Choosing a garage door automation system | Garage Doors | Blog | Doorfit

Choosing the right automation system for your garage door

Enabling easy access at the push of a remote control; automation systems provide a safe and convenient entry solution to your garage, allowing you to drive into the safety of your own property before getting out of the car.

But while they’re easy to use, garage automation systems can be slightly harder to choose. There’s a wide variety of systems available, and you’ll need to make sure you pick one that’s compatible with your existing set-up.

You’ll also often have a choice of three different types of mechanism – screw, chain or belt drive -so it’s important to know the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Types of garage automation systems

Screw driven systems, which use a threaded steel rod to bring the garage door up and down, were for a long time the most popular garage gadget on the market.  However, recent advances in technology have seen chain and belt-driven systems come to the fore.

Chain-driven garage openers, as the name suggests, comprise a metal chain attached to a trolley. While strong, and generally quite reliable, the chain can make a little noise when opening and closing the garage door – not ideal if your garage is attached to a neighbour’s house, or indeed situated below or next to your own living space.

And that’s where belt driven systems come in, using a Kevlar belt to open and close the garage door quietly – with none of the metal-on-metal noise associated with the other two systems, Kevlar is extremely strong (interestingly also used in the manufacture of bullet proof vests) making it a reliable choice.

Added features

You might think a garage automation system is something of a one-dimensional tool. It opens, it closes – what more can it do? Well, depending on the kind of system you choose, the answer can be a lot.

Most modern systems, for instance, have a range of safety features built in. So, if the door detects an object in its path as it swings up or down (an object which could easily be a child), the system will automatically reverse or cut out. If you’ve got young family, make sure this feature is included on the system you choose.

There are security features on many models too which at the push of a button can show you on the hand held transmitter whether the door has been left open ,so, if you tend to forget to close the garage door, get a system with this capability.

Some smart automatic garage doors can also be connected to your home wi-fi, allowing you to operate your door even when you’re out of the country. Perfect if you need to let a neighbour in while you’re away.

Pulling power

An automated system makes such light work of opening a garage door, it’s easy to forget just how awkward the doors can be, especially the double sized doors. In order that you don’t place too much strain on the system, choose one with a sufficiently high-powered motor.

For a standard-sized garage door (up to 8ft in width), a motor with approximately 45kgs of power will be sufficient. If your garage door is larger, opt for something that can handle 60kgs.

You can take a little weight off your mind, too, by seeking out a great warranty. Like any investment, your purchase of an automatic garage door system is one that should be financially protected for as long as possible.

Keeping it legal

It is a legal requirement in the UK that any power operated garage door installation complies with the Machinery Directive. Part of the criteria dictates that a certificate (declaration of conformity) must be issued by the installer on completion of the installation. As this is a legal requirement, ultimately put in place to safeguard the end user, it is important to ask any installer whether they comply with this legislation.

Here are just a couple of the automation systems available from Doorfit

Garamatic 7 electric garage door operator
Suitable for: retractable and sectional garage doors
Guarantee: 5 years

Hormann Promatic electric garage door operator
Suitable for: retractable and sectional garage doors
Guarantee: 5 years

Need more help?

If you’re still not sure what type of automation system best suits your garage door, ask the experts. You can give us a call, enquire about our garage automation systems online, or drop in to see us at our showroom in Birmingham.