Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener

Belt Drive vs Chain Drive Garage Door Opener: Which Is Better?

Your garage door is one of your home’s most important assets. We use it every day to quickly enter or exit our home. It protects our garage from the elements and creates a secure and safe space for our cars and other belongings.

A great garage door also brings your home together and increases the curb appeal of your home. There are many decisions to make, but the most important is one you probably didn’t expect, choosing between a belt or chain garage door opener.

There are several things to know about the type of garage door openers you should select. Our guide has you covered.

The Difference Between a Belt or Chain Garage Door Opener

Man Chain Mechanism StrengthA chain garage door opener is a trolley system and uses a metal chain to open your garage door. This opener uses a chain running along a rail, operated by an electric motor that lifts and lowers the door.

The way a trolley system works is attached to an arm that connects to the garage door’s top. This arm moves back and forth to control the movement of the door.

The door is actually controlled by a system of counterbalance springs and cables that control how much force to exert. This means the motor only controls how far the door opens and closes.

Chain door openers are very popular due to their affordability and are easily available.

The belt garage door opener also uses a trolley system to operate the door, with a rubber belt replacing the chain. Despite using the same trolley system, you need to know some important differences between chain and belt garage door openers.


If price and affordability is your primary concern, you will want a good chain garage door opener. They are tried and tested and inexpensive. It is not uncommon for garage doors to come with chain door openers.

Belt garage door openers are more expensive, but they can prove to be the more economical decision over the long run. Belt garage door openers have a much longer operating lifetime since the trolley is used to move a rubber belt up and down, and this causes much less friction and wear and tear than the chain door opener.


The type of door you purchase will play a role in deciding between belt or chain garage door openers. The heavier the door, the stronger your door opening system needs to be.

The chain garage door opener is stronger than the belt alternative. This makes chains the system of choice for heavier doors, especially if you are going with a steel carriage or two or three-car garage doors.

Belt garage door openers will have trouble lifting 2-car garage doors and heavy wooden doors. They are best suited to single car garage doors; however you can find more robust belt drives that can support heavier doors, they are more expensive and harder to find.


Woman Irritated By Noise From GarageNoise is often one of the major frustrations homeowners have with their garage doors. You hate to make it all the way home only to wake up the baby with a thunderously noisy garage door.

Simply put, belt garage door openers are quieter than their chain alternatives. The layout of your house will impact how important noise is in making your decision.

When you take into consideration the position of the rooms in the house and how noise will impact your life because it might be a factor in your choice.

If you have a detached garage, you may easily tolerate the noisier chain system. But if you have a bedroom right above or next to the garage, you may find the noise completely untenable.


Convenience may seem like a luxury consideration when making this decision, but this is a system you will be using at least twice every day. Having to wait for your garage door to open slowly can be a source of frustration.

The belt garage door openers are faster than the chain alternatives. Additionally, the chain drivers will sometimes need re-adjustment to operate effectively. Although this is uncommon, it will be frustrating when the door fails to open, especially during winter or when you are in a rush.


Generally speaking, replacing a belt garage door opener is much easier and quicker than a chain door opener.

As to which requires more maintenance and upkeep, the answer isn’t so straightforward. Chain door openers will last longer than belt systems. But to operate and last a long time, they need to be oiled regularly. This helps prevent corrosion and other issues.

The belt systems are also more susceptible to issues during extreme weather, both hot and cold. At Gateway Door and Contracting Co, we have all kinds of maintenance plans that will keep your system running for years.

Man Working On Garage Door Opener SystemIs a Chain or Belt Garage Door Opener Right For You?

Every homeowner will have to make a unique choice based on the unique needs of their home. For homeowners who have an attached garage with a bedroom or living area near buy, the quieter belt systems might be the only viable option.

For a homeowner with a detached garage and a strict budget, the chain garage door opener is probably the best choice. If you have a three-car garage, you will probably need to use a chain system, even if you have a living space next to an attached garage.

The decision can be tough, so way all your options, just remember that this is something you will have to live with for a while. It might be best to talk to a professional because through years of experience. They will know what would work best.

Always Have a Professional Install Your Belt or Chain Garage Door Opener

No matter which garage door opener you choose to go with, you consider a professional to have the system installed.  We have the garage door opener you’re looking for.  For more information about our garage door openers, request a free estimate today

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