce the amount of noise that is being transmitted. You will also be able to find vibration isolation kits that will go between the steel angle and the opener housing that can work well. It is similar to how rubber vibration isolators are used between an engine and a car’s chassis

Another tip is to make use of nylon rollers. When you compare them to metal rollers, nylon rollers, you will see they can be a huge factor. They are available in black and white You will also want to keep the steel parts of the door system – hinges and the track curves – lubricated properly. You should do this twice a year with motor oil, and it can help to reduce the noise. The door openers that have been fitted with rubber belt drives should not be lubricated. They were already lubricated during the inspection of the door. You will not have to worry about that for about five to seven years.

Those who have wooden floors in the bedroom over the garage will want to add some throw rugs, as this can help to dampen the sound somewhat. Another option is to install a Jackshaft door opener. If you have space available at the side of the door, you might want one of these instead of a ceiling door opener. This will entirely remove the transmission of sound and vibration to the wood joists. By combining a couple of the tips from above, it should be much easier for you to start to reduce the amount of noise that is being caused by the door system. You should take the time to speak with a professional at Hicklin Door Services.

What to Do Next

Now that you have some great ideas on how to make the garage door system quieter, and you are interested in a belt‑drive, you should contact us. You can call 515‑276‑3700 to get in touch. We are experts in the field, and we know and understand garage door openers well. We know all of the brands on the market and can provide you with a recommendation. We can even email you a quotation.

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