CPAP machines are changing. As they become more technologically complex it is important to maintain them properly in order to maximize their effectiveness as a breathing treatment and aid in their longevity. In short, the better you take care of your machine, the better it will take care of you.
Whether you’re a CPAP, BiPAP or APAP user, you can benefit from knowing your machine more intimately in order to maintain it properly. As a sleep apnea sufferer, proper cleaning and maintenance is essential for your machine’s functioning, which means it is essential for your breathing health and your ability to get a restful night’s sleep.
As with any complex medical device, CPAP machines have certain requirements for their use. The parts within it are delicate and have limited durability, no matter how well you take care of your machine. This is especially true now that many machines come equipped with automated technologies. If you remain committed to properly cleaning, storing and using your machine, it can continue to run optimally for a number of years.
With all the changes to the sleep apnea treatment marketplace, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest maintenance requirements. Or maybe you just want to extend the lifespan of your current machine. Always refer to the owner’s manual for your machine’s specific care and maintenance requirements. But if you want to know more about general tips for CPAP machine
Keep Your Machine in Optimal Condition and Functioning Normally
- Clean the mask, hose and humidifier daily.
- Give all the remaining washable parts a cleaning weekly.
- Use distilled water in the humidifier.
- Your machine likely has multiple filters; consider which can be hand washed and which can’t—and how often.
Here are Some General Tips for Optimal Long Term Care
- Keep machines out of direct sunlight.
- Never use bleach.
- Keep an eye on power cords and data cards.
- Do not put parts in the washing machine, including those made of cloth (like headcare or chinstraps).
- Do not submerge the main machine unit.
- Do not put headgear or straps in the washing machine.
Here are Some Daily Cleaning Tips
- Clean parts like reusable filters, hoses and masks daily.
- Sanitize your mask with antibacterial and antiviral cotton wipes.
- Refill your machine’s humidifier with distilled water. If you are having trouble accessing distilled water, you can clean water at home.
- In a pinch, you can use purified water in your humidifier; however, clean the humidifier with vinegar the next day to prevent mineral buildup.
- Do not put mask, headgear or tubing in the dishwasher.
Know When to Replace Parts, Accessories or Entire Machines
- Check with your insurer to determine how often they’ll cover replacements.
- Check your CPAP, BiPAP or APAP machine’s owners manual to determine when it’s time to replace your machine.
- Masks should be replaced (cite) every three to six months.
- Cushions should be replaced monthly.
Don’t wait to replace parts or the machine if you notice its operation deteriorating. Unusual noises coming from the machine or an expected return of sleep apnea-related tiredness can be an indication it’s time to get a new one.