Category Archives: Residential Elevators

How Does a Vacuum Elevator Work?

pneumatic vacuum elevatorA pneumatic, or vacuum, elevator transports passengers from floor to floor using changes in air pressure. A vacuum elevator can be attached to a balcony or travel through a hole in the floor.

The elevator car is moved by differences between the atmospheric pressure above and below the car ceiling. Turbines on the top of the car create a vacuum that causes the car to rise.

A pneumatic elevator has three main parts: cylinder, head unit, and car. The cylinder is a transparent, self-supporting tube built of an aluminum frame and curved polycarbonate sheets. The head unit contains turbines and the controller. The car travels within the cylinder carrying a passenger.

The elevator car runs along rails or columns that are part of the cylinder’s self-supporting structure. The walls of the car consist of clear polycarbonate panels. An anchoring system activates when the elevator reaches the desired floor, stops the car smoothly and precisely, and locks the car mechanically.

The head unit is located on the top of the cylinder, or remotely up to 30 feet away. The remote unit is used when there is not enough ceiling height above the tube. It is also used to when noise is a concern. Placing the turbines in the attic or a closet reduces the noise level significantly.

How Can Seniors Improve Mobility at Home and Remain Independent?

seniors mobilityAs people age, it can become increasingly difficult to do things that were once easy, such as walking up and down a flight of stairs. Many people believe that if they cannot climb stairs, they either have to limit themselves to the ground floor or move into another home with a single level. However, there are several other options that can allow seniors to improve mobility and remain independent.

A residential elevator is the easiest way to travel safely from floor to floor in a home. An elevator can be installed in a house of nearly any size. It can be tucked into a corner behind a wall, attach to a balcony, or travel through a hole in the floor. Elevators come in a wide range of sizes and configurations that can fit in nearly any house.

If you don’t have the space or money for an elevator, a stair lift is a good alternative. A stair lift travels along a staircase from one level to another. A stair lift can be customized to fit virtually any straight or curved staircase and even a narrow staircase. Stair lifts have a variety of weight capacities and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

If you or a family member uses a wheelchair to get around and an elevator is not an option, a wheelchair lift could be the solution. A wheelchair lift can travel either vertically or up an incline along a staircase to transport a senior citizen in a wheelchair safely from floor to floor with the press of a button.

An elevator, stair lift, or wheelchair lift can improve mobility for a senior citizen who is no longer able to use the stairs. By making all of the floors in the home accessible, a senior can remain independent and continue to live in the house that is full of family memories.

What Is the 3-5 Rule?

elevator 3-5 ruleThe space between the back of an elevator’s swing door and the cab gate is very dangerous. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has created rules related to the design of elevators in an attempt to prevent injuries.

The ASME adopted A-17, the first safety code for private residential elevators, in 1955 to respond to safety concerns. It said that the distance from the door or gate to the sill could not exceed two inches and the distance from the hoistway face of the landing door or gate to the car door or gate could not exceed four inches. The requirements were relaxed over the years, which led to more safety concerns and the eventual adoption of the 3-5 Rule.

The current elevator code requires that the distance from the back of the swing door to the edge of the hoistway not be more than 3 inches. In addition, the distance from the back of the swing door to the cab gate may not exceed 5 inches.

Elevator contractors must be careful to comply with the 3-5 Rule. The contractor who builds the hoistway is responsible for meeting the requirement. Framing the hoistway with 2x4s helps meet the rule. Using 2×6 construction makes it more difficult to adhere to the 3-5 requirement. Contractors must use door jambs specifically designed to be used on residential elevators, and hoistways need to be perfectly plumb and square. Any variation can create a non-compliance issue.

Newer types of doors and gates comply with the 3-5 Rule. One is a specially manufactured swing door frame with a 1-inch maximum distance between the hoistway door and the edge of the landing sill. An automatic accordion gate operator is another good option because it will come in contact with any obstruction, fail to close, and prevent the elevator from moving and trapping a person. Power side slide doors and gates have tolerances well below the 3-5 requirement.

Is an Elevator or Stair Lift Better for Your Home?

home elevatorStairs can pose a challenge for seniors or other people with limited mobility. If you have trouble walking up and down stairs at home, you don’t need to let that confine you to just the lower floor. A home elevator or stair lift can help you get around easily and safely at home. Here are some things to think about to help you decide which is right for your house.

An elevator is the easiest way to get from one floor to another in a home. An elevator can be large enough to fit a wheelchair or to carry other items, such as laundry or groceries, that might be difficult to carry up or down stairs. An elevator is also large enough to fit additional passengers, such as family members or a caregiver, who provide the homeowner with assistance.

Elevators take up varying amounts of space. They can be boxes several feet wide or cylinders just a few feet across. Many elevators are tucked away behind walls, while others attach to a balcony or travel through a hole in the floor. If you are considering installing an elevator in your home, think about how much space you have and how much remodeling you are willing to do. A home elevator can be expensive, but it can also add value to a house.

stair liftIf you don’t have the space for a home elevator, or if an elevator is not within your budget, a stair lift is a good alternative. A stair lift has a comfortable seat that travels along a rail to transport a passenger up and down a staircase. A stair lift can be installed on nearly any staircase, including one that is narrow or has curves, and it can service multiple floors in a home. Stair lifts have a variety of weight capacities to accommodate passengers of nearly any size. A stair lift costs significantly less than a home elevator.

If you need to improve mobility at home, you have options. An elevator can enable you to travel easily from floor to floor, even in a wheelchair. If you don’t have the space or funds for an elevator, a stair lift is a good alternative. Both can safely transport a passenger and make all the levels in a home accessible.

There is simply no other company that can offer you all of this.

If you are looking for a customized quote or just want to ask a question, get in touch with Nationwide Lifts today to start talking to a Home Elevator expert.