Over the past decade, pneumatic elevators proved to be one of the mobility industry’s most revolutionary developments. These self-contained units provide the same properties as hydraulic, traction drive, and winding drum operations but at a lower cost and with far less installation required.
In fact, you might as well say the nearly self-supporting system offers the most efficient and practical approach for adding a home elevator. But anyone who thinks installation is plug-and-go is mistaken. Instead, any homeowner planning to install a pneumatic, or vacuum, elevator needs to take the following into account:
1. Where will it be?
Although no hoist way or machine room is constructed, the system needs room. Homeowners have two options: to cut a hole through the ceiling, or to install it as a balcony or lift for an upper landing.
2. Openings between floors must be at least 39 inches
The typical pneumatic elevator has a diameter of 39 inches, although this increases when the system has space for a wheelchair.
3. The space(s) in your home’s ceilings and doorway must be removed before the elevator arrives
Prior to the system arriving, determine how wide each opening’s diameter must be and have a contractor remove it. As well, if a 39-inch clearance isn’t available through your doorway, create a wide enough opening to get the system into your home.
Additionally, because a pump box is required, have part of your ceiling removed for it.
4. Floor-to-ceiling distance
The typical pneumatic elevator requires a 95-inch floor-to-ceiling distance or, if going from the ground floor to the basement, a 92-inch distance.
5. Take the floor joists into account
If you didn’t realize it already, the elevator’s panoramic design means floor joists will be visible from the elevator. If this is a visual issue, consider having a contractor finish the look, or get a covering of some kind.
6. Select a location for the power source
The elevator’s 220V power source, one able to support up to 30 amps, must be close to five feet away from the system.
7. Will the floors have enough space?
Keep in mind that, on each floor, the door opens out. Before installation, make sure every landing has an unobstructed area.