Stairlift FAQs

Last updated on 29th September 2023

If you are thinking about getting a stairlift installed, it’s most likely that you have some questions before you make your purchase.

To make life easier for you, we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about stairlifts.

Are stairlifts safe?

Stairlifts are considered safe for use, with safety features designed to ensure a secure and comfortable ride. They are equipped with features like seat belts, speed controls, and sensors to detect obstacles and ensure a safe journey up and down the stairs. The typical speed, of around 0.15 mph, is deliberately set to provide a comfortable and safe ride.

Do stairlifts use a lot of electricity?

  • On average, a stair lift typically uses about as much electricity as a standard household appliance like a washing machine or dishwasher. The power consumption is relatively low as they are designed to be energy-efficient and are equipped with features to conserve energy when not in use.

What is the lifespan of a stairlift?

On average, a stairlift should last 10 years or longer if it is properly maintained. The lifespan will vary, depending on the manufacturer and frequency of use. To prolong the longevity of your stairlft, we recommend having it serviced once a year by a trained professional.

Is getting a stairlift a good idea?

Stairlift offers a practical solution for individuals with mobility challenges, especially the elderly or those with physical disabilities. They provide a safe and comfortable way to navigate stairs, promoting independence and enhancing overall quality of life.

Are stairlifts reversible?

Stairlifts are fitted with directional controls that enable the lift to travel forward and in reverse. This allows the user to move both up and down the staircase, ensuring convenient access to the upstairs and downstairs of their home.

Are stairlifts noisy?

Stairlifts are DC powered and run on a low voltage, so they are very quiet and are designed to operate with minimal noise. However, like any mechanical device, there may still be some minimal noise associated with the movement of the chair, especially when starting or stopping.

Are stairlifts reliable?

Stairlifts are generally considered to be extremely reliable when properly maintained. However, like any mechanical or electrical equipment, stairlifts can experience occasional issues over time. This is why it is very important to have your stairlift serviced regularly by a trained stairlift engineer.

Are stairlifts VAT exempt?

In the UK, stairlifts are not fully VAT (Value Added Tax) exempt. However, if you are over 60 you will qualify for a reduced rate of 5% VAT if the purchase of your stairlift includes the installation, and is for your private home (your own home or one shared with friends or relatives).

Are stairlifts battery powered?

Modern stairlifts are battery-powered but also have a wall charger which is connected to the mains. This ensures the batteries remain fully charged when not in use. The benefit of being battery-powered is that your stairlift will always be fully operational, even in the unlikely event of a power cut. Being battery-operated also results in a smoother and quieter ride for the user.

Can stairlifts be fitted to any stairs?

Yes. Stairlifts can usually be fitted to any type of staircase with straight, curved, narrow, or even steep stairs.  Certain models can even be fitted to spiral staircases. However, occasionally it just may not be possible to fit a stairlift. Different stairlift manufacturers have varying minimum width or maximum weight capacity. That’s why we would always recommend getting a quotation from at least three different suppliers.

Can stairlifts go around corners?

Yes, curved stairlifts can be specifically designed to go around corners, turns, and intermediate landings on staircases.

Who is entited to a Disabled Facilities Grant?

To be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), either you or someone living in the property must be registered as disabled. You can be a homeowner or a tenant, but you must intend to live in the property for at least 5 years once the grant is awarded. The DFG is also means tested. It is important to note that you may not be eligible to receive a grant if you have already made modifications to your home before your application has been received.

Are stairlifts covered by Medicare?

Medicare typically does not cover the cost of purchasing or installing lift chairs (stairlifts) in the United States, since it is seen as a home modification. However, individual insurance policies can vary, and there may be some Medicare plans that cover lift chairs.

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