Humidifiers are not always necessary, and for some people who have to use an oxygen concentrator, they are there for comfort. You may have purchased your oxygen concentrator without a humidifier, only to find that your nasal passages and throat get very dry when you use it. This can cause a lot of discomfort, and even damage to your nasal passages.
You might find that you only need a humidifier during the cold months of the year when the air is very dry, or if you've moved to a very dry part of the country. You might also require one if you have to use your oxygen concentrator while you sleep. When many people sleep, their throats or nasal passages become dry anyway, and the addition of oxygen therapy (air blowing into your nasal passages) In any case, you can purchase a humidifier bottle that is compatible with your oxygen concentrator.
Most of the larger portable oxygen concentrators are built to have a humidifier, because they have higher oxygen flow settings that usually dry out the nasal passages more than low doses that are usually found in small portable models. Most stationary oxygen concentrators (ones that only run on AC power and not DC or batteries) accommodate for a humidifier bottle.
You should not use tap water or any other type of water besides distilled water in the humidifier. Even filtered tap water can still have tiny impurities that might not be harmful to you, but can cause build up and malfunctions in the oxygen concentrator. The distilled water you purchase by the jug from the store will do.
Attaching a humidifier to your oxygen concentrator is very easy. Just be sure that you have the humidifier that is compatible with your particular model of portable or stationary oxygen concentrator. You will see two lines on the bottle – a maximum fill line, and a minimum fill line.
You don't want to fill the bottle above the max fill line, because this can cause too much moisture to get into the concentrator, which can severely damage it and make it unsafe. Letting it go below and stay below the minimum fill line for too long can also be unsafe, because not enough moisture is getting through. The best thing to do is fill it up so that it is about a half inch below the maximum fill line.
You will need to turn on your concentrator, and locate the humidifier port and the short rubber tubing that you will use to connect the nozzle of the humidifier bottle to the humidifier port on the oxygen concentrator.
Attach the nozzle to the tubing, and to the humidifier port. Wrap the Velcro strap around the humidifier bottle snugly, so that it won't slip out and fall. Attach the Velcro to the opposite side of the Velcro to secure it against the oxygen concentrator. You are now ready to use your oxygen concentrator with the humidifier.