If you are looking to install an electric stair lift, you must first ask yourself what is the main purpose for it to be installed.
Have you recently been hit with a disability that has impaired your ability to walk the stairs?
Or maybe you are just feeling weak enough to consider taking the stairs between the floors too big of a hazard. Indeed, statistics show that, especially in seniors, falls on the stairs are one of the most dangerous events a senior can experience. They are a big reason for the ER visits and for further hospitalizations. Therefore, minimizing the risk of fall going up or down the stairs makes sense even though you are quite capable of traversing the stairs on your own.
There are many different kinds of stair lift systems and electric stair lifts that one can choose from and when you take time to research, you will find one that fits your mobility needs and your home as well. The basic choices you will be able to make when buying an electric stair lifts are: Indoor vs. Outdoor, Curved stairs vs Straight stairs, AC powered vs DC powered, or battery stair lift, Sitting vs. Standing riding position. Let’s quickly look at the initial choices that you have.
Once you have seen all the possible combinations, you will be better able to decide what kind of a electric stair lift or chair lift is right for your situation.
Indoor electric stair lift vs. Outdoor electric stair lift?
An outdoor stair lift is more than just an indoor stairlift that gets an additional protective cover. The climate outside can be much harsher as far as continuous impact of the dust, humidity or condensation, intense sun rays, and the moist air.
Both the rail of the electric stair lift and the carriage, as well as the seat must be weatherproof. Likewise, the electric components, from the engine, to bearings, to electric charger, need to be weatherized to withstand the harsh elements.
Additionally, to keep an outdoor electric stair lift in good working order, its maintenance regimen must include more frequent maintenance tasks than an indoor stair lift.
Chair lift for the curved stairs or straight stairs?
Despite contemporary CAD/CAM approaches and designs, curved stairs are still much more difficult to fit a stair lift on than the straight stairs. Consequently, you will end up paying much more for a curved stair lift than for the straight-stairs or a straight stair lift. And, if your stairs are curved and outdoors, you will have very few models and manufacturers to choose from!
AC powered vs DC powered electric stair lift?
For about twenty years now the DC, or the battery powered stair lifts have been gaining popularity compared with the AC powered stair lifts. They are just more reliable for the cases when the electric power to the premises is not reliable. When one has not enough power to climb the stairs, it is clearly unpleasant to be stuck in the midst of the stairs when the power goes out.
So as long as you are prepared to maintain the batteries, and replace them every 3-5 years of use, then the DC, battery powered stair lift might be a better option for you. For the outdoor installations, there may be additional considerations needed in making sure that the charger and the battery can handle the humidity and the temperature swings in your area.
Sitting vs Standing riding position stair lift
In general, it is always preferable to be sitting always when riding a stair lift. The sitting position simply provides more safety and support and is less demanding on the stair lift also. However, when your stairs are extremely narrow, less than 30 inches wide, or when your disability does not allow you to completely bend your knees, then a standing riding position, or a standing stair lift is a better option for you. The variants of standing electric stair lifts are stand-sit stairlifts, perching stairlifts, perch and stand stair lifts, or sit and perch stair lifts. When choosing between these types, have both your safety and your physical ability in mind.