We recently received a question about which portable oxygen concentrators work best in frigid weather:
"My husband and I are new to this oxygen stuff, the doctor just prescribed it. He is only 49 years old, so you can imagine there is still plenty to do, no sedentary lifestyle here! He feels quite tethered to the bed, let alone the house! So we are looking into renting or purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator unit. He likes the very small inconspicuous one, AirSep Focus & I thought the Respironics Simply Go would be more practical, battery duration & all.
Any advice on these matters would be appreciated. Also, I saw the specifications on some of these units & they cannot be used in climates colder than 41 degrees F; We live in the northeast, on Long Island in NY. ITS FREEZING HERE, this winter has been horrible, with lots of cold weather! Are there any of these units that work for our climate, or do you suggest we move which is out of the question! PLEASE HELP! Thanks, Renee"
Thanks for your question, Renee! Getting a portable oxygen concentrator is a great decision if you want to still have your freedom, no matter what time of year it is. Your husband is active, which tells us he wants to spend a lot of time outside, even in cold weather. Even though he might not be able to go out for very long in very cold weather, doesn't mean he has to be confined to the home during the winter with a portable oxygen concentrator.
All of the portable oxygen concentrators on the market do not do well in conditions of less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit for very long. Not even the more robust ones, like the DeVilbiss iGo, or the SeQual Eclipse. For that matter, being outside in temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit for very long won't be good for your husband, either. Cold temperatures are known to exasperate chronic lung diseases.
If you don't plan on being outside for very long – from the house to the mailbox and back, or from the car to the house, etc – then the portable oxygen concentrator that you choose will be fine. Being out for prolonged periods of time will eventually cause the inner workings of the concentrator to start to wear, or freeze if conditions are well below freezing.
The best thing to do in this case, is to find something fun to do indoors. He might want to try an indoor shooting range or indoor driving range to keep him occupied until the weather gets back above freezing.
The Respirionics SimplyGo is a great choice, but the small Focus is, as well. We're assuming he wants to be away from home for a long time when he goes out, so you're right about the SimplyGo's battery being the tie-breaker here.