Did you know that how you store, care for, and run your concentrator affects the internal and external batteries? One of the most important aspects of an oxygen concentrator is caring for the important power sources that allow your unit to run. If you do not look after your concentrators batteries you risk your unit not working properly, draining the batteries too quickly, batteries no longer taking a charge, and more!
One thing to note is that the batteries that came with your unit are specific to that model. The batteries for portable concentrators are all lithium ion based, however, they are not universal to every model. Batteries themselves can be pricey and major repairs and replacements down the line can easily begin to add up. To avoid many issues, repairs, and extra costs take special care of your batteries and specifically note any changes to how they hold a charge.
If you have any spare batteries you’re not regularly using it’s advised to store these batteries at a 50% charge. Not only will this ensure your concentrator will have power should any emergencies arise, it’ll also help preserve the life of the battery. If a concentrator battery is allowed to drain completely and remain without a charge over an extended period of time, the battery will begin to deteriorate much quicker.
Storing your battery, long-term, at a 50% charge isn’t all you’ll need to take into account. You’ll also want to ensure your batteries aren’t stored at elevated temperatures. Extremely high and, in some cases, extremely cold temperatures can damage your battery and affect it’s ability to hold a charge later down the road.
Most manufacturers list in the units manual that the batteries are meant to be recharged through their charging cycle 350 - 500 times before they, unavoidably, will begin to loose their efficiency. If your batteries are over 2 years old, pay attention to how long their holding their charge. When you begin to notice that the time is getting shorter and shorter for the battery to drain from full to less than half charged, it’s time to consider ordering a new or spare battery.
It’s also suggested by most manufacturers to do a battery recalibration once a month. To do this, ensure all of your AC/DC power cords are removed from the machine. Keep only the replaceable battery on the unit and use the unit as normal until the battery is completely exhausted of all power. You will then want to remove the battery from the unit and refrain from using your unit for one hour. After one hour, charge the battery to 100% full and place back in the unit. Keep an eye on the unit and battery for the next 2 hours to ensure it is functioning properly.
Another great safety tip is to always travel with both the internal, supplemental, and/or spare batteries at a full charge if you plan to be gone more than 3 hours at a time. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and not be caught without power in an emergency.
Lastly, you’ll want to take into account your specific unit and oxygen needs. For example, the battery life on the rechargeable batteries for the Respironic’s SimplyGo is roughly 3.5 hours for a full charge. However, that is at a flow setting of 2. The higher the setting, the more of the batteries power it’ll require to run. Consult your owners manual for further information on individual charging times. Can’t find it? Click HERE.