Ask a Respiratory Therapist? - How Often Should a Unit be Serviced?

An oxygen concentrator is a sophisticated piece of machinery, and like all other machines, it will need to be serviced regularly. Luckily, major maintenance outside of cleaning and changing of filters doesn't need to be done very often. Many modern oxygen concentrators are for the most part, low maintenance. Here are the basics of how and when they should be serviced.

Dirty or dusty environments will cause the need for service quicker than if the air around it was always clean. Animal dander, pollen, everyday dust, and outside pollution will get caught in the filters, requiring it to be cleaned or changed sooner.

If you have a stationary oxygen concentrator, it's best to keep your house clean and run an air cleaner for some parts of the day. Keeping the outside of the oxygen machine clean is also important. You should use a lint free cloth to wipe down the outside of the unit and the vents almost every day, or at least once a week.

Because a portable oxygen runs on battery power and doesn't get to sit at home all the time like a stationary oxygen concentrator, it will need maintenance sooner. This also depends on how often it needs to be used, and at which setting. Using it for many hours each day, and at the highest setting will naturally cause the inner workings to get worn out quicker.

Check your user manual that came with your oxygen concentrator, to see what needs to be done and when for your specific model. Not every oxygen unit is built the same way. Some have 2 filters, some have one, and some have none that you can remove yourself and change or clean.

Check for directions on how to remove and change or clean your filter, and how often you should do it. The manual will also tell you how approximately how often it will need to be serviced by a technician. You can also contact the manufacturer or the retailer where you bought it if you're still not sure.

Even though most models pretty robust, you'll still need to do a little caring for them. For the most part, the maintenance that you'll have to do yourself is minimal. Cleaning the filter usually only involves removing it and using soapy water, and making sure you dry it completely before putting it back in. As always, follow the directions for doing so in the user manual.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

8 thoughts on “Ask a Respiratory Therapist? - How Often Should a Unit be Serviced?”

  • Leviticus Bennett
    Leviticus Bennett May 15, 2017 at 2:41 am

    It's good to know that time to be serviced really depends on your oxygen unit. My grandmother will need an oxygen concentrator. I'll take the servicing needs into consideration when choosing which concentrator to buy.

    • Danielle Jason
      Danielle Jason May 16, 2017 at 12:35 am

      Here at AMSR we provide our patients a loaner rental unit while their concentrators are being serviced to ensure you're never without oxygen! Give our oxygen specialists a call at 877-774-9271 if you'd like to know more.

  • linda henderson
    linda henderson January 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    How often should your provider check to make sure the concentrator is producing oxygen? Ours was not concentrating at all.

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your question, Linda. This is something your individual provider would need to answer as each provider has different rules and regulations regarding check-up's and visits. Each concentrator should have an sensor that would alarm in the case of low oxygen or purity. If you experiencing any alarming, we suggest being proactive by getting your unit looked at as soon as possible.

  • Sakhile

    My OxyFlow 5 is 6 months old. Its been working perfectly fine until this month. Two times it experienced the same technical problem. The flow metre just goes to 0 during use and stays there while the machine is still on, and no alarm sounds to signify any problem. What could be the problem?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman January 14, 2019 at 8:35 am

      It sounds like your unit is still under warranty since it is only six months old. You will need to call the company that you purchased the unit from for any warranty work to be covered.

  • Debra Lang

    My last oxygen concentrator grew back mold in the filter and now I am afraid of all concentrators.
    when serviced, ( my used replacement machine which had been inspected in 1916 )the representative did not even check the filter because it had only been changed 1 year ago. Am I right to be afraid, or is this a rare probllem?

    • Ed Rodgers

      Like any machine that has filters. cleaning and maintenance is important. I don't think you should be afraid. Some diligence in getting the filters cleaned and changed more regularly and that your machine is looked at by a certified technician, it should work very well. Lastly, like many medical and electronic devices, the machines over time will need to be replaced with heavy use. If you want to start the process of investigating a new one, give us a call and one of our specialist would be happy to help you with your questions. Good Luck.


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