Why Don’t Houses Have Escalators?

Maybe I’m a little claustrophobic.

Or maybe I find the idea of being stuck in an elevator at my house with nobody around kind of frightening.

Or maybe I just like the idea of having an escalator in my house.

An escalator seems so much more flexible than an elevator:

  • if the power goes out you can still use an escalator
  • an escalator is better for your health, it could even be part of your workout routine; you can use the escalator for an interval workout – walk up the escalator with the power off, then ride it back down to recover; repeat 10-15 times. You could use it like a stairmaster – stand at the bottom of the escalator and turn the escalator on in the reverse direction, and just walk “up” the steps at a steady pace; perhaps you could even adjust the speed of the escalator.
  • an escalator would not take up additional space; you can just replace your stairway with an escalator
  • your pet could still move between the upper and lower levels of your house without your intervention; teaching them to use an elevator could prove difficult
  • it’s easier to make a grand entrance on an escalator, for when you want to do things like announce that you are running for President or to simply say aloha


I could go on and on here, but clearly escalators are the way to go.

So why don’t we see escalators in houses?

I don’t have the answer, I’m just throwing out the idea.

In the meantime, a group of mechanical engineers, biomedical engineers, and computer scientists at Georgia Tech and Emory University is working on a sort of pre-cursor to home escalators. The team is developing “energy-recycling stairs“,  spring-loaded stairs that compress when stepped on, absorbing impact and saving 26 percent of a person’s energy. This energy is then stored to provide a boost of 37 percent when stepped on going upwards.

The system can be installed on existing staircases on a temporary or permanent basis, and the researchers hope that, if developed further, it could replace stairlifts and even elevators.

So why not go all the way, and just turn a staircase into a moving staircase, i.e., an escalator.

I’d seriously consider starting a company that manufactured and sold residential escalators, but it seems like the type of business that would have more than its fair share of ups and downs…

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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