When my 10-year-old Sears Craftsman garage door opener failed, it was time for an upgrade. I bought a Genie MachForce Connect screw drive opener to replace it. Here is my review of the new opener.
Long Story Short: I bought a 2HP Genie garage door opener at Home Depot and really like it. It’s quiet, reliable, and works great.
The Old Opener
My Sear Craftsman garage door opener served well for a long time but at 3/4 horsepower it was borderline underpowered for my wood garage door. It’s opening and closing motions were slow and very loud, but I never really thought about that because it was the only garage door opener in the home’s single car garage so I have limited chance for comparison.
I had taken the opener entirely for granted until it failed, causing the garage door to be stuck closed and the assist cables on the sides to knot. Luckily the torsion bar was fine, saving work when the replacement was going to be installed.
Genie MachForce Opener
To replace my garage door opener I bought this Genie screw drive opener — model 4063-TNMSV. Genie calls the model the Signature Series Max Performance 4063-NMSV
It’s a big upgrade from the previous model thanks to some 2021 enhancements as well as simply having a lot more power.
Let’s run through the features…
Instead of using an old-fashioned chain like my previous unit (and most garage door openers of yesteryear) this new Genie has a long screw piece that runs the length of the door track. A screw drive unit is attached to the screw and it pulls the door up and down with it.
Generally speaking, screw drives are quieter than standard chain drives and on par with belt drives. They require more maintaining than the other types but this is only twice a year, so it’s not bad. Screw drive opener tend to be easy to open (no fickle chains) are the preferred choice for heavier doors.
The main advantage to a screw drive, aide from the volume, is that they have the fewest moving parts of any type of garage door opener.
This is a powerful garage door opener. Typically you’d see single-door openers at 3/4HP or less, but units have gotten more powerful over the years, with 1/2HP being the minimum these days. The thing is, the incremental cost of going from 1 1/2 HP to 2 is minimal (like $30) so adding the extra power was a no brainer, especially if you have a heavy wood garage door like mine.
The word “Connect” is in the product name because this model has some smart features, primarily Aladdin Connect WiFi built in.
This allows you to open and close the garage door with your smartphone using an app. The app is Amazon Alexa compatible if you and to ask the digital assistant to open or close your garage door.
The best part of the app is not that you can open the door with your phone, but you can share the ability to open the garage door with other people, you can get alerts about the door opening, and you can set rules for when the door does and doesn’t open.
Here are some other features of the Genie 2HP screw drive…
- Compatible with battery backup: You can add a small backup battery so your opener works when the power is out. This isn’t included and it costs about $80. I have a whole house generator so I didn’t buy one. This is a lot like the battery backup unit that comes with a FiOS installation.
- Speed: This lift is advertised as going at twice the speed of an older unit. I ignored this claim at first, but it actually seems to be about true.
- HomeLink Compatibility: If your car HomeLink for controlling gates, locks, etc. you can use it to work with this opener
Genie 2HP Screw Drive Review
Having owned this new Genie for some time now, I have almost all positive things to say about it.
First of all, it’s quiet and fast. We have a bedroom close to the area above the garage door so I was always concerned about the volume of the old chain opener waking people up. That’s not an issue with the screw drive, though at least some of this improved volume must have to do with the fact that the rails were tightened, the torsion bar adjusted, evevything was freshly lubed, etc.
The Genie has a light outlet inside so you can light your garage while and shortly after it is active. No light is included but it is compatible with LED bulbs, which is a good way to save power and not have to change the light for a very, very long time.
Honestly, I haven’t used the app yet, but it seems like a good idea. I’m going to install it and then set some rules about when the garage door opens.
One downside was that the opened didn’t include the number panel for the outside of the garage. I’ve always had a garage code on the outside so I sprang for $30 to get a new one of the Genie. It seems like this is no longer necessary because of the phone app, but if you are outside without your phone, doing yard work or going for a jog, it’s nice to be able to simply enter a code.
Overall the Genie screw drive garage door is, well a garage door opener, but it’s definitely nicer than any one I’ve owned or used in the past. I’m not sure that I need all the smart features and WiFi-compability but the might come in handy in the future.
- Why is my garage door opener rated in HPc not HP (horsepower)?
HPC, or (horsepower comparable), is a power rating stating your garage door opener has the equivalent of that much horsepower. Horsepower is not the proper term for this rating because of the type of electric motors used in garage door openers. 1HP and 1HPc are essentially the same thing. Note, that some manufacturers will use HPs in the same way some use HPc.