Nobody likes the hassle of lifting their garage door manually. With a garage door opener, that problem melts away. 

In this article we look at three popular garage door openers available to determine which is the best and which is the budget option. As you’ll see, we crown the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener as our HowToHome pick because it has smart technology, the most powerful lifting action, and a remote control with a 1,500-foot range.

  • MyQ smartphone control
  • Works in all weather conditions including snow and ice
  • Motion detecting security light
  • 1,500 feet remote range
  • Battery back-up for power failures
  • 1-year limited warranty

  • Comes with two remote controls
  • Infrared safety features
  • Motion detecting security light
  • Auto-close timer
  • LCD diagnostic display
  • 1-year warranty

  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Motion detecting security light
  • Smartphone enabled
  • Safe-T-Beam system prevents accidents
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Lifetime motor warranty, 5-year parts, 1-year accessories


Chamberlain is the king of garage door openers, especially on Amazon, where they dominate the field. We’ve chosen this B970 model because it represents an excellent value and comes packed with safety features and technology to set it apart. 

It comes with two remote controls, just in case you didn’t want to download their app and use your smartphone to control the opener. Incidentally, the MyQ system that Chamberlain employ allows you to control the garage door from anywhere in the world. 

Another thing that makes this door opener stand out is the fact that it can operate in extreme temperatures and even breaks ice and snow. All of this is thanks to their industry-leading 1.25 HP power lifting system.

The belt drive is steel reinforced and ultra-quiet, so returning late at night won’t wake the kids or the neighbors. Plus, the range of the remote is 1,500 feet, so you don’t have to wait while the door opens. It also has a motion detecting security light that allows you to negotiate your way out of the car with ease.

Chamberlain supplies a battery pack for emergencies should the power go out, and their door openers have 100 billion code encryptions to prevent hacking.

On the downside, it can be a little slow to open, so the range of the remote is useful when you approach the garage door. Some have also reported that the belt drive emits a whining noise after repeated use. That said, what justifies this as our champion is the power, smart technology, and the number of encryption codes to keep you and your property safe. Moreover, its back-up battery system means it will work even in a power cut and conforms to Californian laws.

Pros

  • Steel reinforced drive chain
  • 100 Billion code encryptions
  • Industry-leading power lift
  • Safety motion sensors
  • Security light

Cons

  • Slow opening action
  • Some units make a whining noise
  • Connecting to the app can be hard


This Atoms garage door opener doesn’t come with the same smart technology as the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener, but for an extra expense, you can buy a kit to upgrade this door opener to connect and control it from your smart device. 

This model might lack some of the technology of others, but it is no slouch when it comes to features. It has safety sensors that detect motion when the beam is broken; it has a built-in LED light that triggers when it detects motion; and it also comes with two remotes. It will even work with your in-car remote without the addition of any hardware.It also has a soft open and close feature to minimize vibration and noise and the drive belt is ultra-quiet, so it won’t bother anyone in a room above your garage. 

This garage door opener is designed with a self-diagnostic system that reports faults via an LCD, and one of the best features is the auto-close timer that shuts the garage door after a set time. It means you never have to worry about securing your property before you leave.

Getting the different elements like the remotes and wall sensors to sync can be a pain, however, and the installation instructions are generic. This means that there may be a bit of head-scratching before you work out all the glitches to arrive at a satisfactory outcome. That said, this unit is so cheap compared to others, if you invest some time and have a little patience you will end up with a perfectly capable garage door opener for a lot less money.

Pros

  • Soft open and close
  • DIY fitting
  • Safety sensors
  • Self-diagnostics
  • Security light

Cons

  • Installation instructions can be confusing
  • Difficult to sync

This Genie model boasts one of the quietest motors on the market, meaning that it won’t disturb the family when you activate it early in the morning or late at night. Like the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener, this model is also compatible with a smart device using their dedicated Aladdin Connect Wifi connectivity. Once you are set up, it means you can control the garage door from anywhere. Also, it has a motion detecting light to make getting out of the car safer.

This unit also comes with Homelink and Car2U compatibility built-in, which means that you can program your car’s integrated RF transmitter to link to your garage door opener and not worry about using the remote. It also means that you don’t have to buy additional hardware. It has 0.75 HP power lift, which will cope with garage doors up to seven feet and a maximum weight of 500 lbs. Like the Atoms AT-1622BK Door Opener, this model is easy to install, with a snap-together rail system that comes in five parts. 

The remote is a bit of a let down, though, as it has a weak range compared to others in its class. Some have also reported that the remote can be temperamental. Plus, this model doesn’t have a battery back-up in case of a power outage. If you live in California, this door will not meet regulations because as of July 1st, 2019, all garage door openers must have a back-up power source. Putting the negatives aside, though, this Genie garage door opener is good value for money and by far the quietest model featured in the review.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Homelink and Car2U compatible
  • Easy to install
  • Wifi-enabled
  • Security light

Cons

  • Weak range for the remote
  • No back-up battery system

Comparison Chart

Chamberlain B970 Door OpenerAtoms AT-1622BK Door OpenerGenie QuietLift Door Opener
No of remotes222
Motion detecting light
wifi/app- controlledX
Safety sensors
Battery back-upXX
DIY installX
Price $$$$$$
Dimensions 18 x 10 x 6.512.1 x 5.6 x 5.5116 x 12 x 8.5
Warranty 1-year1-yearLifetime motor, 5-year parts, 1-year accessories

Buyer’s Guide:

Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers are designed with convenience in mind. Busy parents shuttling the children in the car want to get them safely inside. Simply clicking a button and gliding into your garage is the safest way to do it. Insurance premiums are also typically lower for vehicles that are garaged, and we all know what a pain it is putting the car away without an automatic opener. If you are disabled or elderly and lack the motor skills or strength to lift a heavy garage door, one of these door openers is ideal for you. It could even add value to your home.

Quiet Drive System 

The noise that your garage door opener makes varies between models, but it is recommended to look out for one with a quiet motor.  This is important if you want to operate the garage door at unsociable hours and don’t want to wake the family or the neighbors.

Smartphone Control

Some of the newer garage door openers come equipped with app controls and wireless technology so you can pair them with your smart device and control the garage door from anywhere. Since these smart openers are controlled wirelessly, look for models like the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener which has 100 Billion code encryptions to keep your property safe..

Auto-Close Function

For the ultimate in convenience, try a garage door opener that has an automatic close timer that detects the amount of time the door is open, assumes you have forgotten to close it, and does so automatically. Some models, like the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener, however, alert you when you’ve left the door open and allow you to close it via mobile phone app – such as the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener 

Horsepower

Consider the door opener’s horsepower: it has to lift your door without too much strain on the motor. Underpowered openers will burn out quicker, which will lead to costly bills for repair or replacement. Also, each product will state the maximum load capacity so make sure you check what the weight is of your garage door and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. 

Security Light

A motion-detecting security light is essential because no one likes entering a dark garage in the dead of night, not to mention the obvious trip hazards. All of our recommended products have this feature.

Manual Safety Release

If the power goes and your door stops dead, you are going to need a means of operating the door manually. Look for a system that has a manual switch that disengages the door opener and allows you to open or close it with your hands.

Battery Back-Up

Sticking with the theme of a power outage, try and buy a garage door opener that has a battery-operated back-up system should the power get cut off. If you live in California, this is a requirement by law.

Whatever your thoughts on garage door openers, once you get one, you’ll wonder how you managed before. But what are their advantages when weighed against the disadvantages?

Pros

  • Convenient – They are handy when you need to get into the garage without exiting the car
  • No heavy lifting – Lifting a garage door may not be possible for health reasons
  • Adds value – Like many convenience improvements, they add value to your home

Cons

  • CostlyGarage door openers are not cheap
  • Ongoing maintenanceKeeping your device working flawlessly is a priority
  • Ongoing running costs – Bulbs, sensors, and batteries all cost money 
Garage door openers

Pros

  • Convenient
  • Great for the elderly and less able
  • Adds value to your home

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Needs maintenance
  • Ongoing running costs

  • What horsepower does my garage door opener have?
  • Each model on the market is different, but aside from the market-leading 1.25 HP of the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener, most garage door openers operate with 0.5 to 1.0 horsepower. Too much power and the door is likely to move quicker and increase the risk of potential damage; too little, and the motor will struggle to lift the door and burn out.

  • Will my garage door opener work in the extreme cold?
  • It depends on the garage door opener capabilities, but most should handle temperatures of between minus 20 degrees and minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At the other end of the scale, the maximum heat these openers can take will be somewhere around 140-degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Thoughts

If you want the most convenient and hassle-free way to enter and exit your garage, then a garage door opener is for you. If you are seeking the best all-round value for money, then look no further than the Chamberlain B970 Door Opener. With a back-up battery for emergencies, smartphone connectivity, and sales numbers that leave others in the shade, this model had to be our HowToHome pick.

If you have one eye on the budget, then consider the Atoms AT-1622BK Door Opener as an excellent choice. It doesn’t have connectivity, but it does come with a super-quiet drive system and an easy to install set of instructions, and all for nearly $100 less than the Chamberlain.

If you live in a built up area, or have rooms above the garage and don’t want to disturb your family, you need a door opener that is super-quiet. In this case, the Genie QuietLift Door Opener is the best one for you.

Whichever garage door opener you choose, buying one is sure to transform the way you use your garage.

Further Reading

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