What are the Different Types of Elevators?

From stair chairs to wheelchair lifts and everything in between, there are many different types of elevators for homes and businesses. There are also various ways of powering elevators, such as hydraulic and electric traction or cable-driven elevators. Let’s go over some of the types here.

Commercial Passenger Elevators

These are designed for commercial use in multi-story office buildings and doctor’s parks. They carry large amounts of people from one level to another. Express elevators are similar but don’t service all floors of a building: usually just from the lobby to the top floors. Urban transport elevators help passengers navigate open urban spaces, such as from the bottom of a hill to the top. High-rise office buildings, hospitals, and government buildings have elevators that move people in large quantities from floor to floor quickly. However, not all commercial elevators move people; some are designed to move freight, vehicles and boats.

Residential Elevators

Residential elevators operate on a much smaller scale. These are designed for home use and to augment the mobility of homeowners. From functional to luxury elevators that have all the bells and whistles, residential elevators can be installed indoors or outdoors.

Operating Systems

As far as the way elevators work, there are two main operating systems: hydraulic and electric traction or cable-driven elevators, both of which are found in both commercial buildings and residential homes.

Hydraulic elevators involve a passenger car attached to a lifting system. The car is located inside a shaft and is attached to guide rails. This type of elevator is powered by hydraulics, basically a fluid-driven piston mounted inside a cylinder. A programmable controller with on-board diagnostics ensures ease of use and operation. These types are best for low rise buildings.

Electric traction or cable-driven elevators also are located inside a shaft. They require a pulley, counterweight, electric motor, and track to operate. The motor will turn the pulley and move the cable, which raises and lowers the elevator car. These types are best for high rise buildings.

More types of elevators: 

  1. Stage elevators: Used in theaters to lift the stage, filled with musicians and performers, to the main level.
  2. Vehicle elevators: Used to transfer cars in parking garages or buildings.
  3. Aircraft elevators: Used on aircraft carriers to transport vehicles and goods from the internal hangars to the flight deck.
  4. Wheelchair lifts: Designed for those in wheelchairs, featuring an open concept to transport passengers between just a few floors.
  5. Dumbwaiter: Small elevators in homes, cruise ships, hotels and restaurants used to transport food and other kitchen materials.
  6. Belt elevator: Used to transport material over inclined planes via conveyor belt.

Eager to learn more about the elevators Mowrey can install and repair? Contact us today!