How Does a Stair Lift Work?
A stair lift is designed for people with mobility issues that make going up and down the stairs difficult if not impossible. They are not new in the market and have been around for years. Lots of physically challenged and elderly people have already benefited from them. If you are wondering if a stair lift will be of help to you, it is best to understand how it works.
Essentially, a stair lift is installed to a staircase so that people will not need to walk up or down the stairs. A standard stair lift has the following parts: A seat that usually comes with a foot rest, arm rest, railing, belt or pinion, motor, sensor, and controller on both ends of the staircase. The entire system is powered by a motor that gets power from a mechanical battery or electricity. There will be a railing that will be attached to your stair tread along the staircase’s path.
The stair lift seat will then be attached to the railing. It will slide up or down the staircase depending on what you will do with the controller.
To operate, most stair lifts rely on a motor-driven belt. It is housed by the rail. It rolls just like a conveyor belt when someone pushed the button on the controller. It will stop rolling when someone presses a button for another command, uses the manual brake or when an object or person is sensed to be blocking the path.
If not relying on a belt, the stair lift is probably using a rack and pinion. The pinion holds the seat, it is mounted onto a rack that has gear-like mechanism, which rotates to have the lift go up or down the staircase.
The arm rest provides support and safety. You can also find models that have special safety features such as belts, manual break and sensors.
A Stair lift will go up or down when someone hops on it. One can go down the staircase using the lift and press the designated button so that the lift will go back up without someone on it. It can then be used by whoever needs it in the upper floor. The concern of having someone stuck in the middle of the staircase when electricity suddenly shuts off is also solved through rechargeable battery. Most brands of stair lifts today come up with a rechargeable battery that serves as an alternative or secondary source of power so that the lift will continue operating without electricity.
With continuous developments, different types of stair lifts are now available in the market. In fact, there are lifts for indoor use. There are also for outdoors that are much stronger and made to stand different kinds of weather. Stairlifts can be applied to straight or curved stairs.