The Do's and Don'ts of Oxygen Concentrators

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!


 

DO...

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!

DO NOT...

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!

Page last updated: October 14, 2018

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.

27 thoughts on “The Do's and Don'ts of Oxygen Concentrators”

  • Ana Emilia Hasler

    It is a question. When the screen in the equipment say NEED SERVICE what does that means

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason
      Danielle Jason April 27, 2017 at 2:24 am

      Thank you for your message, Ana. If you go ahead and give our Service Department a call at: 877-303-9289, they'll be able to work with you to diagnose your machine.

      Reply
  • Becca Holton

    A friend of mine is planning on investing in a portable oxygen concentrator. She's mainly going to be using it when she travels. It's nice to know that even if it's used for travel, you should run your POC at least four hours each month. http://www.lincolnmobility.com

    Reply
  • Margie Hasenbuhler
    Margie Hasenbuhler November 15, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Can I buy an extra power cord for vehicle?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Absolutely, Margie. I will pass along your information to one of our Oxygen Specialists who will reach out shortly regarding your request. If you'd like immediate assistance feel free to contact us directly at 877-774-9271.

      Reply
  • Timothy Bundy

    I have been trying to charge Inogen 1 portable unit ,in my car but can't...It will not charge

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Timothy. Have you walked through the step-be-step tutorial listed in your user manual? If you've misplaced your Inogen 1 manual you can download an online version here: https://www.oxygenconcentratorstore.com/manuals/portable/inogenoneg1/amsr_inogenone_g1_manual.pdf

      If you are still unable to get your unit to charge you're welcome to reach out to our Service department at 877-303-9289. They should be able to assist you in walking through troubleshooting your machine over the phone.

      Reply
  • Deborah Brown

    The most recent 3 times I have used my SeQual Eclipse, I have noticed a strange odor. There have been no warning lights or beeps, but when I shut it down an odor similar to an ozone odor seems to be present. Should I be concerned? Does it need service?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your question, Deborah. If you are experiencing any uncommon odors from your machine it is best troubleshoot the source of the problem as soon as possible. It is possible your unit needs to be serviced, but we can not say for sure without knowing more information. If you'll give our Service Department a call at 877-303-9289 they'll be able to assist you in the finding a solution.

      Reply
  • Susan Schearer

    Just returned from three weeks in Morocco and Spain, made possible by Inogen One G-4 with three double batteries. It was tight a few times, but I really enjoyed the freedom I had with this portable oxygen concentrator!

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      How wonderful! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your freedom using the Inogen G4! If you're interested in being featured in an upcoming newsletter you're welcome to submit your story or photos of you and your machine on your trip to [email protected]

      Reply
  • Judy Douglass

    my 02 is now stable 95 plus but I may need it when I fly. I do not want to take in 02 when I do not need, it just to keep from ruining the unit. Do I have to breathe the 02 monthly as it does not make me feel good???? Can I just keep it charged???

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Keeping your unit continuously charging may damage some internal components. We recommend the tips above to store and keep your unit and accessories in top working condition. If you have further questions regarding running and properly storing your individual unit and accessories, feel free to give our Service Department a call at 877-303-9289.

      Reply
  • Richard Burtt

    My InogenOne g3 user manual has instruction on how remove the columns but does not say how often they need replaced. Please provide some guidelines regarding how often I should replace the columns. Thank you.
    RICHARD Burtt.

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      You can find information in your user manual on changing your columns on page 22. As it indicates, you have 30 days from your first indicated message on the machine screen. Feel free to learn more by reading our blog post on How Do You Know When Inogen One G3 Columns Should Be Replaced here: https://www.oxygenconcentratorstore.com/blog/oxygen-question-how-do-you-know-when-inogen-one-columns-should-be-replaced/

      Reply
  • Terry Bucher

    My mom is on the Ever-Flo Oxygen Concentrator - I was wondering if it's ok for her to use a curling iron or hair dryer while she is using it?

    Reply
    • Scott Ridl

      Hello Terry,

      Yes, your mom can use the Ever-Flo with a curling iron or hair dryer. Please call us at 1-877-644-4581 if you need further assistance.

      Reply
  • Robert Bryant
    Robert Bryant July 7, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Is it safe to use the oven for cooking when my mom is on her oxygen unit , but in a different room of the house, as is the oxygen concentrator?

    Reply
  • Debra Creechley
    Debra Creechley July 16, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Can I use the Inogen G4 while it’s plugged into the power source?

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman July 17, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Yes, you can use the Inogen G4 while it is plugged in. It will also charge the battery while plugged in and you are using it.

      Reply
  • Edna

    Hi,
    Im going on a cruise September 7th and I think my battery is dying for my Inogen. Can’t seem to get it over 21. Any ideas. TIA

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman August 27, 2018 at 7:38 am

      I have passed along your information to a specialist who will reach out regarding your request.For more immediate assistance feel free to give our customer care team a call so that they can best assist you in troubleshooting your issue. They can be reached at 877-303-9289.

      Reply
  • paul Miller

    I purchased a inogen home consentrator for travel 4 months ago or so this is second time I have used it and when I lay down at night with head against pillow a hum comes thru the tube loudenough to keep me from sleeping. what could this problem be, its like a constant noise thru the tube on side of my head

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman October 22, 2018 at 9:15 am

      I would recommend trying a couple things. You may want to try different tubing. The position of the tubing or the machine may be causing this. Trying moving where the machine is placed in relation to your head. You might need a bit more space. If this persists and none of these solution work please reach out to our customer care team at 877-303-9289 and they can help you further troubleshoot over the phone.

      Reply
  • David Starling

    Should the g3 fan run at a higher speed at the 7-9000 foot elevation as opposed to 2-4000 foot elevation ?

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman November 12, 2018 at 3:29 am

      Hi David, Technically yes this is something that will happen. However, this is not something that you will hear or notice as the machine is designed to adjust but does have a maximum capacity of air in which it can take in.

      Reply

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