If you have a question about vacuum elevators that is not answered here, give us a call at (713) 360-7353 or use the form on this page to send us your inquiry.
Q. How much does a vacuum elevator cost?
Many factors affect the final installed cost of vacuum elevators. The average price for a good quality shaftless elevator with the capacity most families need will cost around $30,000. Here is more information about home elevator prices. There are 2 main components to consider:
- The Elevator – such as number of stops, size, and various aesthetic options you may prefer. PVEs start at $24,000 installed for the smaller unit for 2 floors and go up from there.
- Construction – The construction costs for a vacuum elevator are typically much less than for a traditional elevator, but home modifications are necessary. If the construction is minimal (floor is level and is installed in an open foyer or stairwell so no floor penetration is required and materials are standard, installation costs can be as low as $4,200-$6,000.
The best way to know exactly what the elevator that suits your home and preferences will cost is to schedule a free in-home elevator consultation and site evaluation. One of our knowledgeable vacuum elevator specialists will explain all your options to help you confidently make an informed decision.
Q.What is a Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator (PVE)?
Pneumatic vacuum elevator is a air-driven lift that due to its tube design in glass offers a 360-degree view.
Q. How does a Pneumatic Elevator work?
An efficient pneumatic pump sucks the air out of the chamber above the elevator car creating low pressure which causes the higher pressure below the car to give a gentle lift pushing the car and its riders upwards. To descend, no power is consumed because a valve releases the vacuum slowly causing the car to move to a lower floor. When the elevator car is at the landing, brakes engage to lock it in place.
Q. What are typical vacuum elevator problems?
This question usually comes up when people are not comfortable with the technology or don’t know a lot about pneumatic elevators. We have lots of information for you about vacuum elevator problems and things to consider.
Q. Are vacuum elevators safe?
Vacuum elevators are certified to meet ASME elevator standards. They are simply designed with fewer parts to break down and in the event of a power failure while the elevator is in use, the slow release of air pressure caused by gravity is used to slowly descend to the lowest floor. Because upward movement of a vacuum elevator is created by the removal of air (creating a vacuum) above the car, a pocket of air is always below the car. If the elevator loses power, the air below the car remains a cushion that enables descent at a safe speed. Unlike a traditional hydraulic or traction elevators suspended by cables or ropes, there is no risk of a free-fall.
Back-up battery power ensures the mechanical brakes and locks remain operational.
PVEs offer multiple layers of safety protection for you and your family and guests.
Q. What happens if I lose electricity while in the pneumatic elevator?
Read our detailed post about what happens to residential elevators during a power outage. All elevators are designed to protect passengers during loss of power. Vacuum elevators while having additional safety measures are in fact, by design of how they work, will lower you to the ground floor when you lose electricity.
Q. What happens if the elevator breaks while I’m in between floors?
Although very rare, see “Are Vacuum Elevators Safe?” above that explains why vacuum elevators will return to the ground floor.
Q. How many floors can a PVE be used with?
PVE elevators can be built for up to 5 stops with a maximum of 50 vertical feet.
Q.What are advantages of Pneumatic Elevators?
So many pluses, here are a few:
- Safe by inherent design custom-made systems
- Elegant glass exterior is attractive and because you can see through it do not block views or take up visual space
- Small footprint compared to traditional elevators making them perfect for all sizes of homes
- Self-supported structure does not require pulleys, cables, posts, or rails
- Fast installation
- Plug-and-play on 200-volt electric supply
- Lower overall cost of installation and operation
- No annual maintenance required
- Eco-friendly due to lower power consumption and they do not us harmful oils, gases, or lubricants
- Made in the USA
- Fully removable…you can take your elevator with you!
Q. Are Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators noisy?
Depending on the configuration and installation location, vacuum elevators emit sounds equal to 72 decibels (washing machine) to 85 decibels (vacuum cleaner). Our PVE specialists can help you place the elevator in your home to minimize disruption.
Q. What sizes are Vacuum Elevators available in?
There are three sizes of pneumatic elevators available:
- PVE30 – single passenger elevator with a 30” exterior diameter and a 350-pound carrying capacity.
- PVE37 – 2-passenger elevator with a 37” in exterior diameter that can carry up to 450 pounds.
- PVE52 – 3-passenger wheelchair-accessible elevator with an exterior diameter of 52” and a 525-pound carrying capacity.
Q. Can a Pneumatic Elevator fit a wheelchair?
Yes. The three-passenger elevator, model PVE52, is wheelchair-accessible and has an interior diameter of 43.5”. There is plenty of space for a wheelchair and an attendant. The 32” entrance enables easy rolling of a wheelchair into and out of the car.
Q. What should I know about installing Pneumatic Elevators?
Each vacuum elevator is pre-assembled and tested for operation and safety at the factory located in the US. No shaft/hoistway or pit is required making required construction a minimum. The ground floor must be completely level as this is where the PVE is mounted. Simple holes between floors enable the vacuum elevator to be installed. Installation requires about 2 days. Our PVE installation process is faster, less expensive, and less disruptive to your household than traditional elevators.
Q. Are pneumatic vacuum elevators a new technology?
Yes, and no. Relatively speaking, they are new and innovative. But they have been in use since 2002 so they have a long flawless history of safe operation. There are about 300 dealers worldwide in 80 countries with more than 20,000 installations around the globe.
Q. Is there a standard size home elevator?
Our pneumatic elevators come in 3 sizes, but, in general, traditional elevators have no standard residential size.
Q. What is an elevator pit?
The elevator pit is a recessed area that must be created in your home’s foundation to enable a traditional elevator car to land evenly with the ground floor. PVEs do NOT require a pit, they sit flush on top of your existing foundation.
Q. Do all elevators require a machine room?
No, PVEs do not require a machine room. There are other types of machine-room-less traditional elevators.
Q. How do PVE elevators compare to through-the-floor (TTF) lifts?
TTF lifts are not elevators and, as such, their installation does not have to follow building codes designed to protect you, the user. Vacuum elevator installation must be according to code which includes a telephone for calling in case of an unexpected event. There are some similarities to PVE like lower construction costs and faster installation compared to traditional elevators.