how long does a portable oxygen concentrator last?how long does a portable oxygen concentrator last?

When you require a reliable supply of oxygen while away from home, you need a dependable portable oxygen concentrator. Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) are the perfect companion when traveling and the additional optional battery can offer several hours of oxygen delivery. If you’re planning a long road trip or are traveling internationally, select a portable oxygen concentrator that provides battery endurance during your journey. But how long does a portable oxygen concentrator last? Read this article to learn more. 

What is a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Portable oxygen concentrators are devices used to provide oxygen therapy for patients in need of more oxygen than what is available in ambient air. These devices work by filtering the oxygen from the air to provide supplemental oxygen as needed. Portable oxygen concentrators are smaller and lighter than home oxygen concentrators and are designed to be easily carried while on the go. Portable oxygen concentrators can be plugged into an AC outlet at home, in a DC outlet in the car, or cord-free with a battery. All of the POCs that we carry are FAA-approved for use on airplanes.

Battery Life Depends On Your Oxygen Concentrator Prescription

Some types of portable oxygen concentrators drain energy faster from batteries. It all depends on your prescription. Pulse dose concentrators deliver oxygen only when you inhale. They stop when you exhale. The reduced demand for power saps less energy from the battery as compared to continuous flow mode concentrators.

Continuous flow oxygen concentrators provide a constant rate of oxygen regardless of inhalation or exhalation. Because oxygen is continually flowing, this type of POC will require more battery power. If your doctor prescribed a high pulse dose or a continuous flow oxygen requirement, then you will want a POC designed for longer battery life on higher pulse settings and continuous flow.  A reliable model like the Inogen One G4 Portable Concentrator offers two different battery types, 8-cell, and 16-cell, to meet your different oxygen supply requirements.

Add Extended Battery Life

For peace of mind when you travel, you can choose an oxygen concentrator with extended battery life. Units like the Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini Portable Oxygen Concentrator offer up to 12 hours of additional battery power on a setting of 1 pulse.

Also, taking along extra external batteries helps ensure your POC always has a power supply in times of high demand. External battery chargers are also a great accessory because they allow you to charge extra batteries while you use your POC separately.

As you compare the best oxygen concentrators for battery power, keep in mind that more power means more weight. The key is to find the right balance between a lightweight, compact model for travel and a lasting battery life that meets your travel needs.

How Much Battery Life Will You Need for a Trip?

If you are planning a trip by air, the rule of thumb is to have enough battery power for at least 1.5 times the expected duration of the flight. This will accommodate any flight delays.

Also, be sure to bring your AC or DC power source to run your POC and keep the external battery charged while you wait at the airport. Only use your battery supply when no other power is available.

Average Lifespan Of Portable Oxygen Concentrators

In general, portable oxygen concentrators can last 4-7 years or even more if the device is properly cleaned and maintained, and other factors. These factors can include frequency of use, quality of the device, and the level of maintenance it requires. A person who uses a POC should make sure they read their user manual to learn the best practices for cleaning and maintaining their device. The proper steps to prolonging a POC are beneficial in the long run as it will also prolong the next time you need to purchase a new oxygen concentrator. 

Maintenance And Care Of Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Thankfully, maintaining POCs requires only very little maintenance, with the filter needing to be cleaned once a month and the outside being wiped down frequently. Filters are easy to find online and replace. Read your user's manual for more information about the maintenance requirements of your device. Here are more tips for maintaining your device:

  • Do not use harsh detergents or any disinfectants when wiping down your device.
  • Do not use alcohol to clean your machine.
  • Avoid using your device in a dusty environment.

Environmental Factors Effect On Portable Oxygen Concentrator

To ensure you are getting the best performance and lifespan of your portable oxygen concentrator, make sure your device is stored in a clean and dust-free environment when it is not in use. That's because over time dust can enter your nasal cannula or oxygen tubing or even be drawn into the air intake vents of your POC and damage it. Additionally, use caution in environments that are high in humidity as extreme heat can exacerbate signs and symptoms of COPD. 

Prolonging The Lifespan Of Portable Oxygen Concentrators

As mentioned above, make sure you are properly cleaning, maintaining, and storing your POC correctly to extend the lifespan of your device. This is crucial to your overall health and the longevity of your machine.

If you have questions or need help picking the best portable oxygen concentrator or batteries to fit your needs, our knowledgeable staff is only a call away. Call The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Shop at 888-941-1688 today!

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.