Cleaning and Maintaining an Oxygen Concentrator
Like all machines, oxygen concentrators require cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis in order to prevent damage to the machine. Since oxygen concentrators can be a big investment, it is worth the time to keep yours well maintained instead of waiting until it is damaged and needs to be replaced.
Oxygen concentrator batters are rechargeable, like the battery in your phone or laptop. They are typically lithium ion batteries and their life expectancy can be greatly increased by charging them twice per month, even when not in use. Batteries should also be stored in an area that is cool and dry.
Oxygen concentrators use a particle filter to remove dust and particles from the air and this filter should be cleaned or changed frequently. If the filter is not cleaned, it will get clogged and will make the concentrator work harder, decreasing its lifespan and increasing the risk of product failure. In clean air environments, most oxygen concentrator filters need to be cleaned once a week. But the filter should be changed more often if it is used in an environment where there is more air pollution such as construction dust nearby, a cat or dog in the home, a smoker in the home, etc.
Typically you only need to wash the particle filter, not replace it with a new one. To wash the filter, take it out of the device and rinse it with warm water but no soap. Soap can leave residues that will lead to buildup on the filter. Air-dry the filter completely before you replace it into the unit. Obviously, if you need continuous oxygen flow, you should be using an alternative source of oxygen or replace the dirty filter with a clean one while you wash the dirty one.
While you are waiting for the filter to dry, you may as well clean off the unit itself. Being near the patient all day, oxygen concentrators are often soiled with spills of food, drinks, or other things. Use a damp washcloth to wipe off any spills and remove smudges.
To keep in a routine that is easy to remember, it is wise to plan to clean the filter every week (unless it needs to be cleaned more often), wipe the unit down at the same time, and every other week charge the battery at the same time. Maintaining your oxygen concentrator is important for reliability and durability and will ensure you get the most out of your investment.