Oxygen Concentrators

  • An oxygen concentrator concentrates the existing oxygen in room air to deliver it at 90% to 95% purity.
  • An oxygen concentrator does not reduce the amount of oxygen in the room significantly because of the low amount of oxygen required.
  • Post NO SMOKING signs prominently in all areas where oxygen is used or stored.
  • Oxygen can only be distributed at the direction/prescription of a licensed physician.

  • Plug your oxygen concentrator into a properly grounded & polarized wall outlet.
    • Do not use an extension cord.
    • Do not plug into an outlet controlled by a switch/dimmer.
    • If you are unsure if your outlet is properly grounded/polarized, contact an electrician.
    • Do not remove the ground connector, or file down the plug.
  • Do not block any of the air openings of the concentrator. (Some openings are located below the concentrator.)
  • Do not place the concentrator on any extremely soft surface, such as a bed, sofa, or blanket.
  • Keep at least 3 inches from walls & draperies.
  • Do not place the concentrator in a small, enclosed area, such as a closet.
  • The concentrator can be placed in a different room if noise is an issue.
  • Keep the concentrator away from dirty/dusty areas.

  • Oxygen is nonflammable, but supports combustion. All sources of ignition, spark/flame must be kept at least 10’ away.
  • NO SMOKING within 10’ of oxygen source including both the concentrator and the nasal cannula/mask.
  • Post NO SMOKING signs in your home.

  • Attach the tubing from your cannula/mask to the oxygen concentrator.
  • Switch the concentrator “ON”
    • It is normal for the concentrator to alarm for up to 10 seconds after turning the machine on.
  • Adjust the flow rate by turning the flow meter knob to your adjusted LITER FLOW.
    • Liter flow is also referred to as “LPM” or “Liters Per Minute”
    • Your delivery technician will set the liter flow for you initially.
    • Only use the liter flow prescribed by your physician.
    • If you have questions about setting your liter flow, please call our office.

  • Remove your nasal cannula/mask.
  • Turn the power switch on the concentrator “off”
  • You do not need to adjust the liter flow switch.

  • Humidifiers are used to provide additional moisture for the nasal passages of the patient.
  • Humidifier bottles are typically installed directly to the concentrator, and you attach your cannula to the humidifier bottle.
  • Always use distilled water with your humidifier bottle.
  • Do not fill the water past the fill line. (Do not overfill the humidifier bottle – this will cause water to get in your tubing)
  • When screwing on the cap, take care not to cross-thread the cap. (This can cause the concentrator to alarm, or make odd noises.)
    • An easy way to prevent cross threading is to twist the cap counter clock-wise while providing downward pressure on the cap. You will feel a slight “click” when the threads are aligned correctly. You can then proceed to screw on the cap.
    • Cross threading a humidifier bottle is the most common problem with an oxygen concentrator. Be sure you are comfortable with the use of a humidifier bottle. If you have questions or need additional instruction, please call our office.

  • Check your liter flow meter periodically to ensure the liter flow is that which you were prescribed. Minor adjustment may be needed.
  • Twice a week, clean your intake air filter (sponge-like, usually located on side or back of concentrator).
    • Run it under tap water to remove all dust/dirt/lint.
    • Shake out excess water.
    • Dry with a lint free towel, or allow the filter to air-dry. (Some towels can actually clog the filter.)
    • Replace the intake filter prior to using.
    • DO NOT use the concentrator without the intake filter.
  • Call our office at any time to arrange for a periodic concentrator check. We provide this free of charge for all rental concentrators.
  • Periodically check exterior of concentrator for any obstructions.

  • Your concentrator will typically alarm in 2 situations – power failure or equipment mal function.
  • Power Failures:
    • First, check all power sources to ensure the concentrator has power.
      • Check the to ensure the concentrator is plugged in. (This is the most common reason for concentrator alarms.)
      • Concentrators use a large amount of power, so tripping breakers/fuses is common. Check your fuse/breaker box.
      • Check other electrical appliances, or try plugging the concentrator into a different plug.
    • If there has been a power failure, switch the concentrator to “off” to stop the alarm.
    • Connect yourself to a back-up system until the power problem is resolved.
    • Call our office if the power is not restored within a reasonable length of time. We can provide you with additional emergency oxygen.
  • Equipment Malfunctions:
    • Hook yourself up to a back-up system
    • If applicable, check your humidifier bottle to ensure it is attached properly. (See above section on humidifier bottles)
    • Check your tubing to ensure it is not pinched, kinked, or clogged.