Your CPAP machine is an essential piece of equipment for you. It delivers constant and steady air pressure which enables you to get the oxygen you need at night so you can function normally throughout the day. Over time, however, you’ll notice you need to take care of it in specific ways to keep it working at its best. Let’s go over a few ways you can keep your machine — and yourself — clean, happy, and healthy.
Clean Your Mask
Your mask is the part that touches your face, so it should make sense that it would build up sweat, oils, and even dead skin cells on the surface. Especially if you catch a cold or another illness, you should take extra care to clean your mask after every use. Wipe down the surface with water, a mild soap, or a detergent wipe every morning, and clean it thoroughly with warm water and dish detergent once a week.
Check Your Humidifier Tank
The humidifier tank is only present on some CPAP machines but where it’s present, it must stay clean. If you don’t take care of your humidifier tank, you’ll find yourself breathing stale air and moldy vapors, which will counteract any good the CPAP does for you.
To keep your humidifier tank clean, make sure you dump out any water that remains after use and fill it with clean, distilled water when you need to use it again. Every month, check the tank and make sure it’s still in good shape, and replace it if you find any signs of significant damage.
Clear Out Your Tubing
The tubes that bring mist from your machine to your airways are a vital component of your CPAP, so keep a close guard on these pieces. Remember to clean the air tubes weekly by doing it when you wash your mask, and let everything dry on a towel, preferably not in sunlight.
Check the tubes every few months for holes and tears that could cause leaks, which would diminish the quality of the air your machine provides. Do not attempt to repair these holes yourself; instead, contact your insurance and the provider you work with to order replacement tubing.
Replace Your Filters
Your machine will have some kind of air filter to make sure you get the best quality it can provide. Check your filters anytime from once a week to once a month to make sure they are reasonably clean. Your environment will also impact the cleanliness of your filter, so if your outdoor air quality isn’t spectacular, you should plan to clean your filter more frequently.
If you have a disposable white filter, you should replace it every month and not attempt to clean it, since the manufacturer designed it to last a short time. If you have a reusable filter, make sure to clean it thoroughly every six months. Remove it from the machine, rinse in warm tap water until the filter is clean, and towel-dry it before replacing it in the machine.
Replace at the Right Time
Every year you should have your CPAP tested to ensure it is providing the right pressure. Most insurances will pay to replace the machine every five years. Your insurance will also give you guidelines on how often to replace masks, filters, facial cushions, chin straps, and tubing. Your insurance will cover replacing most components over a certain length of time, so make sure you know your coverage and work with your provider.
If you are in need of a new CPAP or need to replace your supplies, Corner Home Medical is here to help. Browse our products today to meet all of your CPAP needs.