Residential garage door openers are either chain drive, screw drive or belt drive. If you look in the long rail that extends from the opener power head to the front wall, you will either see a chain (similar to what's on your bike), a long screw, or a plastic belt. Each of these types of openers have their advantages and disadvantages, and it's up to you to decide which one will work best for you.
SCREW DRIVE: In a screw driven opener, the carriage is attached to a long threaded rod along the rail. As the motor turns the rod, the carriage slides up or down along the threads.
Advantages: Screw driven openers have less moving parts that chain or belt driven openers, which means less parts to wear out. Because screw drive openers are directly driven, they offer higher power.
Disadvantages: Screw driven openers tend to be move expensive than the chain or belt driven openers, and they don't far too well in area with big fluctuations in temperature.
CHAIN DRIVE: In a chain driven opener, the carriage is attached to a long chain which is looped around a sprocket in the power head. As the motor turns, it turns the sprocket, which in turns moves the chain and the carriage either up or down.
Advantages: Chain driven openers are the most economical style of opener. They have been around for a long time and are known to be reliable.
Disadvantages: Chain driven openers can be very noisy. While some people prefer this so they know when the garage door is being opened, others would rather a quieter version, especially if they have living space above the garage. The chain itself needs to be greased and tightened every so often as it will start to sag.
BELT DRIVE: Belt driven openers run exactly like the chain driven openers, except instead of a chain they use a plastic belt.
Advantages: The biggest advantage of a belt drive opener is the noise, or lack thereof. Compared to their chain driven counterparts, the belt drive openers are virtually silent. There is little to no maintenance and the belts are guaranteed by most manufacturers to last a lifetime.
Disadvantages: Belt driven openers tend to be more expensive to purchase and service.
So what you are looking for in an opener will determine which type is best for you. Here are links to our best screw drive opener, chain drive opener and belt drive opener, however we do have lesser priced options available. Check out our Garage Door Openers page under Services for the complete list.