Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Your Oxygen Concentrator

Your oxygen concentrator, whether it is one that stays in your home or a portable oxygen concentrator that travels with you, you will need to perform some basic maintenance and upkeep. You depend on your unit to keep you healthy and keep providing that oxygen that your body needs to survive, so you must make sure that it will work the way it's supposed to for as long as possible. Your oxygen concentrator is an investment in your life.

Preventative maintenance is simple, and you can do it yourself under most circumstances. Things like the cabinet filter, HEPA filter and humidifier are all made to be easily accessed and maintenance by almost anyone. Many oxygen concentrators are designed to require maintenance no more than once or twice a year.

If you're not sure of something and don't understand the instructions in your owners manual, or you aren't sure that you should be unscrewing anything on the cabinet, by all means, you should call someone for help. Here are some of the most natural things you can do to make sure your oxygen concentrator is working smoothly for years to come.

Your oxygen concentrator is made to be run for long periods of time. It's recommended that you run the concentrator for no less than 30 minutes at a time. The quick shutting on and shutting off over time will cause unnecessary wear to the machine and can cause it to quit working long before it should. Depending on the brand, most oxygen concentrators are expected to work for years before they need any major repairs or replacements.

Protect Your Oxygen Concentrator

Keep your unit away from water. Not only is it dangerous for this machine to come into contact with water, but it can cause it to stop working. Never take it with you when you take a bath. If you need to be taking continuous oxygen, make sure the rubber tubing stretches far enough so the concentrator can be out in the hallway while you bathe. Also, make sure water doesn't get into the rubber tubing.

Like any other electronic, an it can break if it is dropped onto a hard surface. Don't try to pick up your home oxygen concentrator, which can weigh around 45 pounds, if you don't think you can. It's better to be safe than sorry, and have someone who trusts carry it from one place to the next where to wheels can't go, such as up and down stairs or from one house to another. Make sure your portable oxygen concentrator is in its carry bag when it is traveling with you, and make sure the straps on the carry bag aren't worn out.

Clean Your Oxygen Concentrator

Keep the cabinet filter clean by washing it once a week – you are mostly doing this for your health, but it will also prevent your oxygen concentrator from unnecessarily working harder. Follow the manufacturers instructions for cleaning or replacing the HEPA filter once a year. This usually involves removing part of the cabinet, so refer to the owners manual for your specific model.

Keep the outside of the cabinet free of dust with a lint-free cloth and use a damp (not dripping wet) cloth to wipe away hardened dirt. Only use water and a mild detergent to clean the outside of your oxygen concentrator.

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.

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