Essentially there are different types of door openers.
However, chain drive and belt drive openers are trendy choices among homeowners.
But choosing between the two models can be tricky.
So, Can You Replace A Chain Drive Garage Door Opener With A Belt Drive?
Yes, you can upgrade your chain drive opener to a belt drive. Although belt drive can be considered a superior product, there are essential factors that you should consider as a homeowner before replacing your chain-driven garage door opener. You need to familiarize yourself with the two openers to know how each function, among other factors, to help you decide if you should switch to a belt drive.
How Does The Chain Drive Version Operate?
As the name implies, a chain drive garage door opener uses looped chains to open or close your garage doors, just like the one on a bicycle.
They have existed for a very long time, and you will find that older garage openers are chain driven.
The chain is fitted to the drive sprocket on the electric-powered motor.
When the motor is activated, it moves the trolley and the door.
For the chain to complete the circle, it will loop around an unoccupied sprocket at the opposite end of the main drive track.
The electric motor will turn the chain and set off the trolley to raise the door as the circle is completed.
Four Chain Drive Opener PROS
So, why do homeowners choose chain drive openers?
Well, chain-driven garage door openers work for most garage doors because of their high tensile strength.
- They are readily available in the market, so you won’t have to hassle up and down looking for a garage opener.
- They have a high load-bearing capacity. Chain openers are relatively robust and can lift more load than the belt drive. Essentially, this means that you can use the chain drive opener to operate a heavier door like a steel carriage.
- Chain-driven door opener works with all types of garage doors.
- With chain-driven openers, you have access to skilled experts.
Three Chain Drive Opener CONS
- Chain drive openers can be a nuisance when it comes to noise. The rattling noise produced when metallic parts of the door rub against the floor can be irritating.
- They have a shorter lifespan relative to the chain belt openers.
- Since the chain is metallic, it is prone to many friction-related damages to the system.
How Does The Belt Drive Version Operate?
Technically, a belt drive opener uses a similar operation mechanism to the chain drive opener. But in place of the chains, it uses high tensile rubber belts.
The connection belt runs from the operator to the cable system and a pulley.
The belt rotates through the operator to complete a circle.
Current models come with a remote switch, through which you can control the garage opener from a distance.
You can synchronize some models with your smartphone to control your garage wherever you are.
Five Belt Drive Opener PROS
- They are less noisy than the chain drive models.
- They are more durable.
- They require minimal maintenance.
- The belt moves without any binding or hesitation.
- They’re suitable for detached (and attached) garages .
Three Belt Drive Opener CONS
The belt drive openers also come with their shortcomings.
- They are very costly compared to chain drive openers. For instance, it can cost as much as $273 per unit, excluding the installation cost, which usually ranges from $100 to $150. In contrast, a chain drive opener goes for between $100 and $200.
- They have a lower load-bearing capacity. Belt drive openers are not suitable for heavy wood or steel doors.
- You will have to choose a lighter door. Two or more garage doors can overload the opener.
Five Reasons Why You Should Replace A Chain Drive With A Belt Drive
1. Lower Noise Level
It would be best to consider the noise level acceptable in your home.
For instance, if you are raising young kids, you do not want to be disturbing them by opening the garage every time you pop in home late.
Under these circumstances, the ideal action is to replace the chain drive opener with a belt drive.
Therefore, the belt drive is quieter and perfect if your garage is very close to your living room.
2. Operates More Smoothly
The belt drive opener operates smoothly with no cluttering sound from metal to metal friction produced every time you open the garage.
The opener operates with a rubber-style belt that is reinforced by steel. Thus, the belt drive opener is smooth and solid, and durable.
3. Smartphone Features
The belt-driven garage door openers have unique, attractive features for the modern homeowner.
For instance, you can open an account to operate your garage system from your smartphone or computer with typical models.
Therefore, it will give you a lot of conveniences so you won’t have to get out of your car to go open the garage.
You can even regulate who enters your garage since you carry the logs in your phone.
4. Convenient Installation
Some companies have created do-it-yourself type of belt drive openers with self-guided how-to-install instructions.
Some manufacturers have even preassembled and preprogrammed the openers so that you will simply install them through simple guided steps.
5. Applicable Sizes
Belt drive garage openers come in different sizes.
You can choose the opener you want to install depending on the number of doors in your garage.
The categorization is done according to the size of the motor, such as 1/4HP, 1/2HP, and 3/4HP.
Given the attractive options, switching to a more convenient garage opener shouldn’t be a problem.
So, if you are fed up with the noise and vibrations, or you are looking forward to upgrading your old chain garage door opener, you can replace it with a belt drive opener.
The advantage of switching to a belt drive opener is that you will incur less maintenance.
And since both models use a similar mechanism principle, you can reuse the existing parts by making a few modifications without affecting the overall working of the system.