Home elevators and lifts aren’t always considered luxurious additions to your home. Due to limited mobility, many property owners require home elevators to easily and safely access their homes. Accessibility allows you to move around your home freely, increases your quality of life and independence, and enhances your social integration. No one should feel constrained or tied down to a place due to their limited dexterity, which is why home elevators should be an essential part of any home. Fortunately, many home elevators are available on the market, but which one will suit your needs? Read on to find out!
Choosing The Right Type of Home Elevator
Have you been shopping for a home elevator for a while, but you’re confused as to which type of elevator is best for your needs? You’re not alone! Many types of home elevators are available on the market, and it can sometimes be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. Some of the most common types of home elevators are:
Hydraulic Home Elevators
One of the most common early home elevator systems was the hydraulic system. The hydraulic system is designed based on Pascal’s principle of fluid pressure transmission. What does that mean? Well, the way hydraulic home elevators work is by compressing fluids to generate control and power. The lifting mechanism of a hydraulic home elevator uses an electrically powered pump that pushes pressurized fluid into a jack lifting system (made up of cylinders and pistons at the base of the elevator) that then powers the car of the hydraulic elevator up and down.
Even though hydraulic home elevators were quite popular in the past, they are no longer practical for homeowners as they require frequent maintenance and constant repairs. The hydraulic oil in the piston system often overheats, emitting an unpleasant odour throughout the house and can sometimes leak out of the pumping system and onto the ground at the base of the elevator. In order to avoid any of these problems, homeowners have to schedule frequent maintenance visits to change the oils and make sure the piping system is intact and that no leaks have contaminated the ground.
Pneumatic Home Elevators
Also known as vacuum elevators, pneumatic home elevators are quite different from hydraulic home elevators. Instead of hydraulic oils, pneumatic home elevators are powered by air pressure through polycarbonate tubes—the pneumatic vacuum pump works by reducing the air pressure above the elevator car. When the system notices the pressure change, the elevator cab moves in an upward direction. Once the car reaches its designated level, steel breaks secure the car at that level. The steel brakes are lifted off when the cab starts to move in the downward direction as the vacuum pump equalizes the pressure, drifting slowly to the lower floor. Similarly, as soon as the elevator reaches its desired level, the steel brakes will engage once again.
Since most homeowners focus mainly on accessibility when purchasing a home elevator, they often shy away from buying a pneumatic home elevator as they offer much smaller cabs than other elevator types. In fact, many pneumatic home elevators don’t have the space for wheelchairs or other accessibility devices and often have restricted use due to their limited capacity to carry heavy loads.
Haven’t Found The Right Home Elevator?
Read part two of our blog, where we explore other types of home elevators available, or check our range of home elevators and lifts that offer accessibility, comfort and convenience!