Care and Maintenance of CPAP Humidifiers
Caring and maintaining your humidifier is as easy as emptying and cleaning its water tank after each use. The important thing to remember when filling up the humidifier after each cleanup is to use distilled water.
What’s wrong with using tap water for the humidifier?
Tap water will surely leave traces of mineral deposit at the bottom of the chamber when the water evaporates. These white mineral deposits in the chamber will not only hinder optimum performance of the humidifier but might also lead to harmful mold growth. There have been reported cases of lung diseases in direct link to using contaminated water in CPAP humidifiers. In this connection it is best to use CPAP cleaning solutions to avoid contamination. These solutions are effective in eliminating pathogens such as: Herpes Simplex virus type 1& 2, HIV-1, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeuginosa, E. coli, Influenza, Salmonella and more.
If distilled water is not available, bottled water will do. Remember to clean the chamber after a night’s therapy. It is very important to not leave standing water in the humidifier’s chamber between uses.
Proper Humidifier Maintenance
To keep your CPAP, BiPAP or APAP machine in good working condition, cleaning and changing the filters must be regularly done. This way all internal parts will be free from dirt and dust. Paper filters should be regularly changed after at least 30 days or if they are soiled or dirty. If foam filters are used, they should be carefully rinsed out with clean water at least once a week. They should be thoroughly air-dried before reinserting.
For improved air quality of the humidifier, the area where the machine sits should be free from dusts and dirt also.
The air intake part of the humidifier must be free from any blockage such as bedding, curtains, papers, furniture, equipment or any form of material that could easily block the machine and reduce airflow.
If the humidifier is attached to the CPAP machine, make sure it is detached from the machine before picking or lifting it up. Spillage from the humidifier could easily wet the CPAP machine, damaging it in the process. Note that water damage to the CPAP is void from warranty. Make sure you remove the chamber from the humidifier then detached the humidifier from the CPAP machine instead of carrying them together.
Even if you don’t feel like cleaning the humidifier after usage, make sure you empty the chamber so as to avoid any water-related accident to the CPAP machine.
Heated Humidifier and Battery Power
A heater humidifier will definitely run on a 12-volt battery but its length of performance will be significantly shortened. However, there are some brands of humidifiers that are not compatible to run on 12-volt battery power source.
If you have any questions regarding usage and maintenance of your CPAP humidifier, call us any time. Next week we continue with our blog series on CPAP humidifiers.