An oxygen concentrator is a medical device used to provide an individual with oxygen.
It is needed if the individual has low oxygen in the blood or struggles to take in enough oxygen in the lungs.
Once a doctor prescribes oxygen, the patient can order and oxygen concentrator through an accredited and authorized seller.
There are two different types of concentrators, home units and portable units.
Unlike an oxygen tank, both home and portable oxygen concentrators are continuously talking air from around you, filtering it and delivering it to your nose through cannula.
Both types of oxygen concentrators filter the air the same way, pulling in the surrounding air, filtering out the nitrogen in the sieve bed, storing the oxygen in a holding tank to make sure you get the correct amount of oxygen, and then delivering the oxygen to you via cannula or mask.
Home oxygen concentrators are powered by plugging in the unit to an outlet and have wheels at the bottom to move the unit around the home.
These models tend to weight a bit more than portable, averaging around 40 pounds, which is why there are wheels to make moving around your home easier.
Portable oxygen concentrators can be carried around and are much easier to work with, not only do they also plug in to the wall outlet, it can also be plugged in to a D/C outlet (the cigarette lighter in your car).
Portable oxygen concentrators allow you go take a ride on planes, trains, boats and in cars, keeping you mobile and able to travel easier.
POC’s are lightweight and many units have accessories like, backpacks, rolling carts, or fanny packs, making it easier for you to carry your portable oxygen concentrator wherever you go.
Every unit is also equipped with alarms and sensors to inform if something is wrong with the unit, such as power failure and pressure alarms.
If you are ever unsure of what is wrong with your unit, contact the company you purchased your machine from and request to speak with customer service, they should be able to help you troubleshoot the machine over the phone.
But what is the difference between new, used and refurbished units? It can be confusing to understand the pricing, and warranty changes for those units, but don’t be afraid to ask the respiratory specialist questions about your unit.
A new unit is just that, a brand-new unit straight from the manufacturer that has never been used before.
There may have been some testing done on the machine before you get it to make sure it is up to quality standards.
Depending on the unit, you have a few different options of warranties and accessories that can go with the unit of your choice.
A used unit is a unit verified by the manufacturer or a verified service center that everything works and has low hours on the unit.
The hours on the machine can play a factor in the price, but never buy a used unit from an unauthorized or non-accredited company.
It can be risky to buy a used unit from someone online and unauthorized as it can mean the unit is not in good shape or may not work at all.
Buying through an accredited and authorized seller can provide you with a used unit that has been thoroughly looked through to make sure the unit is functioning and doesn’t need to be repaired at all or is repaired if any parts aren’t working.
A refurbished unit is a unit that is a used unit but has anything that may have been faulty or wearing down replaced.
This will often go back to the manufacturer or a verified service center through the seller to get fixed and repaired as the machine may need.
Refurbished units may cost you a bit more than used because parts have been repaired and replaced, making them last a bit longer than an un-repaired machine.
When buying an oxygen concentrator, shop around. Never purchase a unit without looking around at other companies, but always make sure that you buy from an accredited and authorized seller.
You may buy from an unauthorized seller and end up with a unit that breaks and you cannot return or send it in for repairs.
There is not a huge difference in the machine you buy, new/used/refurbished as they all are providing you with the same product, filtered oxygen.
There may be a cost difference, but above all you should look at the company you choose to buy from.
Look for a company that offers lifetime tech support and assistance if you ever have an issue with your machine.
Cost can be a factor in which unit you chose to purchase, brand new will run you a bit more but they unit is new, and the warranty tends to be better.
A used unit is looked over thoroughly before it is sold but may have more hours than a refurbished unit.
Lastly a refurbished unit may come with a short warranty but with more updated parts and repairs as needed.
Overall when you are looking for a unit that is best for you, speaking with a respiratory specialist can help give you a better idea of what will work for you and your needs.