Lifestyle   Lifehacks
By Lifestyle Team | 01 Sept. 2018

5 FAQs About Stairlifts

faqs stairlifts

If you or someone in your family is having mobility issues, getting up and down the stairs can be difficult and potentially dangerous. Rather than reconfiguring the setup of the house, you should consider installing a stairlift. If you want to be sure that you are buying the best stairlift possible, there are a few things that you should understand. While finding the best price for stairlift is important, there are other things that you should consider as well.

1 - How Does a Stairlift Work?

A stairlift is a chair that travels along a track that is mounted to the stairway. Inside the base of the chair is a motor. There are some stairlifts that are powered by electricity and there are some that run on batteries. There are also some models that run on both. If the power in the house goes out, the stairlift will switch over to the backup battery so that it can be used during a power outage. Most stairlifts have a call or a send switch. If someone is upstairs but the chair is downstairs, they can press the button to bring the chair to them. If more than one person needs the chair and you like it to remain on the first level, this option is very important.

2 - Are My Stairs Suitable For a Stairlift?

It is possible to find a stairlift for most types of stairs. If you have a staircase that goes straight up and doesn’t have any curves, turns, or landings, you would need a straight rail lift. In most cases, this type is the least expensive. If your stairs have a landing, if they curve slightly, or if you have a spiral staircase, you will need to go with a custom curved rail. These stairlifts are custom designed for your particular staircase, therefore, it will be more expensive than the straight rail models.

3 - How Is a Stairlift Installed?

The way that the stairlift is installed would depend on the type of lift you are installing. If you are planning to install a straight rail, your stairs would be measured so that the product specialist will know how long the track will need to be. At the time of installation, the track would be installed and the chair would be attached. If you are installing a custom curved rail, the process is a bit more difficult. In this case, the product specialist would come to your home and take photos of the staircase using a special 3-D camera. These photos are necessary for the manufacturer to create your custom railing. Because the process is more complex, it will take longer to install a custom curved rail than a straight rail.

4 What Are the Different Types of Stairlifts?

As mentioned above, the two main types of stairlifts are the straight rail and the custom curved stairlifts. There are a few different options for each type.

Standing lifts
If you or your loved one can easily stand but climbing up and down is an issue, you can go with a standing lift. You would simply stand on a platform and it will take you up and down the stairs. These types of stairlifts are slimmer than stairlifts with seats, which makes it a great option if you have a narrow staircase. If you get dizzy or lightheaded when standing, you should go with the seated lift.

Seated lifts
If you cannot climb or if you become lightheaded when standing, you should go with a seated lift. There are some models where the chair always remains open. If you don’t have a wide enough staircase for this model, you can go with a model where the seat folds up and down. This will save space when the stairlift is not in use.

Lifts that pass a doorway
If there is a door at the bottom of your staircase, you will need a model that lifts up past the door when the stairlift is not in use. When you are at the bottom of the stairs, you can press the call button. This will take the stairlift down the rest of the way so that you can get on. When it goes back down the stairs and you get out, it will return to its position halfway up the stairs.

Outdoor lifts
If you have stairs outside that lead to your door, there are outdoor stairlifts available.

5 - Are There Weather-Proof Stairlifts?

As mentioned above, there are outdoor stairlifts available and they are weather-proof. Outdoor models are waterproof, therefore, you don’t need to worry about the tracks getting rusty when it rains or snows. Also, the chair is made of plastic and doesn’t have a cushion that can get wet. Finally, outdoor lifts are designed so that they remain operational in extremely cold weather and in extreme heat.

If you are thinking about installing a stairlift in your home, finding the best price for stairlift is important. However, it isn’t the only thing to consider. The best stairlift for you would depend on the type of stairs that you have in your home and the width of your staircase.