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Buying A Stair Lift For The Home

Oct 4, 2007
Home stair lifts are more popular than ever and, thanks to the increased number of manufacturers and distributors, are available to those with even the most modest of budgets. Before you run out an purchase one, you need to have a basic understanding of the types of stair lifts available and the technologies that make them work. This will insure that you get the right stair lift for your home and that you will have years of trouble free service.

Moderns stair lifts use one of two types of drive mechanisms; rack and pinion or cable driven. Rack and pinion uses a gear attached to the seat or chassis of the stair lift that runs the length of a straight toothed track. The electric motor located under the seat provides the motion to the gear and allows the smooth movement up and down the track. A big advantage of this type of stair lift is the ability of the user to adjust the speed. This is due to the use of a circuit board or computer chip to dynamically control the voltage from the battery to the motor. A rack and pinion lift will require more maintenance than a cable driven lift. With a rack and pinion lift, the toothed track that allows the seat chassis to move up and down is exposed and is prone to attract more dust than a cable driven stair lift. As such, it will require frequent cleaning and lubrication.

Cable driven stair lifts have become very popular due to their simple, but reliable design. A cable driven lift utilizes a direct drive systems which means that the cable itself does not actually move. Instead, the seat or carriage is pulled up the track. The cables used in modern stair lifts are high strength aluminum aircraft cables and require practically no maintenance. In addition, the entire drive system is completely enclosed in the seat chassis and is not subject to the accumulation of pet hair and dust that can interfere with the function of the rack and pinion types. The only routine maintenance required is the occasional lubrication of the track.

Whether you decide on a cable driven stair lift or a rack and pinion stair lift, make sure that you have the features that you require and an understanding of the maintenance and installation requirements of your particular model. Manufacturers design stair lifts with one person installation in mind. As a result, stair lift installations are generally straight forward and can be accomplished in an afternoon by anyone that is handy with basic tools.

Keep these tips in mind when deciding on what type of stair lift to purchase and you will not only have years of worry free service from your new stair lift, but you will add value to your home and regain your lost independence.
About the Author
Jill Stark is a freelance writer an reviewer of mobility products. You can read more about home stair lifts by visiting http://www.usmedicalsupplies.com.
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