Chamberlain vs Genie – which is better?
If you always open your garage door by hand, then you might be looking for a simple and effective solution to automate your garage door. Why push the door up when you could let a motorized opener do it?
Variety of door openers
The main difference between openers is whether they use chain or belt drives At this point, most homeowners choose between two different types of openers: chain-drive and belt-drive. You can also find screw-drive openers, but these are less common; they tend to be more expensive than the other types because of their low popularity. One final option is Overhead Door MiraCradle Opener, which is an entirely new design that’s basically a simplified version of the rail system.
Let’s take a closer look at each type.
Chain-drive openers are probably the most common type of residential garage door opener. They tend to be less expensive than belt-drive openers, but they also tend to weigh more. Chain drives use a metal chain to move the trolley (the part that attaches to the rail) back and forth on the overhead track.
The advantage of this is that it’s noiseless; you will rarely hear your opener running because there’s no motor inside it like in other types of garage door openers. However, the downside is that they’re not as smooth or reliable as other types. On average, these are usually cheaper than their counterparts at around $200-$400 new.
Belt-drive openers are often called “silent operators” because they’re much quieter than other types. That’s because instead of being powered by a steel chain, these have a rubber belt that runs the “basket” (the part that attaches to the rail) back and forth on the overhead track. While this minimizes noise, it also makes them more expensive at an average price of around $400-$800 new.
Many homeowners choose belt-drive openers because they want their garage door opener to be quiet. However, belt drives can actually leave something to be desired in terms of reliability compared to other options. Belt breaks are not only common but hard to predict when they’ll happen unless you already had some kind of indication like loud or odd noises while your opener running. On the plus side, if the belt breaks, it’s usually a quick fix and not too expensive (unlike chain drives).
Screw-drive openers are less common than the other types. They have little motors inside them that turn screws to lift and lower the garage door. These tend to be on the pricier side of things at around $800-$1,200 new because they require a lot more installation work than other options.
On some newer models, you can even control your garage from an app on your phone that is if you’re willing to pay for those kinds of features. Generally speaking, screw drives are known as being some of the most durable openers on the market today because they run so smoothly and quietly.
Chamberlain door opener is one of the most popular and trusted types of garage door openers. Chamberlain is a company that manufactures and develops different types of hardware devices, since the 1930s with their famous wireless lamps to smartphones with built-in garage door opener apps and internet connection. It is a worldwide company with headquarters in Oakdale, Minnesota. They offer a line of screw drive openers as well as belt and chain drives.
In this section, we will focus on screw drive door openers from Chamberlain since they are less expensive than the other types. In general, it is recommended to opt for a belt-drive opener if you want smooth reliable operation at slightly higher prices, but they are often more expensive than Chamberlain’s which run quite smoothly and quietly even though they don’t belt drives.
Most models also include multi-function keypads where you can actually set up different codes so that your neighbor or relatives can enter the garage without having to break your code first (normally you can usually program up to 18 remote controls).
This commercial-grade door opener has built-in Wi-Fi and smartphone compatibility. It offers 3/4 horsepower, up to 1/2 horsepower reduction drive, soft start, and cozy down technology to prevent damage to the garage door or opener during installation or relocation of the unit. The belt drive is ultra-quiet at just 48 decibels!
If you want a small yet powerful garage door opener then this baby might be the perfect one for you. This screw drive opener runs at 1/2 HP peak making it super efficient but not big enough for very heavy doors (a good choice if your current door is light). With just 55 decibels of noise output, it is among the quietest chamberlain openers out. There isn’t much inside this garage door opener that would break down over time, but if it does the belt is replaceable for around $100.
This Chamberlain opener is a compact choice with a 1/2 horsepower motor and an ultra-quiet belt drive. As with most belt drives from Chamberlain you can expect this one to be very smooth and quiet at just 56 decibels of noise output. It has plenty of power to lift doors up to 550 pounds and it offers multi-function security+2.0 rolling code technology which will prevent your codes from getting hacked. You can control up to 3 garage doors with this device’s built-in controls making it great for multiple businesses or homeowners who need extra access (additional remotes).
Genie door opener is also a worldwide company that has its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. As with Chamberlain, Genie offers screw drives as well as belt drives for residential use.
This powerful 1/2 horsepower garage door opener features QuietLift technology which provides super-fast full power operation on up to 8-foot doors weighing up to 550 pounds. Coupled with the belt drive this means this opener will operate smoothly and quietly at just 53 decibels of noise output – one of the quietest available! The Safe-T-Beam infrared system monitors the movement of your door once it is down into the closed position by stopping all traffic when something obstructs its path (a pretty neat safety feature).
Genie makes some great openers but the main downside of the screw drive is that it isn’t suitable for use on lightweight doors, but they make up for this lack of versatility with unmatched power (1/2 horsepower). With this Genie, you can rest assured your door will open and close smoothly even when heavily loaded. This one also offers built-in Wi-Fi technology to control your garage door opener from anywhere!
Chamberlain vs Genie
Chamberlain sometimes comes out better in price while some prefer belt drives for quiet operation, Genie makes up for some of their legendary belt drives by being more versatile so it really depends on what you need. Try visiting your local hardware store or home center to find these models available to purchase in person instead of ordering online so you don’t have to deal with complicated shipping.
What aspects should I consider?
Price is important when selecting your garage door opener, but you should never choose one based on price alone. You want something that is powerful enough for your garage door and is appropriate for the amount of use it will see.
Maintenance-wise you can expect to have to replace a belt drive every 5 – 7 years while a screw drive might last up to 3 times longer. If you are going to be moving your opener around a lot or you plan to bring yours indoors during the winter months look into buying openers with removable controls, this way they won’t get damaged if dropped or destroyed by water.
You will also need to decide on whether you want an automatic or manual garage door opener. If you plan to use your garage for anything (like you actually park in it) then chances are you’ll want an automatic opener – but if not then a manual version is more affordable, less complicated, and comes with fewer features.
Though it may be useful to have one of each so that different vehicles can be parked in the garage while others simply pull in.
If you have a sectional garage door then look to upgrade to a belt drive that is fully compatible with these types of doors.
How much should I expect to pay?
You can find Chamberlain openers in the $100 – $300 price range while Genie openers are usually priced in the same ballpark.
Is it easy to install?
These are made to be installed by homeowners, but you will need access to your garage ceiling and wiring so make sure you know where your power source is beforehand or that you have an extension cord available if needed. If attaching the opener isn’t something you feel comfortable doing then enlisting help from someone who has experience will likely save you time. Be aware that all screws, nuts, and bolts need to be checked regularly after your first few weeks of use. If one becomes loose, tighten it up immediately to avoid injury or damage to the door.
Whether installing a brand new garage door opener or doing the replacement and upgrade the biggest and most important part of this process is to make sure you disconnect your old door opener before installation. This may sound obvious but many people neglect to think about it until their unit doesn’t work when they hook up all the wires in reverse order (don’t do this).
Make sure you have the correct tools including an adequate ladder, screwdrivers, level, wire strippers/crimpers, etc. Before install remember to place rubber bumpers onto panels so they don’t get dented while being raised/lowered for temporary storage purposes during installation. Also, be extra careful not to damage roof shingles while positioning your mount on top if you have one. Keep track of all your installation parts and hardware as they are not interchangeable from model to model.
These two models typically have a simple 2 wire hook up so most people can do this project themselves if you have the know-how, just remember to save all packaging materials in case you need to return anything. It is recommended that a professional do installations on openers weighing more than 200 pounds however since it’s probably overkilled unless you’re really strong (no pun intended) or plan on doing multiple replacements.
Pick your door opener wisely! Check out our other article covering some common garage door opener features before making your final choice.