Types of Residential Elevators


Home elevator is one of the important means to improve the quality of life and increase the value of property. Choose the right home elevator for your property type and carefully review your target home elevator manufacturers.

In the past, most elevators had to be controlled from a centralized machine room. Today, some elevators do not require a machine room because they have built-in safety mechanisms. There are four main types of home elevators: hydraulic, traction, machine room-less, and vacuum. This article will introduce you to the relevant types of home elevators.

The price of your elevator will fluctuate up and down due to factors such as type, specifications, construction conditions, and number of floors, and as a home elevator, it is expensive, usually between $5,000 and $100,000. For details, please read the Home Elevator Price Guide.


1. Geared and gearless traction elevators

Geared and gearless traction elevators can be divided into three different categories:

Traction elevator

This elevator has ropes running through wheels attached to a motor located above the shaft. The main function of the rope is to lift and lower the elevator car. It can be used both for mid to high rise applications and for travel speeds much faster than hydraulic elevators.

Like other elevator types, the system uses a counterweight, which removes the weight of the passengers and car, making it easier for the motors to move the elevator load.

Gear traction elevator

A gear lift consists of a motor with a gear box attached. The main function of the gear is to power the wheels that move the rope. This type of elevator can operate at speeds of up to 500 feet per minute.

Gearless Traction Elevator

Gearless elevators do not have gears for speed regulation. This explains why they can move at high speeds, and they are the perfect choice for skyscrapers.



2. Hydraulic lift

Hydraulic lifts are usually supported by pistons placed at the bottom. The purpose is to push the elevator car up, while the electric motor pushes hydraulic fluid down the piston. When the elevator descends, the valve releases hydraulic oil from the piston.

Hydraulic lifts are often a good option for those who need wheelchair access or relatively high load constraints. These elevators provide a smoother ride, have less internal and external noise, can reach the higher floors of high-rise residences, and are more durable than other types.

Hydraulic elevators, however, use more energy because they use a motor that can defy gravity. You should check your hydraulic fluid regularly, as small leaks can easily lead to catastrophic events or become an environmental hazard.

The following is a further breakdown of hydraulic elevators:

Rope Hydraulic Elevator

This type uses both ropes and pistons to enhance the movement of the elevator car and may not require the piston bore and separate machine room required by traditional hydraulic elevators. they will suggest


Conventional hydraulic elevator

There is an elevator pit designed with a pulley that extends below the floor of the pit. The pit supports a retracting piston as the elevator begins to descend. In some configurations, conventional hydraulic lifts may require a shallower hole below the pit that accepts the collapsed telescoping piston as the lift descends. The approximate distance it can travel is 60 feet.


Holeless Hydraulic Lift

A holeless hydraulic lift is similar to a traditional hydraulic lift, but it does not require holes or pulleys to be secured under the pit. It has telescoping pistons at the bottom of the pit.

The main reason for the popularity of hydraulic elevators is that they are less expensive to install and relatively low maintenance compared to other elevators.


3. Machine room-less (MRL) elevators

When used in private residences, it is usually installed as a machine room-less (MRL) type elevator, which allows most of the required equipment to be mounted on top of the cab, thus preventing water damage due to flooding or leaks, and in Access is only possible through the top of the elevator car when maintenance is required.

MRL elevators are becoming increasingly popular in mid-rise buildings because they save energy and require less space during construction.

However, without a separate computer room, it becomes more difficult to call in a professional to diagnose a problem or perform necessary maintenance. As a result, MRL elevators are often used in areas with high flood risk or in relatively small homes where every inch of space has been carefully planned.


4. Vacuum (Pneumatic) Home Elevator

Vacuum elevators are a newer elevator type and are ideal for use as home elevators because they do not use any cable or pulley system to operate. These pneumatic elevators operate according to the laws of nature. Made of polycarbonate and aluminum, this lift system is basically a tube sealed in a vacuum. The air below and above the elevator car aids in movement. This type of elevator is air powered and requires a tight seal and suction that provides nearly frictionless motion as the cab ascends and descends. As such, this style is relatively energy efficient and can be powered by the home's existing electrical system.

This type does not use a hoistway and the elevator car is usually enclosed in a glass tube, providing the required tight seal.


Summary of differences

We have listed their main differences, please choose the right home elevator according to your specific needs.

Types of Residential Elevator


Hydraulic elevator

  • Usually need to dig a hole

  • Separate computer room

  • Relatively large cab, more suitable for wheelchairs and capable of carrying more weight

  • May require planning by an architect

  • Can be powered down with battery backup

Winding Drum elevator

  • No shaft required

  • Relatively cheap

  • Traditional type of elevator system

Traction/Chain/Cable elevator

  • Motors and some other systems can be relocated from the top of the cab to the machine room or closet

  • Typically installed as a machine room-less (MRL) elevator

  • need a well

Pneumatic/Vacuum Lift

  • New technology based on vacuum, suction and gravity

  • Lower energy consumption

  • No shaft, pit or machine room required

  • Relatively small cab, may not be wheelchair friendly


How to Choose a Suitable Residential Elevator Manufacturer

  • Choose a Residential Elevator That Matches Your Residential Facilities!

  • Pay attention to the reputation of the residential elevator manufacturer!

  • Check the after-sales service provided by the manufacturer or dealer!

  • Try your target product for yourself!



There is no doubt that home elevators will increasingly find their way into more homes, villas, etc. There is a huge market for them, and the cost of a home elevator is no longer prohibitive. But there is no doubt that by choosing to work with the right residential elevator manufacturer, both distributors and property developers can reap greater benefits.

Choose the best residential home elevator manufacturer in China and check out our home elevator products.


Read More:

List: Top 10 Elevator Companies in World(Updated 2022)

Top 10 Elevator Manufacturers in China 2022

Residential Elevators for Homes: Price Guide


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