The Door Company (TDC), California’s leading garage door company, employs a team of professionals who have experience working on all sorts of garage doors. They make it their job to help homeowners understand the pros and cons of each garage door option, including the differences between chain versus belt-driven systems.
“While it may seem simple, homeowners do in fact have several decisions to make when it comes to their garage door, first of which is deciding on chain or belt driven,” said TDC President, President Mark Stuenkel. “Of course, both options will open and shut the door, however, each has differentiating factors to consider including speed, strength and price.”
Below is a brief comparison of both the chain drive, and the belt drive, systems of garage door openers:
Typically, garage door opening systems are not very fast due to safety considerations (garage doors need to move slowly to avoid bodily injury and vehicle damage). However, there are other factors involved when it comes to the speed of a garage door opener.
Most current openers raise and lower the door at a rate of 7 – 8 inches per second. One of the factors affecting speed is smoothness of travel. One of the negatives of a chain drive system is that the door tends to bounce as it moves up the rail; however a belt drive system is fairly smooth, making it operate faster and smoother than a chain drive.
Garage door openers are noisy. There are plenty of aftermarket products that can help reduce the noise and vibrations caused by the motor and drive system. When it comes to comparing a chain-driven garage door opener and a belt-driven system, the belt-driven system is much quieter.
The noise from the chain drive, which is made from the gearing, motor, and metal-on-metal contact, leaves this type of opener at a disadvantage. The belt drive does not have this contact with metal, making the belt system more discreet.
While a belt-driven garage door may provide quieter operating noises, it lacks in another department: strength. While the weight of a common steel or aluminum garage door is fine for any type of opener, a customized garage made of wood or additional insulation, for example, would require a chain drive. The strength of chain link will help to lift heavier doors than a belt drive.
Lastly, a belt-driven garage door opener is going to cost the homeowner more than a chain-driven. However, when consumers consider the benefits of a quieter, smooth, and durable operation, it may be worth the extra expense.
“Chain and belt drive systems each have their pros and cons,” said Mark. “My team of experts at The Door Company is here to help California homeowners make the right decision based on all the factors at play.”