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Do I Need Annual Home Elevator Maintenance?

As more and more people choose to enjoy the convenience of an elevator in their home, they also start asking the same question: Do they need annual home elevator maintenance?

The short answer to that question is yes. The better you take care of your elevator, the longer it will last, and annual maintenance plays a role in that preventative care. Is it possible to skip an annual? Yes, but we wouldn’t put it off for too long. Elevators are complex machines, and all complex machines require attentiveness. We’ve put together a guide to determine when you should get maintenance, and we’ve also outlined the benefits of this service.

How Often Do Home Elevators Need Maintenance?

Generally speaking, the more maintenance you perform on your elevator, the better. The best way to ensure these machines continue to run smoothly is to address small problems before they turn into big ones, and if you go for more than a year without home elevator maintenance, you may find yourself dealing with some big problems.

How often you should get maintenance for your home elevator depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • Model: What type of elevator you installed may impact how often your elevator requires maintenance. Depending on the type, it could even require more frequent inspections than annually. You may have parts that need more vigilant attention. Consult with the company that installed your elevator to find out their recommendation. We always talk to our customers about maintenance needs when we install a home elevator.
  • Contract: You may have a contract with the installation company that designates a certain number of inspections. If so, you should take advantage of those opportunities and get the service. That’s one less thing you’ll have to think about if inspections are already scheduled to occur.
  • Location: Does your town have any regulations regarding home elevator usage and inspection? Some municipalities put these regulations in place as a precaution to ensure homeowners take proper care of their elevators and don’t run into long-term troubles. You should contact your local city government to inquire about any inspection regulations. You should do so when you have your elevator installed as well to discuss any permits or fees that might be required.

Benefits of Regular Home Elevator Maintenance

Why should you get regular maintenance for your home elevator? It’s really a matter of preservation for your investment. The more attention you give the elevator’s upkeep, the longer it will last and the more efficiently it will run. You likely see similar results for other appliances or tools. When you question whether you should get your annual inspection, keep the following five advantages of regular maintenance in mind:

  1. Save money: Repairing a snagged wire or replacing a small component won’t cost a lot of money, but if that snagged wire snaps or the component breaks, it could cause serious damage to the rest of the elevator, which will take a lot of money to fix. By addressing small matters when they come up, you can decrease the likelihood of a serious issue arising with your elevator and save yourself those expenses.
  2. Gain peace of mind: Your family uses your elevator every day. You want to keep them safe, and knowing that your elevator has been examined, inspected and given a thumbs up will give you reassurance. Regular elevator maintenance is insurance against worrying about whether all your parts are up to date or your cables are worn.
  3. Form a habit: You don’t think twice about scheduling your annual car inspection because it’s a habit. It’s something you do every year, and it has become second nature. Getting regular elevator maintenance can become a habit too. In fact, you may even want to schedule it the same month as your car inspections so you have a reminder that it’s that time of year.
  4. Trust an expert: If you use a home elevator maintenance checklist, you can take care of a number of small items yourself. For instance, you can find scratches in a ceiling or a burnt-out light. But you may need assistance to identify the more serious issues. Finding an expert you trust to perform an inspection also gives you someone to call if your elevator exhibits a problem. Knowing and trusting your elevator mechanic will set you up for a better experience overall.
  5. Learn more about your elevator: Many people who get elevators in their homes are fascinated by mechanical gadgets. Practicing annual elevator maintenance will give you a chance to indulge this side of your personality. You might even find yourself looking forward to it!

Are you interested in learning more about home elevator maintenance? Or have you been thinking about getting a home elevator and want to know your options? Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling 800-343-9007. We look forward to helping you!

Home Elevator Maintenance Checklist

Do you have an elevator in your home? To ensure it continues to run properly, you need to practice home elevator maintenance just as you would for a car. Think of it as preventative care. If you can spot a problem with the elevator early, you can address it, and it won’t grow into a bigger issue. So how do you know what you should be looking for?

Proper Maintenance Checklist From Home Elevator Professionals

We’ve put together a checklist you can follow to ensure you give every part of the elevator proper care. Set aside time to do this inspection regularly, and work methodically through each piece of the checklist.

Inside the Cab

Complete these five steps inside the cab:

  1. Test and replace any burned-out indicator lights.
  2. Look over the walls, handrails and ceiling of the cab and note any damage, such as scratches or cracks.
  3. Examine the deceleration, acceleration and leveling accuracy of the cab while it’s in motion, if anything it out of whack, it may require some adjustments.
  4. Test the door restrictor. If it isn’t working the right way, you should find an elevator specialist to make some small repairs.
  5. Watch the door open and close. Does it bounce or slam? It should go back and forth smoothly.

Did you note anything you couldn’t fix yourself? Start a running list of issues with the elevator. At the end of your checklist, you may need to call in a professional to assist you, and it will help if you can tell them exactly what the problems are.

Outside the Cab

Use these three steps to check the outside of the cab:

  1. Look over the lights and hall stations, swapping out any that aren’t working.
  2. Examine the clearances and the door panel.
  3. Test the Phase 1 firefighters’ service to ensure it works.

Drive System

Before you begin these three steps for the drive system, get anything that isn’t supposed to be in the machine room out. Next:

  1. Measure your oil levels, adding some if they’re low.
  2. Search electrical components to see if they have overheated or failed.
  3. Look for leaks, vibration or wear on other components, and lubricate them if needed.

The drive system may require professional assistance if you note anything wrong. While you can probably change out lights and add oil yourself, more complex issues should be handled by someone with experience because you might make the problem worse if you handle it yourself.

Top of Cab

The top of the cab requires a patient examination. Complete these six steps in order:

  1. Dust off anything that may have accumulated on the top of the cab.
  2. Inspect the function of the inspection station and stop switch.
  3. Look over all the components within your view, including leveling devices and rollers.
  4. Examine the door operator to make sure it functions correctly.
  5. Search for signs of wear on the traveling cables. Test connections to make sure they work.
  6. Look carefully for evidence of rodents or vandalism in the hoistway. This step is also a good time to ensure fire safety in the space.

Pit

Finally, your last stop should be checking out the pit using the following six steps:

  1. Check for leaks.
  2. Search for corrosion on the spring buffers, and check that they align properly.
  3. Inspect switches, safeties, rollers and all other visible components for wear.
  4. Examine the travel cable for pinches or snags.
  5. Test the GFI outlet, stop switch and lights.
  6. Finish by looking at the sump pump and making that it’s functioning correctly.

How to Find a Home Elevator Maintenance Expert

After your self-check, you may need someone to help you with repairs or take a second look at a component. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Home Elevator vs. Stair Lift

home elevator living room

Many homes have more than one level, and most of them require climbing up and down the stairs to access those levels. Unfortunately, not everyone can manage this movement. Whether your home includes someone in a wheelchair or you have an aging parent who has difficulty navigating stairs on their own, you need an alternative to assist your loved one with moving from floor to floor.

The good news is, you have options. Home elevators and stair lifts both provide vital assistance to people who cannot climb stairs. Which one offers a better fit for your household? Let’s explore the possibilities.

Pros of a Home Elevator

 

  • Flexible installation spots throughout your home
  • Complete configuration and design customization
  • Safest and most improved home mobility
  • Increase in home value

Home elevators have many things going for them. In addition to being easy to use for someone in a wheelchair or with difficulty walking, they can take on whatever decor you desire and make it faster to get to higher floors in the home if you have more than one floor.

More than one person can use an elevator at the same time, making them a more practical investment than a stair lift, which serves only one individual at a time. Here are some of the biggest advantages of choosing a home elevator over a stair lift.

1. Flexible Installation Locations

You can put your home elevator practically anywhere in the house — you’re not limited to a single area. Imagine the possibilities. You could have the elevator in the back of your home, where guests can’t see it, or make it the focal point of the entryway. You may decide to place it near the bedroom of the person who most needs its services. Stair lifts, by contrast, can only be placed in one area of the home — on the stairs.

2. Customizable Configuration and Design

You can customize the design of your elevator to meet your decor preferences. Do you love modern? Traditional? Even something with a little country flair is fair game when you get to pick the design. You’ll even have options for the configuration that powers your system, such as:

  • Cable drum
  • MRL overhead cable drum
  • Hydraulic

3. Safe and Improved Home Mobility

Elevators give those with limited mobility a chance to do things independently. They can get into and out of the elevator by themselves, unlike with a stair lift, where they may require assistance. Elevators are safe spaces, too. Handrails give people something to lean on. They don’t have to balance in a moving chair that could stop or start unexpectedly. With an elevator, they can take control of their movement — a quality that’s always appreciated.

4. Increases Home Resale Value

Home improvements often increase the resale value of a home. An elevator is an especially valuable addition because it makes the house accessible to more people. When you pay for an elevator in your home, you’re making an investment in the future. Not only will the resale value of your home rise, but you’ll also attract more people interested in your house because of that versatility.

Cons of Stair Lifts

 

  • Difficult to conceal and sticks out in your home’s design
  • Limited to no customization to match your home
  • Does not add to home resale value
  • Bulky equipment that takes up staircase space

Stair lifts provide another option for helping those with limited mobility get around the house. Unlike with elevators, stair lifts have a lot of drawbacks. Their limited range and the fact that only one person can use them at a time are serious disadvantages to adding a stair lift to a property. Here are some of the other cons of installing a stair lift.

Difficult to Conceal

When you install a stair lift, everyone can see it, and it’s not the most attractive addition. There’s no cover or drape that you can put over it. When you have company over, they’ll see the stair lift sitting on the staircase — little can be done about that.

Few Design Options

With an elevator, you can choose the cab style, the way it’s designed and what types of materials are used. When you get a stair lift, you get next to no choices. All chair lifts have the same design. You may not even have a choice in the color, depending on where you get your lift. Since the lift needs to be sturdy enough to get someone from top to bottom, it also has to be strong, which can result in clunky designs.

Does Not Increase Home Resale Value

Stair lifts are not a highly desirable feature in a home, so they won’t raise the resale price of your house. You won’t get back the money you put into installing the stair lift. In fact, you may even limit the pool of potential buyers. If someone doesn’t want a stair lift in their home, they’ll have to pay to have it removed, which is a high initial cost. They’ll likely look at other houses instead.

Takes up Stair Space

Many homes have relatively narrow stairways. Some also have steep stairways. Just getting up and down these stairwells under normal circumstances can feel challenging. When you add a stair lift, you narrow the existing space even more. You don’t want to be forced to squeeze yourself around a stair lift every day just to go to and from your bedroom.

That lack of space can also make it more difficult to do everyday tasks such as bringing in groceries or moving something from one floor to the other. The chair on the stair lift will get in the way.

Shop Home Elevators

If you’re trying to decide between a stair lift and a home elevator, the answer is probably clear to you now. You can receive more value, enjoy more versatility and get more return from a home elevator. And with so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that fits your house perfectly.

Are you ready to begin shopping? We have a selection of home elevators to suit your unique needs. We can discuss the best options for your home based on size, style and budget. Get in touch with us today by calling 800-343-9007 or filling out our online contact form. We look forward to helping you.