Quiet Garage Door Opener

Why do you need one?

“If you buy a new garage door opener for no other reason than to get the latest safety
and security features, you may not need another reason.”

A quiet garage door opener offers many benefits beyond the noise factor. Besides being quiet, some models will actually extend the life of your garage door. Read on to learn why you should consider a quiet garage opener.

If you have living space above or adjacent to your garage, you may not need another reason. In the olden days, you only had one choice when buying a garage door opener. It was chain drive or nothing.Why does it need to be quiet?

That wasn’t a problem since the novelty and practicality of staying in your car while your garage door opened far outweighed the noise factor. Then, we got civilized. Mom was sleeping on the other side of the garage wall or in the bedroom above the garage, dad was off to work, on came the garage door opener and mom woke up. Arrrgh!

NOTE: If you have a teenager living at home and they drive, you may want to stick with the old, noisy chain drive garage door opener. While modern chain drive models aren’t so noisy, the old ones offered a nice alarm system to alert you when your kids opens the garage door – after their curfew!

A Quiet Garage Door Opener keeps Peace with the Neighbors – Really

This might not seem like an obvious reason, but noisy garage door openers send out shock waves that can actually bother the neighbors, especially if their house is close to yours. If you live in a common wall house or a duplex, your connected homes transmit noise and this can translate to ill feelings between neighbors. OK, this might seem trivial or ridiculous, but it is worth your consideration.

Attached vs. Detached Garage – Is a quiet garage door opener necessary?

This could actually be a reason not to buy a quiet garage door opener. If your garage is not attached to the house, a garage door opener that rivals the noise of earth moving equipment probably doesn’t matter. If your garage IS attached, however, you might want to think twice about keeping your 1964 chain drive unit.

NOTE: If your opener is ancient, noise is only one of many reasons to consider garage door opener replacement. If you buy a new model for no other reason than to get the latest safety and security features, you may not need another reason.

How quiet is each type of garage door opener?

Chain Drive – This is the type that started it all. Chain drive garage door openers are rugged, powerful, and they often out live many other models. Modern innovations like Chamberlain’s Motor Vibration Isolation System (MVIS®) have also greatly diminished their noise level.

Screw Drive – As most people know, Genie is the default screw drive garage door opener brand. If you just love your screw drive opener, some of the latest models are pretty quiet. Genie also offers the Excellerator model that opens twice as fast as other types of openers.

Belt DriveBelt drive garage door openers are the most common solution when you want a quiet garage door opener. By replacing the chain lifting mechanism with a quiet, often steel reinforced belt, the noise factor is significantly reduced.

Torsion Drive – This wall mounted garage door opener is a handy option if your garage ceiling is low or vaulted. Torsion drive models mount on the front garage wall and attach directly to the torsion shaft (the long bar above your garage door).

Modern DC powered models like the Liftmaster 3800 are pretty quiet. The Liftmaster 3800 is also known as a jackshaft garage door opener, and is the very model used by Jay Leno on his home garage.

Chamberlain Model WD962KD Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
Chamberlain WD962KD – 3/4 HP Belt Drive with Battery Backup

Quiet Garage Door Opener Power: AC vs. DC

The quietest garage door openers are typically belt drive and DC powered. What’s the big deal about DC power? When DC powered motors started showing up in garage door openers in the 1990s, there were several very good reasons to switch, including:

  • Energy Savings – DC motors use less energy than AC motors
  • Battery Backup – Several modern openers offer battery backup system to open your garage door even in a power outage. This option wasn’t possible with energy hogging AC motors. Because DC motors require less energy, backup batteries can now be used to open and close your garage door up to 20 times in a 24 hour period.
  • Slow Start and Stop – Picture a powerful motor jerking your garage door from its closed or open position and slamming it up or down a few thousand times. Eventually, this takes a toll on your garage door. Modern DC powered openers vary their opening and closing force, slowing the door as it comes to its fully open or closed position. This extends the life of your garage door. Slow start and stop also makes the opener quieter during opening and closing cycles.
  • Constant Monitoring – Many modern DC models offer constant monitoring as your door opens or closes. From a safety standpoint, this is a great benefit. The moment your door encounters a person or an object in its path, the door will reverse direction to avoid a potential catastrophe. AC powered openers also offer excellent safety features, but DC models have just fine-tuned the craft.

What is the quietest garage door opener?

DC powered, belt drive garage door openers are the quietest available. Two of my favorite models are the Chamberlain WD822KD, a 1/2 HP, belt drive model suitable for most single and double car garage doors. Another Chamberlain model at the top of my list is the Chamberlain WD962KD, a 3/4 HP DC-powered model with EverCharge Standby Power (battery backup).

In the professionally installed line, Liftmaster has two excellent models. TheLiftmaster 3280 is a 1/2 HP, belt drive model comparable to Chamberlain’s WD822KD. Of the 18 reviews currently on the Liftmaster.com website, only 1 was less than 5 out of 5 stars.

If you want a top-of-the-line model, the Liftmaster 3850 is a 3/4 HP, DC-powered belt drive garage door opener with battery backup. This is comparable to the Chamberlain WD962KD. For this model, the Chamberlain.com site also has 18 current consumer reviews, with 3 of 18 giving less than 5 out of 5 stars.

Is there a quiet garage door opener with chain drive?

If you really want to stick with a chain drive garage door opener, be sure to buy one with Chamberlain’s innovative Motor Vibration Isolation System (MVIS®). The MVIS® is basically a floating motor mount that isolates motor vibration from your home. It really does work. Here are a couple of good models:

The Chamberlain PD752D is a 3/4 HP, chain drive garage door opener with MVIS. This is a powerful opener for heavy garage door and receives very good consumer reports. If you are a Craftsman fan, Sears offers the Craftsman Model 53990 as a comparable alternative. If you don’t know, Chamberlain makes Craftsman garage door openers.

In the professionally installed line, consider the Liftmaster 3275, another 3/4 HP chain drive model.

If you know a Raynor dealer and you would prefer to do business with them, theRaynor Ultra is another option. The Ultra is another 3/4 HP chain drive model that also features Chamberlain’s MVIS. Raynor is also made by Chamberlain.

Is a quiet garage door opener expensive?

No. While there are a number of cheap garage door openers that will open and close your garage door for under $150, the quietest garage door openers can be had for around $200, depending on the brand and features.

Quiet Garage Door Opener Conclusion

If you don’t need the quietest garage door opener, don’t buy one. If your garage is detached from your house, you don’t need a quiet opener.

For everyone else, consider a quiet alternative to your current opener. You might be pleasantly surprised at the difference. For those with teenagers that tend to stay out late, make them park outside and come in through the front door. Put a bell over the door if you have to!

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