In order to run at maximum efficiency, an oxygen concentrator needs to be used on a daily basis and for many hours at a time. When you frequently use a piece of equipment it has the opportunity to get bogged down by everyday dirt, dust, spills, and even mold! This is especially true for Home Oxygen Concentrators. Luckily, there are a few simple steps and guidelines you can follow to keep your Home Concentrator in a safe and like-new condition.
How to Clean the Outside of Your Oxygen Concentrator
You know how a TV screen, lap top, and keyboard collects dirt, dust, and debris? The same is true for your Home Concentrator; it’s just like any other piece of electronic equipment. The good news is: it’s extremely simple to clean the outside of your home concentrator; which makes it easy to turn into a consistent habit!
When cleaning your home unit, it’s important to first make sure your concentrator is turned off and unplugged from the wall. You wouldn’t want to damage any internal or external components by exposing them to water and soap. Once your unit is safely unplugged from all power sources, dip a soft rag in a mixture of warm water and gentle soap.
When cleaning a concentrator it’s best to avoid any harsh soaps or detergents, as they can cause the protective outer coatings and paint on the unit to wear and chip away.
Your wash rag should be damp not soaking wet so be sure to ring and squeeze out any excess liquid. Now, wipe down the outside surface of your unit, we recommend using gentle circular motions. Feel free to use a tougher scrubbing motion on harder to remove stains but always be gentle around the sensitive vents on the unit.
Once you’ve cleared up the dirt, dust, debris, and spills to your satisfaction, thoroughly rinse out your rag and wipe down the unit again to remove any remaining soap residue.
Wipe down your unit with a soft, dry, lint-free towel, or feel free to let it air dry on its own.
Make sure your concentrator is completely free of moisture before turning it on and resuming use! Your rag should always be damp, never soaking wet!
How to Clean Your Filters
More often than not home concentrators are multi-filtered due to their high level of oxygen output. This means a home unit may have many filters for you clean and look after, check your individual units manual for the exact amount and placement of your filters.
Gross Particle Filters
A Gross Particle Filter cleans the air coming into your oxygen concentrator to ensure you're getting the oxygen purity levels you require. The Gross Particle Filter is aptly named, due to its ability to trap dirt, dust, air pollution, pollen, and even mold! Home concentrators are especially prone to mold as many patients tend to keep the concentrator in a closet while napping or sleeping due to the sound. However, this is extremely dangerous because many closets do not have proper ventilation, causing heat and moisture to hang in the air. An excess of moisture has the opportunity to form harmful mold on your filters. Since the filters are the barrier between harmful air and pure oxygen, it’s imperative you keep them clean and clear at all times! As a general rule, we suggest cleaning your gross particle filters once a month.
To begin cleaning this filter, turn off and remove your concentrator from any power sources and remove the filter from the machine. If you’re struggling with removing your units filter, refer to your owners manual for more information.
Once the filter is removed, fill a clean container such as a tub, sink, or bowl with warm water and gentle soap. Dip your filter into the water and scrub with a washcloth or rag. Rinse the filter underwater to remove any small pieces of debris and soap residue. Lastly, set the filter on a clean, dry, lint-free towel to absorb any remaining liquid. We recommend having a back-up filter available or waiting up to 24 hours before reinserting and resuming use.
Make sure all filters are completely dry before reinserting and turning on your unit!
Home concentrators not only have gross particle filters they may also have a Hepa Filter. Hepa, stands for high-efficiency particulate air and works similar to that of a Gross Particle Filter. Instead of being a sponge like material it’s a mechanical cylinder that works by forcing air through a very fine mesh. This mesh traps harmful particles such as pet dander and tobacco smoke. Unfortunately, you can not clean a concentrators Hepa Filter, instead we recommend purchasing a new Hepa Filter every 2 years. Is it time to replace your Hepa Filter? Call 1-877-774-9271!
Final Home Concentrator Tips:
- Make sure your home unit remains in an open and well ventilated room. Closets and cabinets have poor air circulation which can lead to mold and overheating!
- Always have your home unit 6 inches from any walls, curtains, beds, couches, etc. A home concentrator should have 6 inches around it on all sides of completely unobstructed space.
- Many home units have an indent on top for a humidifier bottle. This does not double as a drink holder. Do not place any non-medical equipment on your unit, especially if it has the potential to spill or get liquid in or around the machine.