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How Does a Stairlift Works?

Electric Stairlifts- Stairlifts use a battery-powered rack and pinion drive system, constantly charged by a nearby outlet at the top or bottom of the stairs. This design allows the stairlift to carry its rated load up and downstairs. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

 

The Stairlift Carriage

The carriage is what houses the “brains and muscles” of the stairlift. The motor gearbox, electronics, most of the safety switches and the batteries are within the carriage. It is basically the hood of your car where the engine is kept. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

Stairlift Components

A stairlift is made up of three key parts: the rail, the carriage, and the seat. The rail is what gets mounted to the staircase first. A rail can be either straight or curved. Stannah stairlifts use a rack and pinion gear system. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

Retractable Rail Stairlift

Retractable Rail Stairlift

If you are considering buying and installing a stairlift in your home, one of the first things to think about is how it’ll fit on your stairs. How is the rail secured? What is the rail length? Can it go around corners? How far does the rail stick out past the bottom stair? What if you have a door at the bottom and need the rail to fold up and out of the way? Should I go for a retractable rail stairlift?

There are several factors to take into account when deciding on a stairlift that meets your needs to purchase and therefore, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we will share with you some of the things you need to know to help you make an informed decision.

Stairlift Components

  1. The Stairlift Rail

A stairlift is made up of three key parts: the rail, the carriage, and the seat. The rail is what gets mounted to the staircase first. A rail can be either straight or curved. Stannah stairlifts use a rack and pinion gear system. The stairlift rail houses the rack, a series of teeth that the pinion (gear) on the stairlift “climbs” up or down the stairs.

Stairlift rails, in general, are mounted to the stairs with feet that are typically attached with a lag (wood or concrete). Nothing is attached to the walls. The walls cannot hold as much weight as the stair treads.

The screws that hold your stairlift in place require only very small holes. So, if you have a historic home, you can still retain the design of your home with the stairlift installed.

  1. The Carriage

The carriage is what houses the “brains and muscles” of the stairlift. The motor gearbox, electronics, most of the safety switches and the batteries are within the carriage. It is basically the hood of your car where the engine is kept.

The pinion attaches to the motor gearbox which climbs the rack on the rail. There is a printed circuit board that acts as the brain of the stairlift. It tells it when to start and stop based on the signals it is reading from the switches and circuits of the chair.

The carriage also displays an LED panel in case any troubleshooting is needed. This allows us to diagnose problems over the phone and help get repairs and services completed faster.

Our stairlifts work during a power outage. Stannah stairlifts function on battery power so if there is a loss of power to the house, the stairlift will keep on working. All of our stairlifts have tracks that contain tough copper strips that are always trickle charging the stairlift battery, so losing power won’t be a problem. Our stairlifts will continue to work on battery an average of up to 25 trips after a brown or blackout.

  1. The Seat

This is the interesting part. The seat is where you sit but it is more than that on a Stannah stairlift. It is where you are safely taken up the stairs. The seat is a vital part. Comfort, performance, and quality of materials all matter.

We offer several seat options but great to note are the safety features that come standard. Stannah stairlift chairs swivel to face the top of the stairs only, providing a safe way to get on or off and preventing swiveling down the stairs and inadvertently putting you in a dangerous position precariously perched at the top of your stairs.

In addition, there are three ways to switch the power off for safety, two are located on the armrest of your chair. Our stairlifts also all come standard with seatbelts located in the easiest-to-reach place, right under the armrest.

Lastly, the stairlift footrest is button powered, which means you don’t have to bend over to fold or unfold the footrest. This button is also located right on the armrest.

Foot Traffic and Stairlift Parking Considerations on Narrow Stairs

Your house “traffic patterns” at the bottom, on, and at the top of the staircase are an extremely important factor in deciding on what choice of stairlift suits your home. For most people, the two-way powered swivel option for their Stannah is enough. It enables you to swivel the chair to the safest position at both the top and bottom of the stairs, particularly in tight spaces.

If you need to allow the front door, garage door, or closet door to open, then a retractable rail stairlift is highly recommended, especially if the bottom of your stairs is very close or adjacent to a door.

The retractable rail for Stannah stairlifts is available as an add-on. This rail add-on is only available for straight stairlifts. As it is automated, the rail retracts on its hinge, out of the way when the stairlift goes upstairs and extends the track as you and the stairlift travel downstairs.

For curved staircases where traffic is also a concern, there is the curved rail. A Stannah curved stairlift can be designed to curve around corners, including at the end of the rail, around a wall if needed. The same can be done at the top of the stairs.

Another thing to consider when it comes to your home’s traffic patterns is where the stairlift is parked. If your home has tight stairs, whether straight or curved, with a Stannah stairlift you can choose a parking solution that best fits your needs.

Additional stairlift parking options are available with the curved rail design. These options can put the stairlift in a location out of the way of those who regularly walk the stairs, as well as distancing it from the top of the stairs in consideration of safety. With the curved rail, a safe parking solution can be achieved. Even if your stairs are straight, opting for a curved rail can give you this flexibility.

Stairlift Dimensions

How Narrow Is Narrow?

Stannah stairlift will work for staircases where the minimum width is 29 inches or even 28 inches in width. The length of your stairs will not be an issue for installation, as we can make the rail to be any length needed; however, it will be a factor in the total cost of the stairlift.

The shortest stairlift we will manufacture is three steps, anything less than that and we would recommend a ramp, if possible.

Choose a Stairlift That Will Fit

When it comes to finding a stairlift that is right for your body, of course, there is no one size that fits all. Every stairlift will have specifications including seat width and weight capacity. Not paying attention to these could lead you to choose a lift that is uncomfortable and unsafe.

Some tips for getting the right fit:

  • Measure the space needed to sit comfortably by sitting on a chair and measuring your seated lap width. Consider choosing a model with a wide seat if it is more comfortable.
  • If you don’t know your current weight, weigh yourself, or have your doctor help you.
  • Try out stairlifts at a showroom.
  • Find a model with adjustable armrests if you think it would help.

Bear in mind that you want the retractable rail stairlift to fit you for a long time, so consider the possibility of weight gain and other changes down the road.

Double Check the Warranty and Service Policy

With all of the excitement of designing your stairlift and choosing additional features, it is easy to lose sight of what an important purchase this is. Stairlifts are meant to be a one-time deal, so warranty and service policies should be important factors to consider when choosing your new stairlift.

Before you complete the purchase, you should double-check that nothing has changed from the initial consultation. Some dealers will offer a different warranty depending on the type of stairlift purchased.

For example, if you have changed your mind and gone with a curved instead of a straight lift, you could find yourself with a shorter warranty period.

Most warranties extend to one or two years, and this may include annual maintenance services, including covering the cost of any required repairs. After the warranty period, it’ll be up to you to pay for service, repairs, or replacements. Some companies offer an extended warranty for an additional fee.

Retractable Rail Stairlift

If you are looking for a stairlift that offers a perfect solution for obstructed landings at the bottom of a straight staircase, then you should consider a retractable rail stairlift. At Stannah Mountain West Stairlifts, we are ready and more than happy to help you find a stairlift that suits your needs and budget.

Call us now at (888) 542-3834 or contact us online to schedule a FREE, no-obligation home assessment so that we can provide you with an accurate quote.

Retractable Rail Stairlift

Retractable Rail Stairlift

Stannah Stairliftis is Flexible

Whether you have straight, curved, or several landings on your staircase, our team from Stannah Mountain West Stairlifts will come up with the right design of stairlift for your home during installation. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

Evaluation of Stannah Stairlift Buying

This Professional Evaluation, will determine and take into consideration the measuring and evaluating the construction features of your home. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call)

How Long can Stannah Stairlift Battery Last?

Depending on usage, your battery should last between 3 to 5 years. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

Do I have to pay for a quotation?

No. Stannah provides a free home survey with a no-obligation quotation. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

Is the stairlift attached to the stairs or the wall?

All our stairlifts are attached to the tread of the stairs and not the wall. Call now for a free no-obligation in-home evaluation with a guaranteed price in writing 888 532-3834 (Click To Call).

Buying A Stairlift Mountain West

Buying A Stairlift Mountain West

Buying A Stairlift Mountain West: How to Choose the Best Stairlift For Your Home and Your Needs.

Stairlifts are a cost-effective way to make your home safer and more accessible, especially for someone with limited mobility. Whether you are aging in place, planning for the future, or recovering from an injury, a stairlift offers access and sustainable independence in your home at an affordable price. But buying a stairlift Mountain West isn’t easy, particularly if it’s your first time.

Thankfully, this article will help you learn more about the different types of stairlifts, their benefits, stairlift installations, warranties, and how to buy a stairlift so that you can make an informed choice.

What is a Stairlift?

A stairlift is a simple piece of accessibility equipment, designed to help people with limited mobility get up and down stairs safely. The primary components of a stairlift include a chair, a motor and the fixed track they travel along. Stairlifts can be fitted to a variety of staircase types, including curved and outdoor stairs.

Stairlifts also come with a number of convenience and safety features that make it easier (and safer) to use your stairlift. While the basic design remains relatively consistent, these features and the quality of the service provided represent the biggest differences between the different stairlift companies.

How a Stairlift Works

  1. Electric Stairlifts

Stairlifts use a battery-powered rack and pinion drive system, constantly charged by a nearby outlet at the top or bottom of the stairs. This design allows the stairlift to carry its rated load up and downstairs.

Safety features, like the over-speed governor and emergency braking system, ensure that the stairlift will never travel faster than it is supposed to. Typically, stairlifts travel at about 18 ft per minute.

  1. Power Outage

In the event of a power outage, the batteries will continue to operate your stairlift for approximately 20 roundtrips. In this situation, you can usually save battery power by turning off an isolator switch when you aren’t using the stairlift.

However, this is only recommended during an outage and it’ is important to leave your stairlift switched on the rest of the time.

  1. Batteries

The main power supplied by the electrical outlet helps the batteries maintain a full charge so that your stairlift is always ready to go. However, the stairlift won’t overdraw from your electrical supply and the minimal output means there won’t be any significant impact on your electric bill.

  1. Replacing the Batteries

Stairlift batteries last between 1 and 5 years. Battery life depends on usage and how often the stairlift is left off charge. When it is time to get them replaced, a professional technician (ideally a representative from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer) can service your batteries for you.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can do on your own, as these industrial batteries are stored within the stairlift’s carriage and require technical training to install. However, stairlift batteries are usually covered under an initial warranty or extended service plan.

  1. Weight Capacity

Stairlift weight capacity depends on your staircase type and the model you need for your home. Straight stairlifts can carry heavier loads than curved stairlifts, which operate on a different track that should adapt to the bends and turns of your staircase.

Typically, you can expect weight capacities between 300 lbs. and 350 lbs. for straight stairs and 265-300 lbs. for curved stairs.

Stairlift Dimensions

A common question before buying a stairlift Mountain West is whether or not it will fit on your staircase. That is why the first step of our buying process is to schedule a free in-home visit, where a Stannah stairlift expert will measure your stairs and get a sense of your needs.

Types of Stairlifts

There are three basic stairlift types: straight, curved, and outdoor. Each type is suited to a different type of staircase and comes with a unique set of attributes and benefits. Let’s look at the different stairlift types, so you can figure out which is right for you.

1) Straight Stairlifts

Straight stairlifts are the most common type of stairlifts, as they are designed for simple, straight-run staircases. Usually, these are between 12 and 16 steps, but every house is different and a straight stairlift can be installed on a staircase that is up to 12 meters (39 feet) long!

Thankfully, most staircases are much shorter than that and straight rails can be cut down to the precise length you need, making straight stairlifts are also the most adaptable and reusable type of stairlift.

Since the rail can be cut down to fit on shorter staircases, you can re-sell or donate your stairlift, or simply take it with you if you decide to move. It’s important to note that this doesn’t guarantee the new set of stairs will be wide enough for a stairlift and the track cannot be extended if the new staircases are longer than the original.

2) Curved Stairlifts

Stairs that turn are a more complicated proposition than straight runs. Fortunately, curved stairlifts can suit the bends and turns of almost any staircase. Typically, there are two sorts of curved stairlifts: custom-made “bespoke” models and modular stairlifts.

  1. a) Custom Curved Stairlifts

As the name implies, custom curved stairlifts are designed specifically for your staircase. After measuring your stairs during a free home survey, our stairlift professionals will design a custom curved rail that can be made from scratch for a snug fit on your stairs.

Custom rails do take a bit longer to make, but the fit on your stairs and the smoothness of the ride are second to none.

  1. b) Modular Stairlifts

Alternatively, a modular stairlift rail is pieced together from an existing set of rail sections. With these pieces already in stock, a modular stairlift can be installed quickly, but it is important to note that the installation won’t be as tight, and the ride can be somewhat bumpier.

Still, some users might need a quicker installation or simply prefer the look of a modular design. The important thing to understand before buying a stairlift Mountain West is that you have options!

3) Outdoor Stairlifts

Outdoor stairlifts are simply stairlifts designed for outdoor staircases. They provide access to backyards, and even garage entryways. Outdoor models can withstand harsh weather gardens, conditions, including extreme heat and cold.

Usually, outdoor stairlifts are made with durable metal rails and strong plastic seats that can handle being out in the sun or exposed to winter weather. A protective cover and a closed rail system are also vital components to ensure that your outdoor stairlift can handle the elements.

If you are interested in an outdoor stairlift, ensure you ask about a key lock system and landing controls, so that you can store your stairlift safely.

4) Heavy Duty Stairlifts

Heavy-duty stairlifts are stairlifts with a significant weight capacity (over 300lbs). While most stairlift manufacturers don’t make this distinction, it is an important question for many people. Typically, straight stairlifts have a higher weight capacity than curved models; so, if you have multiple staircases, it is probably better to install on the straight-run staircase.

If you are concerned about weight capacity, simply ask the question. Most stairlift companies can accommodate higher weight capacity; it is simply a matter of finding the right model for your needs.

5) Commercial Stairlifts

While residential stairlifts make up the bulk of worldwide installations, many corporations and public buildings have opted for stairlifts to help visitors, employees, and customers use the stairs safely.

It is important to note that stairlifts are not ADA compliant and so are more of a supplementary offering in commercial and public buildings. Still, it is important to ensure that your commercial stairlift complies with local and state building codes.

To that end, it is good to establish a line of contact between the stairlift-company and your local building inspector when buying a stairlift Mountain West. Don’t worry too much, as most experienced stairlift companies have run into this situation before and likely have local contacts and the proper documentation at the ready.

6) Reconditioned Stairlifts

Reconditioned stairlifts are a great cost-saving option. These used stairlifts have been carefully removed and fully serviced by the manufacturer or a trusted local dealer.

They undergo a thorough inspection and cleaning process before they are resold at a discounted rate. Because reconditioned stairlifts are pre-owned, it is important to make sure that you are working with a reputable company or dealer.

Tips for Choosing the Right Stairlift

Choosing the right stairlift is all about finding the best value for your situation and money. Often, the cheapest option isn’t the best solution; neither is the most expensive model. Here are THREE important factors that can help you find the right balance for your needs and budget.

  1. Consider How Your Mobility Might Change

People often think about the stairlift process in terms of their current mobility level. Unfortunately, that can change over time. Make sure you choose a stairlift that can adapt to your needs as they change over time because if it is a struggle to use now, it is likely to get harder down the road.

  1. Think About How Long You Want to Live in Your Home

Renting a stairlift can be a great temporary solution, especially if you are expecting to make a full recovery or move in a few months. But, if you plan on living in your home for longer than 18 months, you are usually better off buying a stairlift outright.

  1. Determine the Value of The Full Package

Many online dealers offer enticing prices, with little follow-through on the back end. There is a big difference between a stairlift in a box delivered to your doorstep and a safe, professional installation backed by a multi-year warranty.

It is important to consider the long-term value when buying a stairlift Mountain West. Upfront costs are important, but you should always be asking, “What am I getting in the long run?” Whatever factors matter most to you, the answer should include both independence and peace of mind.

Buying A Stairlift Mountain West

Are you looking for a stairlift to buy/rent and install in your home? Contact Stannah Mountain West Stairlifts at 888-542-3834 or online to schedule a FREE, no-obligation home assessment.

Buying A Stairlift Mountain West

Buying A Stairlift Mountain West