Garage Door Openers

Chain Drive Vs Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

Chain Drive Vs Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

Whether you are building a new home and getting a new garage door opener for the first time, or replacing your existing garage door opener, choosing the right garage door opener is an important decision. Because it’s in operation daily in most homes, you will want to carefully consider which one you get. Today, we’re breaking down two popular types of garage door openers: chain drive and belt drive openers. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive into the details to help you decide which opener fits your home best.

Understanding the Mechanics

First, let’s get a handle on how these openers work:

  • Chain Drive Openers use a metal chain to push or pull a trolley that moves your garage door up and down. Think of it like a bicycle chain; it’s strong and straightforward.
  • Belt Drive Openers operate similarly but replace the chain with a rubber belt. Imagine a fan belt in your car—smooth and quiet.

Advantages of Chain Drive Openers

Chain drive systems have been the go-to for years, and here’s why:


Chain drives tend to be more wallet-friendly, which is great if you’re looking to stretch your dollars. When I first started in the business, I was surprised at the price difference, which can really help when budgeting for home improvements.


These systems are tough. They’re built to handle heavier doors and withstand rigorous use, making them a staple in commercial settings as well. I’ve seen chain drive openers last for decades with just a little TLC.


Finding parts for a chain drive system is as easy as pie. Nearly every supplier stocks them, so repairs are straightforward and quick.

Disadvantages of Chain Drive Openers

However, they’re not perfect. Here are a few drawbacks:

Noise Level

Chain drives can be noisy. If you have an attached garage or are sensitive to sound, the clanking of the chain might be a dealbreaker. Especially if you have a bedroom that is above the garage and the sound starts to get irritating. 

Maintenance Requirements

Like any chain, it needs regular lubrication to keep it running smoothly. Neglecting this can lead to wear and tear and ultimately a shorter lifespan for your opener.

Advantages of Belt Drive Openers

Belt drives are gaining popularity for several good reasons:

Quiet Operation

The standout feature of belt drives is their whisper-quiet operation. Perfect for homes with living spaces above or adjacent to the garage, they run so silently that you’ll wonder if they’re even working.

Smooth Operation

Belt drives offer a smoother ride for your garage door, meaning less vibration and a longer life for both the door and the opener. I’ve installed these in many homes where preserving the peace and quiet was a top priority.

Low Maintenance

Since there’s no chain to lubricate, belt drives are lower maintenance. This is a big plus if you’re not keen on regular garage door chores.

Disadvantages of Belt Drive Openers

Of course, belt drives aren’t without their faults:


They are generally more expensive than chain drives. The upfront cost can be a deterrent, though many find the extra investment worth it for the added quiet and smoothness.

Durability Concerns

While modern belts are incredibly durable, they can wear out faster than chains, especially in environments that demand a lot from the opener.

Choosing the Right Opener for Your Home

When deciding between a chain drive and a belt drive, consider the following:

Considerations Based on Usage

How often do you use your garage? If it’s frequent or if you have a particularly heavy door, a robust chain drive might be the way to go.

Noise Sensitivity

If noise is a concern, belt drives are unbeatable. They’re so quiet, you might even forget they’re there—no more garage door sounds interrupting your sleep or work-from-home calls.

Budget Constraints

Consider your budget. If initial cost is a barrier, a chain drive offers reliable performance at a more accessible price point.


Both chain drive and belt drive garage door openers have their merits. Your choice will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and how you use your garage. At Spectrum Overhead Door, we’re here to help you make the best choice for installing a garage door opener in your home.


Maintain your electric garage door opener

Maintain your electric garage door opener

Your electric garage door opener is basically the motor that drives the garage door to open or close. Now most garage door openers have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are a lot of different factors that influence how long your opener will run. If you are trying to avoid having to repair your garage door opener or install a new opener, then best option is to keep it maintained. We are going to go over some ways you can maintain your garage door opener so you can get the most life out of it.

Understanding Your Electric Garage Door Opener

Before diving into maintenance, it’s crucial to understand the basics of your electric garage door opener. Typically, a garage door opener consists of a motor unit, drive mechanism (chain, belt, or screw), and a control system. Each component is vital in the opener’s operation and requires specific attention during maintenance.

Maintaining Your  Garage Door Opener

Regular Inspection and Testing

  1. Visual Inspection: Every few months, inspect your garage door opener for any signs of wear or damage. Check the drive mechanism, springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys for any visible defects.
  2. Balance Test: Disconnect the opener (using the manual release handle) and manually lift the door. It should lift smoothly and stay open about halfway. If it doesn’t, the door may be out of balance, requiring professional adjustment.
  3. Reversal Test: Place a piece of wood (like a 2×4) on the ground where the door would close. The door should reverse upon hitting the wood. If not, the force limit needs adjustment.

Lubrication is Key

A well-lubricated garage door opener operates more smoothly and quietly. Use a silicone-based lubricant or a garage door-specific spray on the opener’s chain or screw. Do not use grease as it can attract dirt and grime.

Keep It Clean

Dust and debris can hinder your garage door opener’s performance. Regularly cleaning the tracks, removing debris, and gently wiping the sensors with a clean cloth can prevent operational issues.

Check and Replace Worn Parts

Over time, parts like rollers, springs, and cables wear out. Inspect these parts regularly for signs of wear. If you notice frayed cables or broken springs, call a professional for replacement.

Safety First: Sensor Alignment and Testing

Electric garage door openers come with safety sensors that prevent the door from closing on objects or people. Ensure these sensors are correctly aligned and clean. Test them by placing an object in the door’s path; the door should reverse immediately.

Remote Control and Keypad Maintenance

Don’t forget about the smaller components. Keep your remote control and keypad in good working order. Replace batteries annually, and keep the remote and keypad clean and dry.

Other Factors That Help Get the Most Life From Your Garage Door Opener

Weather Stripping and Seals

Check the weather stripping around the garage door. If it’s cracked or broken, it needs replacing. Good seals not only keep out the elements but also reduce strain on the garage door opener.

Professional Maintenance

While many maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners, some require professional expertise. Annual inspections and servicing by a professional can catch issues early and ensure safe, efficient operation.

Keep the Area Around the Door Clear

Ensure the area where your garage door operates is clear of objects and debris. This not only prevents damage but also reduces the risk of accidents.

When To Consider a New Opener

Technology evolves, and so do garage door openers. If your opener is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a newer model with advanced safety features and better efficiency.


Regular maintenance of your electric garage door opener is essential for its longevity and safe operation. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your garage door system runs smoothly for years to come. Remember, if you’re unsure about any maintenance task or encounter significant issues, it’s always best to consult with professionals in garage door opener repair like Spectrum Overhead Door in Houston. We’re here to help keep your garage door system in prime condition

Pros and Cons of Genie Garage Door Openers

Pros and Cons of Genie Garage Door Openers

Spectrum Overhead Door, we’ve been working with Genie products since 2006. If a homeowner buys a Genie garage door opener from Home Depot or Lowe’s, we can install it for them. Because of this, we get asked all the time about what we think of Genie garage door openers. So today, we aim to provide a balanced view to help you decide if a Genie garage door opener is the right choice for your home or business in Houston.

Pros of Genie Garage Door Openers

Innovative Features

Genie garage door openers are known for their innovative features designed to enhance user convenience and safety. Features such as Aladdin Connect™ allow users to open, close, and monitor their garage door from anywhere using a smartphone app. 

Budget Friendly

One of the main attractions to Genie garage door openers is the price. Compared to other options out there they are one of the more affordable options that is reliable and has a good set of features. 

Security Features

One of those features is regarding security. Genie garage door openers have advanced security features, such as Intellicode® security technology. This technology changes the access code on each door activation to prevent unauthorized access, providing homeowners with peace of mind.

Ease of Installation

Genie openers are designed with the DIY installer in mind. Many models come with a comprehensive installation manual and require minimal tools, making the installation process straightforward for those who prefer to tackle home improvement projects themselves.

Cons of Genie Garage Door Openers


The main con or problem with Genie garage door openers is durability. While they are considered reliable, they are also made with lighter components. These lighter components do not handle the wear and tear of everyday use as well as a professional grade opener like LiftMasters openers. So this may mean you are having to get a new opener sooner than heaver-built garage door openers. 


The reason we put their warranty as a con is because there are clearly better warranties out there. LiftMaster is ahead regarding warranty and offers a lifetime warranty on all motors and belts, a 5-year warranty on parts, and a one-year battery-backup warranty. On the other hand, Genie’s door openers come with a maximum 15-year or limited lifetime warranty, with one 5-year warranty on core parts and a 1-year warranty on accessories.

Should You Get a Genie Garage Door Opener?

We are not going to tell you not to buy a Genie garage door opener. They are fairly well-built, decently-priced garage door openers. If budget is a concern, then they are one of the best brands to get performance on a budget. However, after years of installing garage door openers, what we have seen is if longevity is more of a concern of yours we would recommend looking at LiftMaster’s line of garage door openers because they are more durable than Genie openers. However, if you do purchase a Genie garage door opener, know that you are getting a good garage door opener. 



Signs That You Need a New Garage Door Opener

Signs That You Need a New Garage Door Opener

Many homeowners grapple with the question of when to replace their garage door opener. Your garage door opener is an essential component of your home’s functionality and security. While they are built to last, they don’t last forever. Understanding the signs that indicate a need for a new garage door opener can save you from unexpected breakdowns and enhance your home’s safety. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the key indicators that suggest it’s time to invest in a new garage door opener.

The Age of Your Garage Door Opener

The age of your garage door opener is a good indicator of whether or not you need a new one. If your opener is more than 15 years old, it may be time to consider a replacement. Older openers may not have the safety features and energy efficiency of newer models, which could put you and your family at risk.

If your Garage Door Opener Makes Noise

Older garage door openers often make a lot of noise. If your garage door opener is creating more noise than usual, such as grinding, rattling, or straining sounds, it might be a sign of internal wear and tear. Newer models are much quieter, with some using a belt drive system that is almost silent.

 If The Garage Door Opener Malfunctions

If your garage door opener is malfunctioning, it might be time to replace your garage door opener. Malfunctions can include the door opening or closing on its own, the door not opening or closing at all, or the opener making unusual sounds. These malfunctions can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn-out components or a faulty motor. We do want to stress that malfunctions do not straight away mean you need a new garage door opener, but combining it with other factors may lead to that determination. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether it’s better to repair or place the garage door opener, and that is where a garage door professional like Spectrum Overhead Door can help. 

Slow Response Time

A noticeable delay between when you press the remote and when the door begins to open is a sign of a problem. While a slight delay is normal, a delay of more than a few seconds can indicate issues with the opener or the door itself.

Vibration During Operation

An opener that vibrates excessively might be a sign of a motor that is struggling or internal components that are wearing out. This vibration can become severe enough that it poses a risk of the opener dislodging from its mounting.

Lack of energy efficiency

Older garage door openers may not be as energy efficient as newer models, which can lead to higher energy bills. If you’re noticing a significant increase in your energy bills, it may be time to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Your Opener Lacks a Battery Backup

The Houston area is prone to outages. A garage door opener with a battery backup is really a good idea. It ensures that your garage door can operate even when the power is out.

The Lack of Safety Features

 Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to garage door openers. If your opener doesn’t have safety features such as automatic reversal, photoelectric sensors, or rolling code technology, it’s time to upgrade to a newer model. These safety features can prevent accidents and injuries by stopping the door from closing on people or objects.

Security Concerns

Older garage door openers are more vulnerable to burglaries. Newer models offer rolling code technology, which changes the access code each time the remote is used, preventing unauthorized access. Also, newer Liftmaster models come with a built-in security camera and 360 lighting, letting you know what’s going on in your own garage.

Incompatibility with smart home technology

If you’re interested in adding smart home technology to your garage door opener, your current opener may not be compatible. If you’re looking to upgrade to a newer, more compatible model, you’ll be able to control your garage door opener from your smartphone, tablet, or another internet-connected device.

In conclusion, if you’re experiencing any of these signs, it may be time to consider a new garage door opener. By upgrading to a newer model, you can improve the safety, security, and convenience of your garage, as well as reduce your energy bills. When choosing a new garage door opener, be sure to look for one that has the safety features, security features, and convenience features that you need for your specific needs. Additionally, make sure to choose a model that is compatible with any smart home technology you may be interested in.If you are in the Houston area, Spectrum Overhead Door can help to help you choose the right model for your needs and ensure a proper installation of your garage door opener motor.


Why Do the Pros Trust Liftmaster Garage Door Openers?

Why Do the Pros Trust Liftmaster Garage Door Openers?

If your garage door opener has quit on you and you are shopping around for garage door openers and installation, you have a fair amount of choices on openers.  You can even walk into a Walmart and can see a row of Genie garage door openers. So why is it that just about every garage door company recommends and trusts LiftMaster garage door openers? When you ask a garage door professional they usually just give you the short answer “Well, its professional grade”. Yet what does that really mean?  Is getting a professional-grade LiftMaster garage door opener any better than picking up an opener from Walmart? Spoiler alert, it usually is. We know from both installing openers here at Spectrum Overhead and selling them at our sister company, Parts 4 Garage Doors. We are going to tell you why generally, LiftMasters are trusted by the pros. 

Who is LiftMaster?

LiftMaster is a part of the Chamberlain Group. The roots of The Chamberlain Group date back to the mid-20th century. The company initially began as a manufacturer of home and commercial door operators. Over time, they diversified their portfolio and expanded into the garage door opener market. Chamberlain makes three brands of garage door openers, Chamberlain, Craftsman and Liftmaster.

LiftMaster garage door openers are specifically targeted towards professional installers, differentiating itself from the DIY market segment. LiftMaster quickly gained a reputation for its durability, reliability, and innovative features.

Why is Liftmaster Considered a Professional Grade?

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LiftMaster has a long-standing reputation for producing highly reliable and durable garage door openers. These openers are designed to withstand frequent use, making them ideal for commercial settings, such as parking garages, as well as for residential use.

Quality Construction

LiftMaster garage door openers are built with high-quality materials and components. They are known for their robust construction, which contributes to their longevity and ability to handle heavy garage doors.

Advanced Technology 

LiftMaster consistently incorporates advanced technological features into their openers. This includes innovations like MyQ Technology, which allows homeowners to control and monitor their garage door opener remotely using a smartphone app. This level of technology integration is highly valued in both residential and commercial settings.


 LiftMaster places a strong emphasis on security features. Their openers often come with rolling code technology, which generates a new security code each time the garage door is operated, making it extremely difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access.

Quiet Operation 

Many LiftMaster models are designed for quiet and smooth operation. This is especially important for residential settings where noise can be a nuisance.

Professional Installation

LiftMaster products are typically installed by trained professionals. This ensures that the opener is properly set up, calibrated, and maintained, reducing the likelihood of issues down the line.


LiftMaster stands behind its products with warranties that often exceed industry standards. This reflects their confidence in the quality and durability of their openers.

Customer Support

LiftMaster provides excellent customer support and resources for both homeowners and professionals. This includes online manuals, troubleshooting guides, and a responsive customer service team.

Industry Leadership

LiftMaster is an industry leader and innovator. They invest in research and development, continually improving their products to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers.

Overall, LiftMaster’s reputation as a professional-grade brand is built on a combination of reliability, durability, technological innovation, and a commitment to security and customer satisfaction. These qualities make LiftMaster a trusted choice for homeowners, business owners, and garage door professionals alike.

Spectrum Overhead Doors has been installing LiftMaster garage door openers since 2006. If you are in the Houston area and need to replace your garage door opener, give us a call at  281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment. 


Understanding Genie Garage Door Opener Error Codes

Understanding Genie Garage Door Opener Error Codes

Genie garage door openers are one of the more common budget garage door openers on the market. When all goes right, they get the job done, opening and closing the garage door as it should. However, just like any other piece of machinery or electrical equipment, it can malfunction from time to time. The good thing is, Genie garage door openers have red and green lights that can help you diagnose some of the basic issues going on with your garage door opener. This can help you save time and money by not having to call a garage door repair company for a simple fix. Let’s look at Genie garage door opener error codes.

Garage Door Opener Error Codes

Genie chain and belt drive garage door openers flash the red or green LEDs lights next to the Learn button to signal error codes. Here are the error codes and what they mean.

Red LED blinks once, pauses and repeats: Means A remote device transmitter has not been programmed.

What should you do: Program the remote device following the instructions in your owner’s manual.


Green LED blinks once, pauses and repeats: Obstruction between the sensors, door is binding or door travel limit needs programming.

What should you do: Remove any obstruction between the safety reversing sensors. Pull the emergency door release and check the up-and-down travel of the garage door for binding. Repair the garage door if it doesn’t travel smoothly. Program the door travel limits following the instructions in the owner’s manual.


Green LED blinks twice, pauses and repeats: Continuous obstruction between the sensors, sensors are out of alignment, bad wiring connections on the power head, or door travel limit needs programming.

What you should do: Remove any obstruction between the safety reversing sensors. Realign the safety reversing sensors if askew. Unplug the garage door opener and reconnect any loose wires on the power head. Program the door travel limits following the instructions in the owner’s manual.


Green LED blinks 3 times, pauses and repeats: Travel limits are backwards

What you should do: Clear and reprogram the travel limits following the instructions in your owner’s manual.


Green LED blinks 4 times, pauses and repeats: The wall control wires are reversed on the power head or the wall control wires are shorted

What you should do: Reverse the wall control wires on the power head if improperly connected. Unplug the garage door opener and replace the wires for the wall control if damaged. If the wires are okay, replace the wall control.


Green LED blinks 5 times, pauses and repeats: Chain/belt is too tight or control system failure.

What you should do: Adjust the chain/belt tension following the instructions in your owner’s manual. If the chain/belt tension is okay, replace the control board assembly.


Some of these fixes are fairly simple and some are a little more involved. In either case though, if it’s not something you are comfortable working with, then it might be best to call in a garage door opener repair professional. If you are in the Houston area and you own a Genie garage door opener that gives you one of these error codes, Spectrum Overhead Door can repair your Genie garage door opener for you. Call 713-913-1721 to schedule your appointment.



Garage Door Openers