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How Do Stairlifts Work?

Stairlifts are one of the most important technologies you can have in your home. Whether you’re a senior living alone or you suffered from an accident that has affected your mobility, a bespoke stairlift offers the perfect solution to your mobility concerns.
However, while they have become a common appliance in most homes, most users don’t understand how the stair lift works.

Components of Stairlift

To understand how a stairlift works, you first need to understand the different components that are put together to make the stairlift.

  • Rail – also known as the track, this is the system that supports the chairs and it is also the path that guides the chair up and down the staircase.
  • Track overruns – if you prefer to have your stairlift steer clear of the staircase at the bottom or top, track overruns will be added. These are usually added as a safety precaution and also to create space for foot traffic on the stairway.
  • Power supply – the stairlift needs to be powered. It is battery-operated and requires a power supply to charge the battery or power the lift if it doesn’t come with a battery.
  • Seat – this is where the user sits when using the stairlift. There are different types of designs and features that come with the seat depending on what you choose.
  • Motor – this is what propels the stairlift along the track. It is located at the bottom of the seat.
  • Transmission – the transmission is added to regulate the speed of the motor. The goal is to reduce the speed of the motor and instead increase the power that helps to propel the seat up the stairs.
  • Others – the stairlift is also fitted with a footrest, a seatbelt, a battery, and a battery charger. Each of these play a different role in the propulsion of the stairlift and in providing safety to the user.

Even though there are different makes, models and designs of stairlifts, their mode of operation is usually the same.

The seat is controlled by simple controls that dictate movement. If the rider pushes and holds the switch the seat will move up the stairs. If the switch is released, the stairlift will beep and come to a stop.

Once the switch has been pressed, it turns on the power which turns the motor that is meshed into a gear strip on the rail. When the gear starts turning, the chair starts moving.

Reversing the motion of the gear moves the chair in the opposite direction. There are also call or send buttons located on the seat that is used to move the chair without anyone on it. These are particularly helpful if more than one person is using the chair in the home.

Understanding how a stairlift works can better help you appreciate the amount of technology that has gone into the stairlifts. It is also a great way of getting to understand how safe and secure technology is.

Curious about how much a stairlift costs? Find out here.