If 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.
A 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.