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Getting The Job Done Right
I can still remember my earliest memory of an automatic garage door opener. I was in the car with my uncle, and we were coming home from a long road trip. It was summer and heading out of the vehicle while being inside the car’s cool AC wasn’t really what I wanted to do, when all of a sudden, my uncle took out his garage door’s remote. Suffice it to say; I’ve been smitten to its convenience ever since. My new house did not come with a working garage door opening system, and I saw an opportunity to start looking for the most efficient garage door opener of 2020.
I discovered that the best buy out there is Chamberlain B550 Smartphone-Controlled Ultra-Quiet & Strong Belt Drive with Med Lifting Power. There was another carport door opening setups that did not make the cut, which I will also be providing reviews within this article.
Aside from living comfortably in my new home, I had to consider my family and my properties’ safety. I thought to myself, having a smart garage door would be essential. I do not want to run the risk of having my stuff taken away which made it so easy for me to stick with the Chamberlain B550 (click here to view on Amazon.com). The Chamberlain B550 Smartphone-Controlled Ultra-Quiet & Strong Belt Drive is a smart carport door opener for using the power of a smartphone with its MyQ technology. The MyQ technology embedded in the Chamberlain B550 allows control even when I am away from home, which makes me feel more assured and confident that my house remains safe. It was not difficult to choose the Chamberlain B550 because of its iOS or Android integration that fit my budget
*List recently updated for 2020
For me to narrow down my options, I had to consider the following factors different drives for carport door, horsepower, iOS or Android integration, and safety. These factors also allowed me to write an even more comprehensive review of the ten most great carport door openers of the year.
The Chamberlain Group (makers of Chamberlain, Liftmaster, Craftsman, among others) was founded in 1954 based in Illinois. Since being established, the company has grown to become a global leader in residential and commercial access solutions.
As a global leader, they have made it a point to prioritize their customer’s safety and security. With security also as my top priority, I liked about the Chamberlain B550 Smartphone-controlled Parking Door Opener and stuck with it since I tested it out. The Chamberlain B550 allowed me to monitor the movements of my carport door through my phone, which was very important because I often travel out of town and out of the country. Even while I am away, I feel at ease that I have this capability to monitor the comings and goings at my garage.
Aside from the fact that I could monitor my carport door’s activity from an app, the best thing about the Chamberlain B550 is the unmatchable security that it offers. They guarantee 100-billion code encryption that will ensure its customers to remain safe from getting hacked. I am confident that with the Chamberlain B550, my house is always secure.
Believe it or not, having a carport door opener that has a phone integration that works can get pretty expensive, however, with the Chamberlain B550 price tag, I didn’t hesitate to pay for it. This is made possible by the MyQ technology, a phone application that connects the parking door setup with an app through wi-fi. Whether I am on an island enjoying my vacation in Bali or just at the supermarket picking up groceries, I have full visibility and access to my parking door. With the app, I can also schedule opening and closing my door which is convenient for when I have my family over.
A word of advice, however, the integration connection comes with a price, a subscription of $12 a year. If you’re comfortable with paying the integration subscription, then the Chamberlain B550 is for you. It’s quiet, it’s powerful, its remote has a great range so going in and out of your garage is a breeze.
Mighty Mule was born out of the founder’s necessity of having his parking door opened without him needing to get out of his truck each time. Mighty Mule did not only focus on producing garage door opening systems, over the years they have produced metal driveway gates and even driveway alarm systems.
Branded as a “Do-It-Yourselfer”, they’ve also created a line of carport door opening setup that integrate with their Mighty Mule App. Surprisingly, it works well with Alexa! You could say that Mighty Mule is a “dark horse” so to speak as it stands in competition with more well-known brands as Chamberlain and Genie.
You can place your bets on Mighty Mule because their products are just as reliable as the more well-known brands I have previously mentioned. The Mighty Mule MM9333H was also pretty quiet which was another important factor to look at when you’re looking at buying a parking door operator. You wouldn’t want to wake up the whole neighborhood in the middle of the night, would you?
As I have mentioned earlier, Mighty Mule is a brand for the “Do-It-Yourselfer”. Thanks to their instruction manual, I did not have any difficulty installing the Mighty Mule MM9333H. I honestly had a pretty difficult time choosing between the Chamberlain B550 and the Mighty Mule MM9333H-9000 Series. Mighty Mule took second place in my list because of the app integration. I wasn’t as confident as I was with Mighty Mule as with Chamberlain B550. These two could go head-to-head, but again, my priority was having the ability to monitor my carport door activities even while I am out of the country.
This carport door opener that sits a little higher in price than the Chamberlain B550, the Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Wall Mounted Space Saving parking door operator is a game-changer when it comes to saving space in your garage.
As far as design goes, the RJO20 is very sleek, minimal, and almost unnoticeable in the garage. It can fit in the tiny corner of your garage without sacrificing any bit of parking door opening functionality. It’s quiet and also phone app controllable. Unlike the Chamberlain B550, though, the RJO20 needs a wire to be connected to the internet which, I skipped because it felt a little complicated to have the internet wire installed.
A commendable thing about the RJO20 is that it is very easy to install. I did not have to go back and forth a hardware store to get this running. I had all of the things I needed in the properly laid-out instruction guide. The noise wasn’t also a problem since the RJO20 functions with a belt instead of a chain. What the RJO20 lacks in connectivity, it makes up with a deadbolt lock which is included in every purchase. For people who have made security as their number one priority, the deadbolt was a great addition. Every time I hear it click, I can rest my heart at ease knowing that the deadbolt was working.
I would consider the RJO20 great, just like all of the other Chamberlain products that I have reviewed for this list, but there’s still lots of room for this product to be at par with the B550. One main thing is how it is connected to the internet. Honestly, at this day and age, it’s not that difficult to get connected through wifi. However, the RJO20 seems to have prioritized the form or the design rather than inclusion of more functions. Also, for a $400 I would have expected that Chamberlain included two remotes, but alas, they only put one.
If you’re looking through this list and checking out the product photos, you might find it odd that the Chamberlain RJO20 and the Liftmaster 8500W almost looks the same and are also priced the same. It’s because they come from the same company, Chamberlain Group.
Unlike the RJO20, though, the Liftmaster 8500W can be connected to the WIFI. Other buyers have hailed this product as a “nice upgrade from the old and conventional carport door opener.” Reading that made me curious to try it and I wasn’t disappointed.
Liftmaster indeed created a nice upgrade from the old parking door operator with the inclusion of wifi operation. Liftmaster also included a second remote, something that Chamberlain failed to add in the RJO20 package. The battery pack isn’t even a big concern, because it is also equipped with an additional battery pack as a reserve.
Ever had troubles looked for the light switch when going to your garage at night? Well, worry no more! Liftmaster was very thoughtful to have included a motion-sensitive LED light. Honestly, it felt like I was guided by a presence whenever I walked in my garage and I set off my Liftmaster 8500W’s LED flash. Thanks, Liftmaster!
Some of the downsides of getting the Liftmaster 8500W is its incompatibility with roll-up doors and a low headroom track. I also read from reviews that this machine fails a bit when the weather gets a little colder. Ideally, a carport door controller should not fail, at any circumstance. After all, security is the primary reason why you’re getting a parking door opening setup.
Genie first made the remote-controlled carport door operator in 1954. Since then, the company has continuously improved its product to fit the ever-changing needs of its American consumers.
With that said, the SilentMax 1200 carport door opening setup is a testament to this commitment. Boasting a power of ¾ horsepower, Genie’s SilentMax 1200 parking door operator is ideal for homes with carport doors measuring up to 14ft or about 4.3 meters.
Despite the heavy pull of SilentMax, it was still able to magically keep the operation very quiet which is ideal for people with attached homes. Genie also made it a point that the belt setup will always be reliable by making it steel-reinforced. This means you’re guaranteed to have a belt-operated parking door opening system that will last for years.
For additional safety features, Genie equipped its SilentMax with a Safe-T Beam function. Safe-T Beam is an invisible infrared beam that will reverse once this invisible beam is crossed. An additional safety function which I highly appreciate especially since I have little ones and Baxter. As for installation, Genie SilentMax is easy to install. I found that I did not need to go look for additional tools or parts to install it and the instructions were pretty direct which was great.
One particular trouble that I came across was that the remote connectivity fails even at short distances, which was pretty odd since one would expect that a remote should be working at closer distances. It was HomeLink compatible which saved me from any more frustrations of relying on my remote controls to open and close my carport door.
For its price range, I would say that the Genie SilentMax is pretty okay. One cannot expect more from a $190 price tag. This product is among those that just made me say, I got what I paid for.
The Decko 24300 ¾ horsepower, heavy-duty, reduced-noise, chain drive carport door operator is the first chain drive I tried in this series of experimentation.
In finding the most exemplary carport door opening system I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve had this preconceived notion that a chain drive would have an annoyingly noisy operation, but not this one from Decko. For its price tag, I would say it went beyond it in terms of noise reduction.
If you need a carport door operator without the flashiness, getting the Decko 24300 chain drive carport door is for you. It’s outright and has a straightforward operation. Do not be fooled by its straightforwardness, because it comes equipped with a safety feature similar to the Genie SilentMax 1200. It auto-reverses with its optical sensors. Installation is also very easy to do with its easy to follow the instruction manual. Again, this is a straightforward garage door opening system that can pull doors that measure up to 7 feet tall by 18 feet wide thanks to its ¾ horsepower heavy-duty motor. If you have an even larger door than that, Decko has made it available to purchase an 8-foot extension to accommodate that.
Upon my research on this product, I found out that the wireless keypad fails at times despite its new installation. I did not experience it personally, but, just in case you’re going to purchase this for your home, make sure you have the number of Decko’s customer service. Anyway, many of the users have commended customer service at Decko.
For a straightforward carport door opening system without the added pizzazz and if wifi technology are too complicated for you, stand by Decko’s 24300 chain drive, quiet, ¾ horsepower. It is indeed a great value for money.
Undeniably, it’s Chamberlain that dominates the carport door opener game.
When I saw that the Chamberlain PD510 assembles in 60 seconds, I was instantly challenged and of course, I just had to take it on. I am a man who doesn’t back down from any challenge and I can confidently say that I was successful. The instruction manuals and the accessories made it possible for the assembly to complete in, indeed, 60 seconds!
Decko 24300 and Chamberlain PD510 can go head to head for the straightforward and simple carport door operator. Both will work for people that do not like the complication of having internet connectivity with their carport door openers. A remote, and of course, the unit itself, are all you’ll need for this to work. It’s also compatible with HomeLink if you’re looking for additional compatibility. There’s not much to look for especially with a $130 price tag. It’s a carport door that works and one that is pretty reliable too.
On the outside, it may look like your ordinary carport door operator, but on the inside, Chamberlain equipped the PD510 with their PosiLock technology. This technology means that once your carport door is locked, it stays locked. It’s an anti-theft security technology that the Chamberlain Group has patented for their carport door opening system.
Choosing between Decko 24300 and Chamberlain PD510 is a little difficult especially if you’re only looking for a carport door operator that works just as it should. One inconvenient thing about the Chamberlain PD510 was that the remote fails if you’re about 6 to 7 feet away from the receiver. This means that I have to get the car close enough for my remotes to even work. It could have had an app, but then again, having an integrated app connection will only raise the price higher. Overall, Chamberlain’s PD510 is decent with its price tag.
Sommer is a German brand that positions itself to provide its customers with products that are manufactured aligned to legal standards and guidelines, and to also further certify these products.
They are also able to manufacture custom-made products that are also aligned to these lawful and safety guidelines.True to its word, the SOMMER 1052V000 direct drive, 1.0 hp is all quiet, durable, and strong carport door operator.
In my opinion, you wouldn’t need a 1.0 horsepower for your home’s carport door unless you have two doors that are too heavy and will cause a ¾ horsepower motor to break down. Despite the said pulling capacity, it won’t work as fast as a carport door operator that has a ¾ horsepower. What will make you buy this one is its super quiet function that another user on Amazon reviewed it as “so quiet you might worry”.
A no-fuss carport door operator that is direct to the point, that’s how it is best to describe the SOMMER 1052V000 Direct Drive. Installation is also very easy thanks to their well-guided instruction manual. Even setting up my remote controls and my HomeLink was also quite easy. Again, my priority was for an app integration, which sadly, the SOMMER 1052V000 Direct Drive did not have.
Surprisingly, one would expect that having a 1.0 horsepower would equate to faster operation, but not with the SOMMER 1052V000. It was slower than the ¾ horsepower carport door operators that I tried on this list. If SOMMER would be able to make the carport door opening mechanism a little quicker, that would be a great improvement for this product. After all, it’s 1.0 horsepower, I’m sure, it can go faster.
Another entry from Genie that’s pretty traditional in functioning is the ChainMax 1000 carport door operator with a ¾ horsepower chain drive. The 3022-TKH model is silent and reliable despite its cute-looking operation box. Who knew that in that tiny box exists this much strength and functionality.
Similar to the earlier Genie carport door operator that I reviewed, this ChainMax 1000 (3022-TKH) is equipped with the Safe-T beam sensor that automatically stops the carport door from closing when it detects an obstruction within its range. A safety feature that any family-person or a pet owner would surely appreciate.
Besides the Safe-T beam, another thing that could be appreciated with the ChainMax is its installation. It’s a great weekend DIY project if you’re looking to replace your current carport door operator.
At about $200, the ChainMax 1000 works quietly just as promised. The ¾ horsepower was a very great addition and very solid for that price. My door wasn’t a heavy 18-foot long one but I’m confident that this Genie ChainMax can magically lift one should you choose this carport door operator for your home.
On the other hand, there have been reviews of this product that might sound discouraging. Different reviews ranging from the difficulty of installation, missing or even used parts to even failing at the first few weeks of usage due to the wireless keypad’s wiring and board. I did not face any of these problems when the Genie ChainMax 1000 came to my doorstep however, these are just some of the problems and points that the ChainMax makers could most certainly improve on.
Among the Chamberlain products that I looked into for this review, this one was the priciest. Chamberlain B1381 sits at about $300 when the Chamberlain B550 model sits at only short of $200. However, the B1381 is packed with more features than the B550. Stronger LED light, battery reserve, and maximum lifting power of 1.25 horsepower.
If your carport door is like mine at only 7 feet, you won’t have any trouble assembling and installing this right away. An extension is required if your carport door goes beyond this. The B1381 light was proven to have an illumination of 3,100 lumens. Lumens is a way of measuring the brightness of light sources. The sun is about 10,000 lumens, which means that the B1381 LED light is pretty bright for a garage light. At that rate, I did not need to turn on my separate lighting when I worked in my carport.
I can’t deny however that the additional $100 for a feature such as a battery reserve was great because, despite living in the modern age, power failures can still become a thing. It’s pretty neat if you live in an area that suffers regular power outages.
As a simple homeowner, what dissuaded me from choosing this as my top carport door opening system was the lifting power of 1.25 horsepower. Honestly, I did not see the need for that much especially, I live in a pretty simple and decent home.
Finally, Chamberlain B1381’s extra functionalities were great for that price but it just wasn’t the one for me. Again, a word of advice for anyone looking to buy the Chamberlain smart carport doors is that you’ll have to pay extra for the Alexa and Google Home integrations for $10 a year. The wifi app integrations were satisfactory enough on its own.
Some people look into the amount of pull that their carport opener can do, however, it is also worth considering looking whether chain drive or a belt drive is a better choice. Here’s a concise look at the pros of each to help you narrow down your choices:
Installation for a garage door opener shouldn’t set you back to more than $200. Besides, the makers are now leaning towards the “do-it-yourself” setup. You may not even need a professional installer to put this up on your carport door.
Based on reading and experience, these openers should typically last more than 10 years with enough care and maintenance, a garage opener can last about 15 to 20 years.
For me, the most important aspect when I bought a new carport door opening system was the integration of the whole setup with my phone. As I previously said, I would often be out of the country and the ability to monitor my carport door’s activity was just as important as whether it is quiet.
There are several things that one should look into since there are different kinds of carport door operators in the market like, a chain drive or a belt drive among others. Installation costs are another thing that’s worth looking at as well as the longevity of the product.
By Darion Robinson
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