Friday, 12 December 2008

A Review Of The Ameriglide Stair Lift

The Ameriglide stair lift has been built to be an inexpensive but reliable product. The low, affordable price of it enables many who are on a small budget to purchase a home stair lift. However, with its low cost you'll still get many features that compare with other brands, but you'll also have to forgo on others.

This uses old fashioned technology inasmuch as it uses a cable system to pull the carriage along the track. Most other high-end models now use a rack and pinion system. It's been claimed that rack and pinion gives a smoother ride, however the motor in it has been improved and, traveling at a maximum speed of only 20 feet per minute, most users would not feel any difference in comfort between the Ameriglide and any other brand.

Another criticism of cable systems is that the cable drags behind the chair and can be a hazard as someone might trip over it. This has cleverly encased the cable inside the track so there is no visible trailing cable. It's also claimed that because the cable is in constant motion, the cable will quickly suffer the effects of wear and tear and will need to be replaced. But it uses a strong aircraft cable in the drive system that is rated at 4,200 lbs and should last many years.

Unusually, you can buy both a mains AC powered and a battery DC powered Ameriglide model. Most manufacturers switched from mains powered to battery some years ago (and only make battery models), but the company has retained its mains powered version.

There are inherent advantages to both types of stair lift. With battery the user gets noticeably smoother starts and stops. Also, the chair lift is easier to install as there is no wiring. Best of all, a battery powered stair lift can still be used during power outages.

A mains powered electric unit has a major advantage in that it can be used constantly. Batteries need recharging after a maximum of 20 round trips up and down the stairs. If the lift is going to be used a lot or, if there are going to be more than one user, then the main powered model may be a better option.

The Ameriglide stair lift comes with basic safety features. There is a sensor on the footrest to stop the stair lift when it touches any obstacle. Limit switches shut the unit off in the same place at the top and bottom of the stairs automatically. The seat comes equipped with a seat belt. But when you buy a cheap chair lift there are certain compromises that have to be made.

It doesn't come with two, wireless remote controls that are standard on other leading brands like the Bruno and Acorn stair lift. The best lifts have safety sensors, not only on the footrest but also on the carriage. Tis stair lift does not have sensors on the carriage. An object encountered on the track will not cause it to stop.

All stair lifts allow the user to manually swivel the seat at the top of the stairs, however, some brands come with an optional motorized swivel seat; this is an important consideration for those with severe mobility problems and, if this is the case, the Ameriglide won't be suitable.

Finally, the aesthetic appearance of this stair chair lift is not as appealing as more expensive brands but this won't be of major concern for those on a limited budget. The Ameriglide is a good stair lift; it isn't the best on the market but it serves its purpose of providing mobility that is affordable and reliable.