More Garage-Door Openers Get DC Motor

Over the past 4 years, an increasing number of garage-door openers migrated to direct-current (DC) motors from alternating-current (AC) motors.

As a result, you’ll find more models that are equipped with appealing perks as standard features. For example, you can use battery backup power to operate the garage-door opener when you lose electricity. These models also have so-called soft-start technology, which eliminates the jarring noise when movement is initiated that’s produced by models that have an AC motor.

Between 2011 and 2014, the market share for garage-door openers that have a DC motor increased by 18 percentage points among chain-drive models and by 46 percentage points among screw-drive models. (Belt-drive models gained the least: just 4 percentage points.)

Unfortunately, the increased use of DC motors hasn’t translated into significantly lower prices. Models that use a DC motor decreased on average by only 4 percent in price. They now start at $139, compared with $149 previously.