Did you know that one of the most important aspects of caring for your oxygen concentrator is properly maintaining the batteries? These important power sources allow your unit to run and if not cared for correctly you risk your unit not working properly, batteries draining far too quickly, or in many cases, your batteries no longer holding a charge! Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to care for and get the longest life out of your concentrator batteries. Keep reading below for more!
Not All Are Equal
The first thing you will want to know is that the batteries that came with your machine are specific to that model. Although the batteries for portable machines are all lithium ion based, they are not universal to every portable machine.
Additionally, it is important to note that amount of battery life given for each battery does change from machine to machine and setting to setting. For example, the battery life, on the rechargeable batteries, for the Respironic’s SimplyGo is roughly 3.5 hours for a full charge. However, that is at an oxygen flow setting of 2. The higher the oxygen setting, the more of the batteries power it’ll require to run, therefore, shortening your battery life.
Store in a Safe Place
When storing your concentrator batteries, it’s important to ensure they are not stored at elevated temperatures. Extremely high and, in some cases, extremely low temperatures can damage your battery and affect it’s ability to hold a charge. Additionally, it’s important to note any increases in elevation as each unit and battery will be functional up until a certain elevation point. To learn the parameters of your individual machine, please consult your owner’s manual. Can’t find it? Click: Download Online Manual(s).
Maintain Your Charge
If you have any spare batteries you’re not regularly using it’s advised to store these batteries at a 50% charge. Not only will this ensure your concentrator will have power should any emergencies arise, it will also help preserve the life of the battery. If a concentrator battery is allowed to drain completely and remain without a charge over an extended period of time, the battery will begin to deteriorate much quicker.
Pay Attention to Battery Life
Most manufacturers list in user manual that batteries are meant to be recharged through their charging cycle, roughly 350 - 500 times before they, unavoidably, begin to loose their efficiency. If your batteries are over 2 years old, pay attention to how long they’re holding their charge. When you begin to notice that the time is getting shorter and shorter for the battery to drain from full to less than half, it’s time to consider ordering a new or spare battery.
It’s suggested by most manufacturers that you preform a battery recalibration once a month. To do this, ensure all of your AC/DC power cords are removed from the machine. Keep only the replaceable battery on the unit and use the unit as normal until the battery is completely exhausted of all power. You will then want to remove the battery from the unit and refrain from using your unit for one hour. After one hour, charge the battery to 100% full and place back in the unit. Keep an eye on the unit and battery for the next 2 hours to ensure it is functioning properly.
Another great safety tip is to always travel with both the internal, supplemental, and/or spare batteries at a full charge if you plan to be gone more than 3 hours at a time. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and not be caught without power in an emergency.