Garage Door Opener Works During Power Outages

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April showers bring May flowers, but they can also bring severe weather that results in power outages. Living in Iowa, we know how terrible these storms can be. When your power goes out, you still need to get in and out of your garage. You can do that with the LiftMaster 8550W opener, so let’s talk about it!

Garage Door Battery Backup System

It’s not fun to have to get out of your car and manually open your garage door. It’s especially aggravating in bad weather. That’s why Amega Garage Doors offers the LiftMaster 8550 garage opener. Its battery backup allows it to work even if your power is out! You can expect the battery back-up to operate this opener for up to 40 full cycles in a 24-hour period in the event of a power failure. The opener will re-charge on its own once power is restored.

LiftMaster 8550W Garage Door Opener Safety Features

The garage door is typically the largest moving piece of equipment on your house and is often used as the main entry point. This is why safety is so important. Keeping your home secure is always the priority when it comes to garage door openers. LiftMaster understands that, too, and that’s why they’ve included so many excellent safety features in their 8550W belt drive opener.

Timer-to-Close System

With the LiftMaster 8550W, your garage door is safer than ever, thanks to its automatic garage door lock capabilities. There’s also the Timer-to-Close system, which allows you to program how long your door should be left open before closing. This is a family-favorite feature, because parents can be sure the garage won’t be left open if the kids forget to close it.

Security+ 2.0 Feature

The Security+ 2.0 feature works to eliminate radio frequency interference (RFI). It does this by sending a new code to the garage each time the opener is used. The garage door opener verifies the sequence in order to open, ensuring that if another frequency is detected, the door doesn’t open. This saves energy and protects your home from unwanted visitors.

Garage Motion Detector

A motion detector is built right into the LiftMaster 8550W garage door control panel. Not only does this sense movement in and around the garage, it can also be integrated with your lights. This way, your garage will light up when someone goes near it—an excellent security feature.

Operate Your Garage Door from a Smartphone

No one likes to get to work and wonder if the garage door was left open. You also won’t enjoy a night out if you can’t stop thinking about the possibility of someone getting into your house because you forgot to close the garage. Oh, and it’s hard to leave your comfy bed in the middle of the night if you have that nagging feeling that you didn’t close your garage door. Stop worrying about whether you shut the garage door with MyQ Smartphone Control.

MyQ Technology

With MyQ technology, you can connect your smartphone to your garage door opener. This allows you to control your garage door right from your phone, no matter where you are. If you have a wi-fi connection, you can use your MyQ. You can also get activity alerts and set up schedules for your door to close at a certain time, just in case you might forget. If you use your MyQ to close your garage door, the Alert-to-Close warning system will activate and give audible and visual warnings to let anyone around your garage door know it’s closing. You can download the MyQ mobile app for free and there’s no service or activation charge.

A Quieter Garage Door Opener

A bonus of the 8550W is its DC Motor Belt System. This allows for a performance that’s much quieter than other garage door openers. We’ve heard time and time again from customers who are surprised at how quiet it really is.

Contact the Experts at Amega Garage Doors & Openers

We’ve trusted LiftMaster for years because we see how reliable and dependable they are. With their security and safety features, you can be sure your family is in good hands. Feel free to contact us today to talk about a new garage door opener!

Radio-Frequency Interference and Garage Door Openers

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At Amega Garage Doors and Openers, Inc., many of our openers are connected to wi-fi. While that means more convenient operation and ease-of-use for the operator, it can also result in some radio frequency interference. There are ways to prevent those issues, however, and we wanted to share them with you.

What is Radio-Frequency Interference?

Radio-frequency interference (RFI) or electromagnetic interference (EMI) occurs when there’s a external disturbance to an electrical circuit. This can happen when electrical currents change and can happen with both man-made devices (cell phones, televisions, internet, etc.) and natural sources (lightning, auroras, etc.). As with many electrical devices, a garage door opener can be prone to emitting and receiving interference. This can happen to a device that’s just been installed or one that’s been operating for years without incident.  

How to Prevent Interference with Your Garage Door Opener

There are a number of ways LiftMaster recommends correcting or preventing radio-frequency interference when it comes to your garage door.

Is Your Car Causing Interference?

If the range on your remote control has been having issues, it may be due to something as simple as something blocking the signal. Remove the control from your visor to see if there’s still a problem. If there’s not an issue while the remote is out of your car, the problem may be related to something blocking the signal or from the metal of your car causing the interference. Do you have a piece of paper blocking the remote in your visor? Is there something getting in the way of the remote itself? The issue may also just be a dead or dying battery.

Is Another Opener Installed?

If you’ve installed more than one garage door opener, but just one opener seems to be having problems, there’s a fairly quick fix. First, unplug the opener that’s not experiencing problems with range. Next, simply test your remote to see whether the range improves. If you see improvement, you’ll need to replace the logic board on the unplugged opener, as that’s what likely caused the problem. If you see no improvement, the problem could be with the wiring. LiftMaster provides a simple walk-through for you here.

Is the Opener in a Metal Building?

Sometimes, the problem with radio-frequency interference stems from the garage door opener simply being installed in a metal building. Don’t worry! This is often a quick fix. Just install an antenna extension to correct the problem.

Power Down Test

Performing a power down test on your garage door opener and home is essentially like hitting the “reset” button. According to LiftMaster, your garage should be powered down first. Be forewarned that this can take quite a while and there’s no guarantee an interference can be located.

Garage Power Down

First, plug the garage door opener into an outlet in the house using an extension cord. Next, you will need to shut power to the garage off with your circuit breaker. Next, you’ll test the range on your remote controls to see if it improves. If it does, you’ll need to go through each item you’ve unplugged and plug it in again one-by-one to check whether one of them was causing the problem. However, if you tested the range and saw no improvement, your next step will need to be powering down your house.

House Power Down

When performing a power down test on your home, you’ll turn off the circuit breakers in the house, but leave the garage on. Now, unplug everything in your garage, but leave the opener alone. Now, test your remote control to see if the range improves. If so, using the home’s circuit breaker, turn power on to one room at a time, all the while, testing the range of the remote control for your garage door. Once you find the room causing the problem, unplug one electric device at a time until you find the item causing interference. Now, if you didn’t see the range improve at all, the interference may be external (not coming from your home). A new control panel may be needed.

Replacing Control Panel and Security

Unfortunately, if the control panel for your garage door opener is older, it may be more prone to radio-frequency interference. If this is the case, a new control panel may be your best bet. For instance, the LiftMaster 888LM offers the ability to monitor and control your garage door right from your smartphone, including the opener, lights, and more. Plus, it’s compatible with other accessories with MyQ technology, so you could install the timer-to-close feature so that your garage door will automatically close after a predetermined amount of time (1, 5, or 15 minutes).

Contact Amega Garage Doors and Openers

We’re here if you have any questions! Take a look at our frequently asked questions page or contact us today.


How to Prepare for Your Garage Technician’s Arrival

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The technicians at Amega Garage Doors & Openers arrive at your home ready to work. In order to finish the job well, they need to be able to start the right way. There are a few key steps we require from homeowners in order to properly install or repair their garage doors. Help us help you!

Safety First

Of course the safety of our technicians is always the first priority. While you can be sure to trust our employees, your pets may not be so convinced. If you have a dog or cat, please be sure to secure them inside and away from our technicians. This ensures that our employees aren’t in harm’s way and your pets are safe as well. Even the friendliest pet can be a safety concern when our folks are working and we wouldn’t want something to fall on them!

Be sure to let your neighbors know that you’ll be having some work done on your garage in the days before the work is to start. Of course, our technicians will be in Amega Garage trucks, but some neighbors may glance out of their windows to see a stranger working on a garage door and think they’re attempting to break in. We wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and we certainly don’t want to waste our police officers’ time in responding to nothing.

Clean Working Area

Another way to keep our technicians safe is to be sure to leave a clean area for them to work. Recently, we’ve run into some issues with customers failing to have a clear space around the garage door. In these situations, we may end up needing to reschedule because of the clutter. You don’t need to completely organize and scrub your garage before we arrive—we just need to be able to safely access the door and its components. Think of it this way: if your garage is used as a storage unit and is completely full, to the point that even a vehicle couldn’t safely fit inside, you’ll need to clear it out before our technician can do any work.

Check the Work

We want you to be happy with our work, so if you’re available during any repairs, services, or replacements Amega Garage is doing to your garage, be sure to check our work before we leave. If you’re not around, check it right when you get home. You’re our customer, so we want to be sure you’re glad you called us! If you see anything at all you’re not sure about, contact us right away!


Amega Garage Doors & Openers Has Moved!

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In 1953, the first James Bond novel, “Casino Royale” was published, Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England, the first color televisions went on sale, and the Carter family got involved in the garage door industry. Thirty-three years later, Amega Garage Doors was established and has been proudly serving the Des Moines area ever since. In fact, in 1990, Amega became the first garage door company in the area to open a full-line showroom.

amega garage doors and openers new location blog
This past year has been one of growth and change as we moved toward our goal of completing a new showroom at 4901 NW 57th Avenue in Johnston, IA. Last week, we were happy to get everything moved in and ready to go. Now, we can’t wait to show our customers the new space and full line of garage doors. Be sure to stop in and see us! We’re open Monday through Thursday from 7am-4:30pm and Friday from 7am-3pm. Whether you need a new garage door, opener, garage door accents, or anything in-between, we’re excited to work with you!

Be sure to check out the photo album on our Facebook page and see how the new location came together—from the groundbreaking to the final product.  


Reasons to Leave Garage Repair to the Experts

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With so many DIY shows on television and articles online, it’s tempting to take the DIY approach to most repairs in and around the house. However, that’s not the best idea in every situation. It really is a good idea to leave some of these repairs to the experts. You wouldn’t attempt to perform your own surgery, so why attempt something as dangerous as replacing a garage spring? The potential for injury and death is high in both cases! Think about these four reasons to leave garage repair to the experts:


In 2015, 10,580 injuries were caused by garage doors, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Something as seemingly simple as a garage spring repair can result in serious injury—even death—when attempted by an untrained person. It’s imperative that you leave the heavy lifting (literally) to the professionals.


Many homeowners with an attached garage claim that the garage door is what they used as the main entrance to their house. That means if the garage door is not secure, it opens the home up to potential burglary. Ensuring your garage door is tightly shut and can lock in place correctly will allow you to have the sense of security that’s so important. An expert can inspect the door and make necessary repairs so that you can rest easy.


Garage door repair professionals at Amega are experienced in diagnosing and repairing problems correctly the first time. Our technicians are able to diagnose your issue accurately and quickly, let you know what the changes will be, and get started with the repairs to get your garage door or opener back in proper working order swiftly. Meanwhile, an untrained person attempting to diagnose the problem may easily misdiagnose it at first, attempt to repair something that’s not broken, and waste time and money. That brings us to the next reason to leave garage repairs to the experts.


While safety should be the biggest concern, it still may not be enough to sway some homeowners from attempting their own repairs. In that case, think of it this way: by attempting a repair yourself, you may end up damaging the garage door beyond repair. Our experts have years of experience and have basically seen it all.

Whether you purchased a garage door from Amega Garage Doors or not, we’re happy to work with you to keep your family safe. Give us a call today to let us know how we can help.


The History of Garage Doors

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There have been countless innovations to garage doors from the time they were first invented to their current modern versions. However, some of the styles from the past are coming back. In order to look forward to the future of garage doors, we thought we’d look back and discover the history of garage doors.

The Earliest Garage Doors

The earliest known garages were actually called gatehouses. In 450 BC, Roman chariots were stored in what we would now refer to as garages. Wealthier families often had carriage houses to store their carriages and coaches. These typically had outward-swinging doors that are actually coming back into popularity. While doors that actually open outward aren’t as convenient now, the style is what’s really important. Take a look at some of the carriage house garage doors we offer to get an idea of what they look like today.

amega garage doors history carriage

Invention of Overhead Garage Doors 

The word “garage” comes from the French “garer,” which means “to shelter.” In 1921, a man by the name of C.G. Johnson created the world’s first overhead garage door, which saved space and was much more convenient than outward-swinging doors. Only five years later, in 1926, Johnson invented the electric garage door. Still, the opener didn’t find popularity until after WWII, when a company out of Chicago called Era Meter Company manufactured one that could be used with a keypad from inside the garage or at the end of the driveway. In short, convenience has always been key with garage door openers!

Today, garage door openers come with a number of safety and security features that ensure no injuries occur and no unwanted guests make their way into your garage. In fact, Posilock® electronically monitors your garage door for any attempt at forced entry, keeping your family safe. The Protector System® includes light beam sensors that will trigger the garage door to reverse if something enters its path.

Garage Technology

Opening a garage door no longer requires us to leave the comfort of our home. If we’re not sure we’ve shut the garage door, we can turn to garage door control panels. These allow us to control our garage doors from our smartphones, tablets, or computers! Not only that, lights can be programmed to turn on with a motion sensor.amega garage doors commercial door with dog image

Garage doors of the past were heavy and didn’t allow for much design. Today, there are endless possibilities when it comes to designing a garage door to fit your home or business. Take a look at our gallery to view some examples of the work we’ve done in the past. You can also design your own garage door. Give us a call for a free estimate. Once we’ve found the right design for you, we’ll get right to work!

Five Facts About Your Garage Door

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You likely use your garage door at least once a day. Opening and closing it often becomes second nature. However, you may be enlightened if you take a few minutes to think about how important your garage door is to your home.

Garage Doors Can Save Lives

With sensors and automatic stops in place, you don’t have to worry about your children being accidentally trapped under a garage door. Safety can go even further, however. With openers that utilize technology which allows you to monitor, manage, and control your garage door from your smartphone, you won’t have to worry about whether someone left the garage unlocked.

Garage Doors Protect from Storms

High winds can rip apart a dilapidated garage door. A new garage door can protect your home from incurring damage in bad weather. This means your belongings kept inside the garage will stay safe and dry.

Insulated Garage Doors Save Money

Yes, garage doors can be insulated! This sometimes comes as a shock to homeowners and we’re happy to surprise you with great news. If you have an attached garage without an insulated garage door, you could be cooling the outdoors this summer. An insulated garage door is truly an investment worth looking into. Check with your energy provider to see if you may be eligible for a tax break for installing an insulated garage door.

Garage Doors Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Curb appeal is important when buying a new home. A home with a manicured lawn and well-kept exterior shows potential buyers that the home has been well cared for and likely won’t cause any big problems down the line. On the other hand, that same home with a dingy, broken garage door isn’t likely to draw the same amount of interest. People will pay for peace of mind.

Express Your Personality with Your Garage Door

Housing developments are wonderful, but sometimes it’s hard for those houses to stand out. By choosing a more unique style of garage door for your home, you’re able to express some individuality. There are a number of garage doors to choose from, but you can also customize one to add extra flair to your home.

Learn more about what a new garage door could mean for your home by giving us a call today!


Garage Safety Tips

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According to the latest study by the National Safety Council, over 130,000 accidental deaths occurred in 2014 (the most recently updated year). These were due to falls, poisoning, and other hazards. Many of these took place in and around the victims’ homes, so any way we can make our houses safer is something worth thinking about. Since June is Garage Safety Month, why not take the time now to work toward a safer garage and home?

Garage Spring Repair

When something breaks around the house, it’s tempting to attempt your own repair right away to save time and money. However, when something like a garage spring breaks, it’s important to leave that repair to a professional. You wouldn’t trust an inexperienced person to repair or replace electric wiring in your house, so there’s no reason to trust a lay person to repair your garage door.

Torsion Garage Door Springs

Torsion springs are found on a torsion rod above the garage door. If your door has two springs and one breaks, the other isn’t far behind. Torsion springs assist your garage door when opening and closing by unwinding and winding the coils, so it’s easy to see how the day-to-day usage can cause wear and tear. These springs are tightly wound and under high tension, which can lead to serious injury for those inexperienced in servicing them and without the proper tools. If a spring were to break free because it was improperly contained or serviced, it could become a projectile capable of damaging anything in its path. Broken springs should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent damage your garage door opener and/or your garage door. Do not use your garage door opener if you have a broken spring. Call our office for service.

Extension Garage Door Springs

Attached to the sides of a garage door, extension garage door springs stretch along the sides and top of the tracks of a garage door. These springs are tailored specifically based on the height of the garage door and designed to lift a certain amount of weight. Because of these reasons, it’s easy to see how choosing the incorrect extension garage door spring could result in failure, leading to injury.  

Chemicals in the Garage

You may not even realize what you have stored in your garage when it comes to chemicals. If you change your own oil, you may have a jug of old oil in a corner. There may be an old container of antifreeze that should’ve been removed years ago. What about those old buckets of paint lying around? If one of these containers were to be knocked over or develop a leak and a pet or child got into it, that could spell disaster. Flammable materials in your garage could become a big danger in the case of a spark. When removing these chemicals, it’s important to remember not to simply toss them in the garbage. Check with your local city waste authority to find out how to deal with hazardous waste. In the Des Moines area, Metro Waste Authority can take care of it for you.

Grilling in the Garage

Planning a get-together with friends at your place in Iowa always involves checking the weather daily. Even if the forecast calls for sunshine all day, a brief rainshower may show up uninvited to your party. As tempting as it may be to start up the propane grill in your garage, take a moment to remember all of the potential dangers. Chemicals, as just discussed, are a very real danger. Additionally, carbon monoxide can build quickly in a garage. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe and wait for the rain to clear.

Securing Your Garage

Regardless of whether your garage is attached to your home or detached, make sure you’re keeping all doors securely locked when not in use. This may seem obvious, but often the garage is overlooked when it comes to locks because the vehicles inside are locked. Think about everything else in your garage, though. Chemicals, lawn mowers, weed eaters, and more could walk away without you noticing until the next time you need to change your oil, repair your vehicle, or mow the lawn.

We offer installation, garage door opener repair and replacement, and more. Let us know what we can do to help add value to your home with one of our products.


Spring Cleaning Your Garage

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Spring is upon us and that means spring cleaning is underway. While we typically think about deep cleaning our house, we often forget that the garage is an important part of our home. Some of our most expensive material possessions are kept in the garage, so it only makes sense that we’d want it to be organized, clean, and efficient. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to open your car all the way in your garage? We think so. As you make your spring cleaning to-do list this season, remember

Decide What Stays and What Goes

The first step of any true organization project is the purge step. Taking everything off of shelves, out of boxes, and down from walls makes it easier to see everything you’ve collected in your garage. Create three piles: keep, donate (or sell), and toss. Anything you use at least once a year can be placed in the “keep” pile. Items that are in good, usable shape, but that you aren’t using go into the “donate” section. This leaves items to toss or recycle, which are those that are damaged, rusty, or otherwise unusable.

Organize Your Tools

Drawers full of disorganized tools can cause headaches for many reasons. Of course, it’s not aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also aggravating when you actually need to find a specific tool. The most popular option is the classic pegboard wall, which can turn your wall into a vertical shelving system. A slatwall system can also help keep smaller items on shelves and hooks, plus there’s the added potential to move items around easily. Keep track of smaller metal items, such as drill bits, in place with a magnetic strip. You can find magnetic strips/tape at your local hardware or craft store. Take it even further with small jars to hold screws, bolts, nails, and other smaller parts.

Declutter with PVC

By installing PVC pipes to your walls in a vertical position, you can create a quick and effective organization system for any yard and garden tools that may otherwise just be propped up in a corner haphazardly. You’ll need to screw 12-inch PVC pipes (one for each tool) to a couple of furring strips attached to your garage wall. These can also be attached to a pegboard wall, if it extends to the floor. Shovels, rakes, garden hoes, and any other large garden or yard tools can slide bottom-first into each pipe for a more put together look.

Garage Ceiling Storage

If your garage is home to quite a bit of holiday items that you only really use for a couple of weeks out of the year, you probably have several boxes taking up valuable space in your garage. Overhead storage space could mean you have much more room to park your vehicle(s). Depending on the size needed, garage ceiling storage shelves can be purchased for around $100.

Wrap Up Cords

Extension cord chaos is seemingly inevitable—even when we try our best to wrap them carefully. Let’s put an end to that, shall we? Getting them off the garage floor, out of boxes, or off shelves is step one. Step two is using multipurpose hooks to keep your cords organized. These can be found at any hardware store or garden center. Look for hooks wrapped in rubber to protect your cords from damage.

Whether your goal is to have more space for storage or just to be able to open your garage door and see a clean area, these tips can help you achieve a much more organized garage. Happy cleaning!



Why Your Garage Door Won’t Open or Close in the Cold Winter Weather

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Winter is here and as Iowans we adapt to the cold each winter. As for our garage doors? Not so much. Cold weather can cause a lot of issues with garage doors. Find out what is causing your garage door to malfunction and how to fix it.

Metal Contracts in the Cold

Springs and other metal pieces may seize up or break because metal contracts in the cold weather. Lubricating the springs, hinges, and other moving parts with a silicone-based lubricant should help your garage door function more smoothly in the cold weather and extend their life. Contracting metal may also throw off the alignment, which makes it harder for the door to open and close properly. Be sure to check the position and condition of the brackets.

Grease Buildup

If you are someone who believes in lubricating your garage door tracks and all other moving parts of your garage door as discussed above – Congratulations!  It does help with the proper operation of your garage door and extends life of many components.  It is however, very important that the proper lubricant be used so that your efforts to ensure smooth operation don’t backfire on you.  Improper lubricants can cause grease buildup and result in problems.  Your best option for lubricating tracks is a silicone-based lubricant manufactured specifically for garage doors.  We have lubricant in our showroom available for purchase.  Drop in, mention this blog and receive $2 off of a can of lubricant.

Photo Eye Sensor Damage

Cold weather or being bumped can cause the photo eye sensors to become dirty, out of alignment or possibly damaged. Inspect the photo eye sensors to make sure they are clean and have no damage. Be careful when cleaning them to not knock them out of alignment.  Dirty or improperly aligned photo eyes will cause problems with the correct operation of your garage door and opener.

Garage Door Freezing to the Ground

Ice and snow buildup around and under the garage door can cause the garage door to freeze to the ground. BEWARE!  If you try to open a garage door that has been frozen to the ground, damage to your garage door and opener will happen.  If your driveway slopes towards your garage, always check to make sure water has not pooled and frozen your garage door to the ground. If snow and ice are not properly removed from this area, it can also cause the door to not close properly.

Ice Between Garage Door Panels

Garage doors that consist of a series of interconnected panels may get ice in between them, making it difficult for the garage door to open. Inspect your garage door for panels that might be frozen together. Applying heat along the joints that are frozen will get rid of ice.

Low Battery in the Garage Door Opener

Cold weather can drain batteries in garage door opener remote controls and keypads. Try replacing the batteries if the garage door won’t open and you have exhausted all other options.  It is a great idea to keep a spare pair of batteries for your remotes and keypads.

Amega Garage Door Repair in the Des Moines Metro Area

Amega’s expert garage door technicians are happy to come to your home and diagnose your garage door problem in the winter time. Please contact us for any garage door and garage door opener service issue in the Des Moines metro area!