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Which Type of Elevator Is Right for Your Home?

elevatorIf you are considering installing an elevator in your home, you have several options. Cable-driven, hydraulic, and pneumatic elevators each offer benefits and drawbacks.

A cable-driven elevator uses cables wound around a drum to raise and lower the elevator in the shaft. Some excavation may be required to install the elevator. Cable-driven elevators are generally less expensive than hydraulic models, but the cables must be replaced every three to five years. Cable-driven elevators are also noisier and not as smooth as other types of elevators.

Hydraulic elevators use pressurized hydraulic fluid to move the cab. They use more consumable elements and require more maintenance than other residential elevators. They are more expensive than cable-driven elevators, but they offer a quieter and smoother ride. Some require a pit and machine room.

vacuum elevatorA pneumatic, or vacuum, elevator works by using changes in air pressure to move the cab. A vacuum elevator does not require a pit, shaft, or machine room. Instead, it can travel through a hole in the floor or be attached to a balcony. A vacuum elevator also allows you to have a panoramic view of your home since it is not enclosed like other types of elevators. A vacuum elevator may be a better option if you have less space, but it would not be hidden like a cable-driven or hydraulic elevator. A pneumatic elevator should not be installed in a small area because it can dominate the room. Pneumatic elevators use less energy than other types, making their monthly usage costs lower.

If you are choosing an elevator for your home, think about where you want to install it and how much space you have available. Cable-driven and hydraulic elevators generally require more space than vacuum models. You may also have to do some excavating to make room for a pit, shaft, and machine room if you chose a cable-driven or hydraulic elevator. This could inconvenience your family during the installation process. You should also consider the costs for installation, energy to run the elevator, and regular maintenance, when making your selection.

2014 Home Elevator Prices

elevator 1Installing an elevator in your home can increase the mobility of yourself or a loved one and make all areas of your home accessible. An elevator can also provide convenience, making it easier to transport items like groceries or laundry from one floor to another.

A variety of elevator designs and features are available to create a customized solution for any home. With the range of configurations available, prices can vary widely. While a basic home elevator can cost $15,000 to $50,000, a more expensive model with optional features could cost $100,000 or more.

If you are thinking about installing a residential elevator, one of the primary factors determining the price will be the type of system you choose. You have several options:

  • Hydraulic elevators are smooth and quiet. Some require a pit and machine room, which means you might need to do some excavating prior to having it installed. That could increase the price.
  • Cable-driven elevators use a motor, counterweight, and cables. If you choose one that does not require a pit or machine room, that could reduce the installation cost.
  • A pneumatic elevator can be attached to a balcony or travel through a hole in the floor. It does not require a pit or machine room, which reduces the cost of installation. A pneumatic elevator moves by using changes in air pressure. Since it utilizes the least amount of energy, it would result in the lowest monthly operating costs.

elevator 2Residential elevators are available in a variety of sizes. Some are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. You can also choose from a variety of colors and finishes. All of those factors will affect the price.

If you need to improve the mobility of yourself or a family member or just want added convenience, a home elevator could be the solution. Since there are so many options to consider, it is best to discuss your needs and budget with a professional. Contact Nationwide Lifts today to request a quote.

How Does a Wheelchair Lift Work?

wheelchair liftA wheelchair lift can make a home, business, school, or other public building accessible to people with limited mobility. Several models are available that can travel up and down any type of staircase or travel vertically and can function both indoors and outside. Wheelchair lifts can operate using several methods.

An inclined wheelchair lift transports a person in a wheelchair up and down along a staircase on a track that follows the stairs. An inclined platform wheelchair lift can be easily installed on a straight staircase. It can also be installed on a curve staircase with rails made to fit the individual design. Rails can be created that allow the wheelchair lift to negotiate 90-degree, 180-degree, and other turns. An inclined wheelchair lift on a staircase folds up when not in use so that others can walk up and down the stairs.

Vertical platform wheelchair lifts can operate in two ways. Some use a screw drive system, which includes a motor, screw shaft, and large nut. The motor spins the screw shaft, which raises or lowers the nut, which is in turn attached to the platform and causes it to move.

A vertical platform wheelchair lift can also operate with a hydraulic system. Hydraulic fluid is pumped out of a reservoir and into the base of a piston, which causes it to rise. To lower the piston, the fluid is released back into the reservoir.

Wheelchair lifts are designed with safety in mind. A vertical platform lift that travels up to six feet is not required to be enclosed with walls around the platform, but it does need to have a locking gate at the upper landing to prevent a fall. If it travels more than six feet, a vertical wheelchair lift must be fully enclosed. It must have a full-height door at the lower landing that closes flush with the interior walls of the lift. A gate or door that closes flush with the walls of the lift must be present at the upper landing. Both must have interlocks so that the enclosure is not accessible if the wheelchair lift is not at the landing.

Providing access to individuals in wheelchairs can allow people to remain in their homes and enable all visitors to have full access to a business, school, or other public building. A wheelchair lift can be the perfect solution if an elevator is not an option.

A Vision Elevator Can Make Your Entire Home Accessible

A Vision elevator from Nationwide Lifts can improve accessibility at home. Vision elevators offer a clear design and a panoramic view of your home. They come in a variety of types, and many do not require a machine room, pit, or hoistway, which makes the amount of space and money required for installation less than those associated with other elevators.

Vision 830The Vision 830 uses an integrated, completely clear acrylic hoistway and offers a completely self-contained design that does not require a shaft, pit, or machine room. This cable-driven residential elevator can operate up to five stops and 40 feet, can transport up to 830 pounds, and is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Our Vision pneumatic elevators can travel through a hole in the floor or attach to a balcony. They do not require a pit, hoistway, or machine room. The Vision 550 can travel up to four stops and 35 feet at a rate of 20 feet per minute. The Vision 450 can transport up to 450 pounds and can travel up to 30 feet per minute with up to three stops. The Vision 350 can travel up to four stops and 35 feet at a speed of 30 feet per minute.

The Vision EC home elevator uses a hydraulic drive system. It does not require a pit, hoistway, or machine room. The Vision EC can transport up to 500 pounds up to 23 feet at a rate of 25 feet per minute and is best for a two-story house.

If you need to make your home more accessible to someone who cannot climb the stairs, consider installing a Vision elevator. Whether you choose a cable-driven, pneumatic, or hydraulic home elevator, they all come with standard safety features and optional features to create a reliable, customized solution for your mobility needs.

How Do Hydraulic Elevators Work?

from home-elevator.netHydraulic elevators operate on a simple principle. They lift a car by using a hydraulic ram, which is a fluid-driven piston inside a cylinder. The cylinder is connected to a system that pumps fluid, typically oil. The hydraulic elevator system consists of a tank, or fluid reservoir; a pump that is powered by an electric motor; and a valve located between the cylinder and the reservoir.

The pump forces fluid from the reservoir tank into the cylinder. When the valve is closed, the fluid flows into the cylinder, the pressure pushes the piston up, and the elevator car rises.

When the elevator is nearing the desired floor, the control system sends a signal to the electric motor to gradually turn off the pump. The fluid stops flowing into the cylinder, but the fluid that is already in the cylinder is trapped there because the valve is closed. The piston rests on the fluid, which holds the car in place.

When a person wants to lower the elevator car, the electric motor sends a signal to the valve via a solenoid switch. When the valve is opened, the fluid in the cylinder flows back into the reservoir. The weight of the car pushes down on the piston, which forces the fluid into the reservoir and causes the car to descend. When the elevator car approaches the desired floor, the control system closes the valve, which causes the car to stop.

Hydraulic elevators are becoming a popular feature in many homes. They can greatly improve the mobility of senior citizens and people with disabilities, allowing them to enjoy comfort and safety at home.

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