Garage Safety Feature: LiftMaster 8550W

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Amega Garage Doors and Openers has proudly offered the LiftMaster 8550W for years and we’re often asked about the many features it includes. Since it’s Garage Door Safety Month, it’s the perfect time to put the spotlight on this garage door opener!

Garage Door Battery Backup

Storms might knock out your power this summer, but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t open your garage. Battery Backup with MyQ Technology allows you to use your garage door even when the power is off. Plus, all of its safety and security features will continue to work even if you lose electricity.

Smart Control Panel

One of the most impressive and helpful features of the LiftMaster 8550W is the Smart Control Panel. This little gem allows you to view the time and temperature, plus performs system diagnostics, so you can know what’s going on with your garage door whenever you please. If something seems off, check the diagnostics and see what needs to be done. A favorite feature of the Smart Control Panel is the Timer-to-Close.

Timer-to-Close Feature

With LiftMaster’s timer-to-close feature, you can now set a time for your garage door to automatically close. No more worrying about whether you or the kids left the garage open after leaving for school or work! This also saves you from getting out of bed in the middle of the night to make sure the garage is closed.

3-Button Premium Remote Control

It’s easy to see the LiftMaster 8550W remote even in the dark, thanks to its backlit numbers. It can also control three separate garage doors, plus any MyQ enabled lights, which can be programmed to turn on and off by using the MyQ app. A big bonus feature of the remote is Security+2.0. This multi-frequency feature nearly eliminates any radio-frequency interference. Plus, with its rolling code technology, after each click, a new code is used, making it basically impossible for your remote signal to be stolen or misused.

Garage Door Safety Sensors

Making sure your family (including your pets) are safe in and around your garage is a priority. With LiftMaster’s Protector System, safety sensors are in place to stop and reverse the door if something or someone is in the way. That means if the family is enjoying time outside and someone starts to close the garage door, if your child or pet runs under it, the danger is immediately removed.

Keyless Entry

Taking the safety of your family even further, keyless entry allows you to create a 4-digit code that will allow the garage door to open or close. This is great for giving friends and family who don’t live in the home temporary access (especially nice when you go out of town and need someone to check on things). When you’re back, simply change the code! In fact, you can change the code whenever you’d like, which gives you even more control over your home security.

Talk to a Garage Door Expert

If you’d like to learn more, contact Amega Garage Doors. We love hearing from you and are here to answer any questions about garage doors you might have.


Garage Door Safety Tips

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June is Garage Door Safety Month and we’re celebrating by giving you tips on how to keep your family safe and your garage door running smoothly. The first step to safety is preventing dangerous situations from ever happening.

Prevent Pinching Injuries from Garage Doors

Pinching injuries from garage door panels and tracks are common, unfortunately. The term “pinch” may not sound too dramatic, but when you remember the weight of a garage door and force involved, you remember the potential injury can be severe. In fact, there have been cases of finger injuries that lead to amputation. Remember to keep away from the track and garage door when its moving!

Test Garage Door Balance

If your door is operated by an automatic opener, you’ll want to test the door’s balance by starting with a closed door. Make sure to disconnect the release mechanism so you’re able to open the door manually. There shouldn’t be much resistance in the door and it should lift up smoothly, staying open once opened a few feet. If it’s difficult to open or falls closed even after being opened around 4 feet, call the technicians at Amega Garage for a professional inspection. Your springs may be going out and you definitely should never attempt to repair garage door springs on your own! Call Amega Garage to safely take care of the problem.

Check Garage Door Springs

Take a few minutes each month to visually check the hardware of your garage door. Pay attention to your rollers, bearings, and hinges—these should be well-lubricated at all times. Our multi-purpose spray lubricant comes in a can and is easily applied to any surface. It quickly sets up to form a protective grease in just minutes and helps prevent rust.

Never Attempt to Repair a Broken Garage Door Spring

Unless you’re a trained professional, never attempt to adjust, replace, or repair a garage door spring yourself. These springs are tightly wound and a garage door weighs hundreds of pounds. Each year, over 2,000 people in America are injured by garage doors falling on them, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance. Just another reason to leave garage door repair to the pros.

Amega Garage Door Inspections

Whenever our professional technicians service your garage door, they work through a full inspection list. Included on this list are checking for any signs of wear and tear on the moving parts, the track system, door seal, and ease of use. They also make sure warning labels and safety tags are in still in place. Contact Amega Garage Doors and Openers today to schedule an inspection!

Spring Cleaning and Your Garage Door

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After the snow and ice storms Des Moines had this winter, it’s nice to finally welcome spring. With that, we can start thinking of spring cleaning! Before you start a spring cleaning to-do list this year, remember that your garage is a big part of your home—even if it’s detached. Keeping your garage door clean and providing regular maintenance can help prolong its service life, reducing headaches in the future.

Prevent Dirt Buildup

Washing your garage door can help prevent dirt and gunk buildup. On most doors, a mild detergent works great—just be sure to never use any abrasive cleaners. You may be surprised how much dirt will be washed off after a long winter!

Routine Maintenance on Garage Doors

Like most things in your home, your garage door requires regular maintenance if you want it to continue working properly. Think of it this way: the garage door is usually the heaviest, biggest piece of moving equipment in the home. You definitely want to make sure you’re paying attention to it! Inspect the springs to make sure they’re not rusting, take a look at your rollers to make sure there’s not grime building up, search for cracked seals and missing fasteners, and watch for damage in your track. Making time to inspect the door is worth it.

Prolong Garage Door Life

Because rollers, springs, and any other moving parts that make the garage door open and close require lubrication, you’ll want to apply this regularly as well. We offer an affordable lightweight lubricant at Amega Garage Doors and Openers that’s easily applied. By making sure those moving parts are properly lubricated at all times, you can prolong the life of your garage door and prevent unnecessary problems.

Contact Amega Garage

While cleaning your garage door, if you happen to notice it’s out of date or damaged beyond repair, a new garage door may be for you. Take a look at our gallery of garage doors here and contact the experts at Amega Garage Doors and Openers today. We can custom design a garage door to fit your home perfectly.

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!