Road Trip and Portable Oxygen Concentrator Safety

One of the main points of owning a portable oxygen concentrator, is so you can travel and go anywhere you please, while still getting the oxygen therapy you need. While all of out portable oxygen concentrators are FAA approved for airplane travel, you may decide to take a road trip to get where you need to go.

Road trips with oxygen are about the journey as much as they are about the destination, and they allow you to take in the country side as you go from one destination to the next. We don't want you to miss out on anything, but we also want to make sure you are safe, you're getting the oxygen you need on your trip, and your oxygen concentrator will continue to work properly.

Automobile and Portable Oxygen Concentrator Battery Concerns

Even though a portable oxygen might be specified to be able to work fine on a car's battery, the car battery itself might not be able to provide enough of a charge to run the car and the concentrator at the same time. This is sometimes the case with older cars, or a car with a battery that need is old and needs replaced. Keep in mind that not all models are even able to charge the battery through a DC outlet, such as the cigarette lighter outlet in the car. Check with one of our sales representatives to see which ones are unable to do this.

Specifically, the Sequal Eclipse 3 battery must be removed before plugging it into the car's power supply. If you don't, the concentrator will attempt to charge the battery while running it, and this will quickly deplete your car's battery. The new Eclipse 5 model doesn't do this, however, and you should be able to charge the battery while running it off of the car battery, without draining it.

Just to be safe, you should give test it out before you go on your road trip, or before taking any car trips where you might need to run your concentrator or recharge the battery. Turn on your car and try using your oxygen concentrator, or charging the battery if your model is able to do so. If it is still running fine and putting out the proper amount of oxygen, it will be fine to use during your car trip.

Protecting Your Concentrator from the Heat

One thing you should never do is leave your concentrator in the car for any length of time during warm weather while the car is parked. During the summer and even sometimes during the spring and fall, temperatures inside of a car can climb well above 100 degrees.

If your concentrator does happen to become overheated, you will need to turn it off and allow it to cool down all the way in a cool environment before turning it back on. Even though many concentrators have a maximum operational temperature of around 104 degrees Fahrenheit, running at this temperature for too long will cause it to wear out much quicker.

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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