This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Colleen Steele 4 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #17245
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    The days are getting warmer as summer is quickly approaching. The nice, but sometimes very hot weather, will lure you outside and when it does what will you do to safely use and protect your portable oxygen concentrator from the sun, heat, camp fires, etc.? I found this article with a lot of good tips and things to think about while adventuring out this summer with your oxygen. https://www.1stclassmed.com/blog/portable-oxygen-concentrators-and-summer-heat

  • #17268
     Vanessa Vaile 
    Participant

    I’d been thinking about how to keep myself and oxygen concentrator cool enough on hotter summer days and especially nights in a stuffy bedroom made warmer and stuffier by OC generated heat. Ceiling fans and an evaporation cooler helped me manage summers without A/C but not this year now that I’m sharing my bedroom with a concentrator. As days get warmer, I’ve been experimenting with ventilation and fan placement. A small fan on the floor blowing directly across the air vents makes a huge difference.

    Seeing the thread title, I thought, “wonderful, this is just what I need.” Then I looked at the article, groaned and then laughed. For me (and possibly others on limited fixed incomes and Medicare/Medicaid), POC issues seen, as the saying goes, like a first world problem. Medicare (and many less comprehensive insurance policies) covers a single concentrator, usually an HOC (home oxygen concentrator), but not an additional POC until time to renew the 5 year contract. I’m not sure of how adding a POC then would work but, at 75 and 4 years off, I won’t worry about that just yet.

    But yes, POC deficit not withstanding, the weather lures me outside. I walk with my oxygen tank ~ either a C tank strapped into utility cart or a smaller tank in my backpack depending on how long I expect to be out and what for.

    Here’s a more recent (2018) article about summer POC/HOC care with a useful reference chart for operating and storage temperature ranges. FYI <b>both</b> articles are from commercial oxygen DME suppliers — as are most others (usually COPD related) turning up in oxygen related searches.

    • #17326
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      I use a HOC as well as a POC when I get out of the house for very long. I live on the Texas Gulf Coast, so it’s always hot and humid it seems. Neither of my oxygen machines do well with heat and direct sunlight so it can become challenging.

      For my HOC, I put my concentrator in the next room, adding an extension connected to my cannula. I know not all have extra space, but I know these machines need good ventilation as well as make extra heat . I also have a ceiling fan running continuously in that room. I think we all have to use trial and error and when one finds something that works, sharing is the best!

      With my POC, it’s small and more manageable but it also does not like heat and I have to take precautions like taking indoor/ AC breaks for myself and the machine. I do watch fires from afar as far as like fire pits in the summer, etc and of course when it comes to S’mores, I have a longer stick or have someone else heat mine as often the smoke bothers me ,too.

      Overall with both, trying to keep the areas around the machines uncluttered, filters clean and ventilation is top priority. I know we all live in different climates , here the AC and fans are my biggest helpers. I tend to think of my machines like my body, we both do not do well in heat or direct sunlight for long! My oxygen guy tells me every time how well I clean my filters, how easy it is to do and not many do it . Do y’all clean your filters on your HOC ?

      Thanks for sharing Colleen!

  • #17271
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Vanessa, the problem you are having with the concentrator making your room stuffier was the same issue my son always had and the reason I thought of this topic. While on that search I found the article regarding the portables and I thought it would be helpful for those who will using them outside this summer. I think it gives good advice that would also apply to the oxygen tanks. My son always used the tanks too and not the portables. Darn, I’m sorry the article wasn’t what you where hoping for but I’ll dig around and see what I can find on our HOC heat issues. My son would do exactly what you said, played around with multiple fans in his room. On really hot nights (we don’t have air conditioning) he would place the HOC in the hallway and use his long tubing leading to his bed. That always helped quite a bit not having the concentrator in the room with him.

    Also, thank you for sharing the more recent article.

  • #17329
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Those are good tips Jen, thank you! I especially like your comment that you think of your machines like your body. They are very much a part of you and need to be taken care of too! I’m embarrassed to say I don’t remember cleaning the filters on my son’s HOC, just always made sure someone came out on occasion to do a maintenance check. How do you clean yours?

    The extension cannula worked well for my son too, so that he could keep his HOC in the hall and keep his room cooler. Sometimes someone would get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and stub their toe on it, but that’s ok, we survived, LOL!

    • #17335
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Thanks Colleen, haha, don’t feel bad, I know you’re not the only me who hasn’t cleaned the filters. I still have my oxygen guy come out every few months to check my machine , but I DO clean the filters and was told we all should to be sure they are working efficiently.

      I have an Invocare home-fill system , which is the concentrator on the bottom and a rack and the home-fill system on top. To easily change the filters, I just remove them , wash with a gentle soap or little antibacterial and rinse. Lay them flat to dry then put them back in. They are easy to spot on mine as both machines they are located on the back. I suggest if you use any gentle soaps, just a drop , you can even just rinse with warm water. I wash mine weekly .

  • #17339
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    That is a really helpful and important tip Jen! Thanks!

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