Your Frequently Asked Questions About Oxygen Concentrators, Answered

Mar 13, 2023

Your Frequently Asked Questions About Oxygen Concentrators, Answered

Wondering how often to change the water in an oxygen concentrator? Need a refresher on how your concentrator works? If you’re curious to learn more about oxygen concentrators, this FAQ holds answers to some of your most common questions.

Does an oxygen concentrator produce pure oxygen?

Oxygen concentrators work by taking in the surrounding air and delivering oxygen that is made up of 90-95% pure oxygen and 5-10% nitrogen.

How long do portable oxygen concentrators last?

Oxygen machines generally last around five years. The lifespan is dependent on how often they are used, care and maintenance, and the concentrator model.

Do oxygen concentrators run out of oxygen?

No. Unlike oxygen cylinders, concentrators do not have a finite amount of oxygen. As long as the concentrator has power, it will continue to provide oxygen.

How much does an oxygen concentrator cost?

That depends on the type and model of the concentrator. Personal portable models often cost thousands of dollars, while used concentrators often have a reduced price. While this may seem a lot to pay upfront, remember that liquid oxygen and even compressed oxygen tank refills and maintenance will quickly add up.

Do I need a prescription to buy an oxygen concentrator?

Yes. You must have a valid prescription from a doctor or specialist for oxygen therapy to buy a device that produces medical-grade oxygen.

Are oxygen concentrators flammable?

No. Oxygen itself is not flammable but it can cause other items or materials to ignite. Always use your oxygen concentrator safely and follow the proper handling procedures, including keeping your concentrator away from open flames and other heat sources.

Can oxygen concentrators run on inverters?

Yes. However, you must choose the right one, as not all inverters are compatible with or provide the power necessary to safely use an oxygen concentrator.

Do oxygen concentrators use a lot of electricity?

Yes. Most oxygen concentrators use roughly the same amount of electricity as a refrigerator. The average annual cost of running your oxygen concentrator is around $400 per year, though this varies with different models, flow rates, and other factors.

Do oxygen concentrators have battery backup?

Oxygen concentrators must have access to electricity to work. Keep your concentrator plugged into an outlet but have a generator or backup battery handy in the event of a power outage.

Can I take my oxygen concentrator on a plane?

Portable oxygen concentrators are generally allowed on planes as long as it is FAA-approved, though you need to let the airline know that you require oxygen before your flight.

Can I use my home oxygen concentrator in my car?

While most oxygen concentrators require a high amount of energy and cannot be used in a vehicle, you may be able to use a portable oxygen concentrator instead for car rides. Be sure to take any necessary safety precautions when travelling with oxygen.

Can you sleep with a portable oxygen concentrator?

Yes. Like CPAP machines, oxygen concentrators are set up to allow for continual use.

Can I use an oxygen concentrator continuously?

Yes. Patients who require oxygen use throughout the day and night can safely use high-quality concentrators for all of their activities.

Do you need a humidifier with an oxygen concentrator?

No. You can use an oxygen concentrator without water. However, while oxygen humidifier bottles are not required, they will make oxygen delivery more comfortable.

Does insurance cover portable oxygen concentrators?

That depends on your health insurance. Insurance does cover portable oxygen concentrators but that doesn’t guarantee coverage. For example, Medicare covers oxygen equipment but may require extra fees for portable concentrators. Be sure to talk to your insurance provider for more information before purchasing a concentrator.

What is the quietest home oxygen concentrator?

Everflo concentrators are among the quietest concentrators on the market. Several other brands and models are equally silent.

What is the lightest portable oxygen concentrator?

If weight is an issue for you, there are plenty of light oxygen concentrators available on the market. Inogen currently makes one of the smallest models available, a portable concentrator that weighs only 1.5kg.

How do I take care of my oxygen concentrator?

Concentrators require proper care and maintenance. To provide this, always unplug the concentrator when not in use and keep the concentrator clean. Replace things like cannula and tubing regularly.

How often to change a filter on an oxygen concentrator

Filters should be changed one to two times a year. If you live in a particularly dusty area, you may need to change your filter more regularly.

When to change the water in the reservoir

Change the water in your humidifier bottle every day, being sure to use only distilled water.

How to reset an oxygen concentrator

If you need to reset your oxygen concentrator, first turn the equipment off and unplug it from its power source. Take the battery pack out and allow the concentrator to sit for at least half an hour. Then, reassemble the concentrator and turn it back on.

What does a red light mean on an oxygen concentrator?

A red light means that your concentrator is experiencing power problems, such as an unplugged or damaged cord.

What does an orange light mean on an oxygen concentrator?

An orange light can indicate that your concentrator needs service.

What does a yellow light mean on an oxygen concentrator?

A yellow light means that there is a problem with the oxygen flow or oxygen purity. You may continue to use the device but should ensure there is a backup oxygen source ready for use nearby.