Once you've selected your portable or stationary oxygen concentrator, there are a few safety and maintenance tips you should be aware of. The following is a list of some of the most important do's and don'ts you'll want to keep in mind. Of course, this is just a reference and you shouldn't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have!
1. DO Change the Filter Yearly
Many concentrators have what's called a "gross particle filter" that will need to be changed once a year on average. After a year, the filter will start to get worn out and won't be able to do its job properly. The gross particle filter is an imperative function within the oxygen concentrator; it catches the dirt, dust, and other particles so you won't be breathing in unclean oxygen. Keeping your filter clean will also help ensure these particles won't start to jam up the inner workings of the concentrator.
2. DO Change the Cannula at Least Once Every Month
Even though you should wash your cannula at least once a week, it will begin to degrade over time. A well-used cannula over 1 month old may be at risk for falling apart and the small pores and cracks formed in the rubber can begin to hold bacteria making oxygen delivery unclean and potentially harmful.
3. DO Run Your POC at Least 4 Hours Each Month
Even if you don't need to use your unit this often, or if you only use it for travel, you should run your portable oxygen concentrator for at least 4 hours each month. An oxygen concentrator is similar to a car in that letting it sit without running will actually harm it. Just like most electronics with a rechargeable battery, it can actually prolong its life to run it consistently and not let it sit unused. If you generally just use your stationary concentrator at home, use your portable unit one day out of the month for at least 4 hours.
4. DO Completely Drain Your Batteries at Least Once a Month
Using a battery until there is no more power left will actually prolong the life of your portable oxygen concentrator's rechargeable batteries, whether they are internal or external. Charge up your batteries 100% of the way full and then let them completely die. You shouldn't do this all the time, but doing it once a month will be enough to keep your batteries in top shape for as long as possible.
5. DO Treat Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator the Same Way You Would a Laptop Computer
Laptop batteries and their general portability make them very similar to portable oxygen concentrators. Try to keep the unit clean so dirt or dust cannot enter the machine and cause problems. You have to keep them dry and free of any moisture build-up. Even a few drops inside of a laptop will cause serious damage. If possible; keep the unit in its protective case.
6. DO Call Us If You Have Any Questions!
You can call our number at 1-877-303-9289 to talk to one of our service members. They will be happy to answer any questions you have regarding your oxygen concentrator. You can also click here to receive a FREE Oxygen Consultation!
1. DON'T Leave Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator in a Hot Car
Whether it's in use or not, you should never let your portable oxygen concentrator get overheated, or you risk serious damage to the inner and outer parts. Aside from cars, you should be sure to store your concentrator in places that will not become too hot. Your concentrator's manual will specify a maximum storage temperature, as well as a maximum operational temperature.
2. DON'T Get Your Oxygen Concentrator Wet
If you're outside and it starts to rain, your portable oxygen concentrator's protective carry case will protect it from rain drops while you can seek shelter. Just like any other electronic, it doesn't mix well with any kind of moisture and should be avoided at all costs.
3. DON'T Run the Concentrator Without Using It (This Does Not Apply to Continuous Flow)
Your pulse dose oxygen concentrator releases a “bolus” or puff of oxygen according to your breath rate. It actively seeks and senses your breathing through the air pressure of your inhale, and that's when it knows to release a bolus. This means the concentrator's sensors are extremely sensitive. If you're not there breathing and telling it when to release, it will begin to run down the battery on the concentrator much quicker.
4. DON'T Leave your Oxygen Concentrator in a Small Space
A running oxygen concentrator can quickly deplete the oxygen in a small space, which will quickly become dangerous to you, and any other people or animals with you. You should also avoid placing a concentrator directly next to something, just like we mentioned previously, you'll want to avoid overheating the unit at all costs. Always make sure there is at least 10 inches of open space around the concentrator while it's running.
5. DON'T Smoke Around an Oxygen Concentrator
This is can potentially be very dangerous and in more severe cases fatal. You should never smoke while using an oxygen concentrator and you should always stay at least 8 feet away from others who are smoking. A spark can quickly become a flame when fed by pure oxygen. If a small hot ash from a cigarette were to land on a surface, and come in contact with the oxygen from your concentrator or even out of your cannula, it has the potential to go out of control very quickly.
6. DON'T Leave your Questions Unanswered
One thing you should definitely never do is sit and wonder what you should do in any situation involving your oxygen concentrator. Your oxygen concentrator is one of the most important pieces of medical equipment you will ever own and you should take all the proper precautions for caring and maintaining it. You can call our service department at 1-877-303-9289 and ask any questions you may have!
Updated: February 3, 2020
Published: October 14, 2014