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vacuum elevators in various frame colors and glass tints to illustrate vacuum elevator problems

We are often asked lots of questions about vacuum elevators because this proven technology still feels quite new to most homeowners though they have been around for a long time. We understand asking these questions is a way to allay concerns of safety, quality, or because PVEs seem unfamiliar. After all, most people’s experience with pneumatic air-driven transportation is the drive-up bank teller or pharmacy. This probably adds to the uncertainty as mostly just engineers really understand the power of air. But consider that planes weighing tons get airborne…air pressure really is powerful!

Here we answer specific questions people have about vacuum elevators. This along with an in-home elevator consultation and site survey will help you confidently determine if a PVE is right for you or your home.

Vacuum Elevator Weight Capacity

If you compare vacuum elevators to other types of home elevators such as traction or hydraulic elevators, PVEs generally have lower carrying capacity. Traditional residential elevators can handle about 1000 pounds while vacuum elevators max capacity is 525 pounds.

But most homeowners do not have a need to carry 4 or more passengers or to haul heavy objects like furniture. So a vacuum elevator is suitable for almost any homeowner. For they few that may have these heavy weight-carrying requirements, our PVE specialists will let you know after our complimentary in-home elevator site survey and consultation if the PVE is right for you.

The largest capacity PVE is the PVE52 which carries up to 3 people and is required if you must use a wheelchair or wish to plan for that possibility in the future.

Add this to your list of questions to ask your home elevator installer when you invite us to your home for a site survey and free home elevator quote.

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Blending in with Your Home’s Style & Decor

While traditional elevators can hide behind doors that looks similar to the other doors in your home, vacuum elevators are out in the open. They are not hidden from view in an elevator shaft (but they can be if you prefer). Due to their small footprint and lack of an elevator shaft, these home elevators have more options of installation locations in your home.

For many, this is an advantage because of the space-savings of eliminating a shaft as well as cost savings because the installation process of a vacuum elevator in your home is less complicated and faster (usually 2 days). The PVE has a very modern look so some people often question if a vacuum elevator will blend in with their decor. We often surprise our customers with how we customize each PVE to match a home and often homeowners agree that though it has very modern style in its structure, it blends in with its surroundings quite well.

Download our PVE color chart to see the variety of frame colors. The glass also comes in a variety of tints for a very personalized look.

Often, we can tuck the PVE in a nook and it is not very noticeable from most angles. But the bottom line is that the tube will always be visible. And, in the average home with a modern, transitional, or even traditional style, vacuum elevators are attractive. Let us show you style combinations that might work with your home so you can decide for yourself it a PVE fits your personal tastes.

4-story PVE elevator

Max Floors for a PVE

PVEs can be built to a maximum of 5 stops for a total of 50’ vertical rise. It is very unusual for a residential elevator to require 6 or more stops or extreme heights on multiple floors, so vacuum elevators fit most home-use scenarios. Plus, if you do have an extraordinarily tall home, our creative PVE specialists can suggest ideas such as using multiple PVE units to accomplish connecting more than 5 levels like skyscrapers that have elevator banks that serve different ranges of floors.

Our home elevator specialists must conduct a site survey in your home to know what home elevator is right for your situation and the best installation locations.

Your Comfort Inside the PVE

Most people find the completely panoramic elevator gives them the ability to see the larger space around them providing a feeling of a lot more space and being less enclosed than a traditional elevator cab.

We are confident you will feel comfortable in a vacuum elevator. This is why we recommend a visit to our Gulf Coast-area home elevator showroom in Houston so you can try all types of elevators for yourself.

Vacuum Elevator Noise

A very common question we get about vacuum elevators is if they make noise. During your in-home consultation, our PVE experts will discuss possible installation locations and the pros and cons of each which includes areas in which the sound will be minimized. This is an important discussion for any residential elevator type.

Most vacuum elevators emit noise up to 85 decibels (dB), which is about the same level as a vacuum cleaner. All elevators make sound, but the great news about PVEs is that since the pump is only used when going up, it only makes noise half of the time when being used. Another consideration that will be discussed during your consultation is the possibility of using a remote motor to further dampen the sound.

To help you understand these noise levels:

  • Normal breathing ~ 10 dB
  • Whispering ~ 30 dB
  • Normal voice ~ 50 dB
  • Dishwasher ~ 60 dB
  • Alarm clock ~ 80 dB
  • Lawnmower or blender ~ 90 dB
  • Car horn ~ 110 dB
  • Jet plane taking off ~ 120 dB

What Home Elevator is Right for You?

Most homeowners find selecting an elevator a bit (or a lot) of a challenge. Pneumatic vacuum elevators have an excellent safety record and fit most residential mobility needs.

We welcome your call to ask all your questions. And look forward to an invitation to your home to complete a site survey and give you an understanding of the best residential mobility solutions for your specific situation.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Call us at (512) 831-2703 with questions or to schedule your free in-home elevator consultation with our local Certified Aging-in-Place (CAPS) specialists.

If you need an elevator, this is the place to go. We had one installed two and one-half years ago. It looks great and works like a charm...

Solis Family
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