Trying to understand vacuum elevator problems so you can confidently decide what home elevator type is right for you? You have come to the right place. W are certified aging-in-place specialists which means we can look at your mobility challenges at all angles, then explain your options.
While pneumatic vacuum elevators (PVE) are popular and especially useful for most residential mobility needs, like any solution, they are not for every situation. Here are the things you want to think about when considering a vacuum elevator for your house.
Matching your Home’s Aesthetic
Vacuum elevators are completely visible. They are not hidden in a shaft behind doors and walls like a traditional hydraulic or traction elevator. We customize your PVE to match your home with a large variety of trim packages, but the tube will always be visible. For some, this look is extremely attractive and a stunning choice. But in other cases, the modern look may seem out of place or just not be to your personal taste.
Vacuum Elevator Capacity
PVEs have overall lower carrying capacity than other types of home elevators. While PVE capacity is ample for the large majority of homeowners needs, this is a limitation that should be carefully considered for your situation.
In general, traditional elevators can handle 1000 pounds or more while vacuum elevators max out at 525 pounds. If you have a lot of residents or frequent visitors or if you move heavy furniture or other large objects routinely, you will want to carefully explore the carrying capacity of pneumatic elevators.
Also, if you must use a wheelchair, the largest PVE model will be required which may make the PVE a more expensive option than a traditional elevator with shaft. But this is not always the case due to average elevator installation projects’ construction costs. Add this to your list of questions for us when you invite us to your home for a site survey and free home elevator quote.
Because of the cylindrical shape, some people find the elevator cars feels more enclosed. This is rare since the elevators are completely panoramic, but it is how some people feel. Therefore, we recommend a visit to our home elevator showroom to experience different elevator types yourself.
Max Stops for a Vacuum Elevator
The PVE is a self-supporting structure, 100% customized to your home. It is unusual for a residential elevator to require many stops and extreme heights, but for some homes, the limitation may apply. PVEs have a maximum of 5 stops for a total of 50’ vertical rise. If your home has more than 5 levels that you want to connect or overall height exceeds 50’, then a PVE is not for your situation. We offer other types of affordable elevator solutions to suit those requirements.
PVE Landing Configuration
Like the max stop limitation, the landing configuration limitation is not an issue for most home elevator installations. But if your home has limited appropriate installation locations or you need multiple entrance directions on a floor, the landing configuration is important. A vacuum elevator can only have 1 door per landing. And the door on a separate floor (for some models) can be across from the door on the other floor (180 degrees) but cannot be perpendicular (to the right or left).
Most homes’ architectures support use of doors on the same side or across from one another and do not need elevator cars that open on both sides of a landing, but if your situation requires more flexible landing configuration, another home elevator type will be required.
Vacuum Elevator Noise and Privacy
Because the PVE does not require a shaft, it is completely open to the area of installation. One of the considerations our elevator experts help you with is selecting the installation location, because sound can be an issue…for any elevator type.
Most vacuum elevators can be up to 85 decibels (dB), which is comparable to a vacuum cleaner. But only when going up and in most applications, we can use a remote motor to further dampen the sound. There are quieter traditional residential elevators at about 55 dB but going both up and down. To help you understand these noise levels:
- Normal breathing ~ 10 dB
- Rustling leaves ~ 20
- Whisper 30 ~ dB
- Normal conversation 50 ~ dB
- Dishwasher ~ 60 dB
- Washing machine ~ 70 dB
- Alarm clock ~ 80 dB
- Lawnmower or blender ~ 90 dB
- Car horn ~ 110 dB
- Jet plane taking off ~ 120 dB
What Elevator is Right for You?
Most homeowners are still a bit (or a lot) confused after reading through the information on our website. We welcome your call to ask all your questions. And look forward to an invitation to your home to help you understand the best residential mobility solutions for you and your home.