Taking Care of your Oxygen Concentrator in the Summer

If you have breathing difficulties, you know that the summer brings some complications: high humidity and extreme heat can exacerbate conditions such as COPD. In fact, one study showed a strong association between weather-related heat and emergency hospitalizations related to respiratory distress, meaning that those who suffer from these conditions must take even better care of themselves when the temperatures rise.

In addition to taking care of themselves, though, they need to take care of their oxygen concentrators. Units aren’t made to withstand extreme heat, so it’s important to ensure you’re keeping it safe along with yourself.

The Temperature: Operational and Storage

Summer temperatures can be hard on oxygen units, so make sure your portable oxygen concentrator can operate in your environment. Manuals outline unit operating conditions, specifically the minimum and maximum temperatures they can withstand.

Plan your outdoor activities for when it will be safe to use your concentrator, and avoid exercise and strenuous activity, particularly outdoors, when it’s very hot out, opting to stay indoors during the hottest hottest-mid-day. When outside, attempt to find a shaded area for relief for you and the concentrator as often as possible, and remember to drink plenty of liquids.

Oxygen users who don’t have air-conditioning in their houses should consider finding relief in an air-conditioned location such as a mall, library or movie theater to escape the extreme heat. During heat waves, larger cities sometimes set up air-conditioned public places called “cooling centers”, to assist seniors and other vulnerable populations.

Storing your unit is something that is often not thought about, especially in the summer months when the temperature starts to rise. Keeping an oxygen concentrator in a locked car can cause severe damage very quickly, as temperatures can reach 100°F or more in just a half-hour and continue to rise even if the outside temperature is only 70°. You should also never leave your oxygen concentrator in an attic, garage or basement/crawl space as the temperatures can fluctuate wildly. Store your oxygen concentrator in the living space of your home, in a closet or room that is kept at the same temperature as the rest of the house.

POC Operating and Storage Temperatures

Unit
Maximum Operating Temperature
Maximum Storage Temperature

Respironics SimplyGo
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

Inogen One G3
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

SeQual Eclipse 5
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

Invacare Mobile
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

Inova Labs ActivOx Pro 4L
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

Respironics SimplyGo Mini
95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

Inogen One G4
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
158 Fahrenheit (70 Celsius)

AirSep Focus
95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

AirSep Freestyle
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
158 Fahrenheit (70 Celsius)

AirSep Freestyle 5
95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius)
140 Fahrenheit (60 Celsius)

HOC Operating and Storage Temperatures

Respironics SimplyFlo
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
158 Fahrenheit (70 Celsius)

Respironics EverFlo
90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius)
160 Fahrenheit (71 Celsius)

Invacare Perfecto 2
95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius)
150 Fahrenheit (65 Celsius)

Inogen at Home
104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius)
158 Fahrenheit (70 Celsius)

Many oxygen concentrators feature alarm systems that can indicate when the unit is outside its ideal operating conditions; in these cases, the unit can shut down. Never ignore these alarms, as prolonging the time the unit is kept at an unsafe temperature can permanently damage it.

Educate yourself with our Free Oxygen Therapy Guide

Humidity and Water

Oxygen concentrators are not waterproof, so it’s important to make sure that the unit stays as dry as possible. If you are bringing your oxygen concentrator to the beach or pool, make sure that they are safely protected from both sand and water. If the machine gets waterlogged, it may get irreparably damaged.

High humidity can also pose a problem, as it can encourage the growth of bacteria and fungus. If you live in an area that experiences extreme humidity, you may want to ramp up how often you clean your unit. Remember to follow your oxygen concentrator’s cleaning instructions.

Summertime Activities

Some activities in the summer can be dangerous for those who use oxygen concentrators, such as sitting around a campfire or celebrating a holiday with sparklers. It is dangerous to operate oxygen equipment in the presence of an open flame, so it’s vital to ensure that you and the unit stay a safe distance away while it is in use; if it’s not being used, it should still be at least 8–10 feet away from a heat source.

While your portable oxygen concentrator can help you enjoy all of the outdoor fun and summer activities with your friends and family, make sure that you are keeping it safe from extreme heat, humidity, and water.

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.

8 thoughts on “Taking Care of your Oxygen Concentrator in the Summer”

  • Deborah Robles
    Deborah Robles May 17, 2018 at 1:01 am

    will like to know about a smaller machine

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman May 17, 2018 at 5:56 am

      Thank you for your inquiry. 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 specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

      Reply
  • Robert Astorian
    Robert Astorian May 17, 2018 at 1:20 am

    I do not ever use my oxygen outside. My home is air conditioned at 78 degrees. I also have a portable unit I might take with me, but wherever I go with it, my car or wherever is always air conditioned.

    Reply
  • Maria

    Excellent reminders, thanks!

    Reply
  • Janet Snyder

    Always read your e-mails since they give me excellent information. I use my concentrator all the time when I go anywhere and I will be going to the pool at the boat club. There is a gazebo where it is cooler and I will take a tank w me so that I can go into the pool. I am truly blessed that I can still get around and swim. I plan on taking advantage of it as long as I am able. Thanks for the updates.

    Reply
  • Alan sederis

    I have the iogen g3 for about a year question when do I change the filters?
    The large ones on the sides (there celinders when do you Chad nge the m and what's the cost

    Reply
  • Patty

    I have the Inogen One G3 as well and have the same question... What kind of maintenance should I be doing other than cleaning the filter screens for the air intake? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman May 25, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Other than wiping down the machine and cleaning the filter screens you will at some point have to replace the columns. The machine, however, will prompt you to do this and it gives you a 30-day window to replace them.

      Reply

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