Yes, all CPAPs use at least one filter that is usually a type of foam material and washable. Some CPAPs offer finer filtration with the addition of a disposable paper filter.
Cleaning and changing filters is the only maintenance required for a CPAP machine.
The filters are located at the back of the machine at the air intake. The image below shows the black foam filter at the back of the Everest 3 CPAP Machine.
In what order do I insert the filters?
If both the foam and paper filters are used, the paper filter is inserted first with the smooth side against the machine and the soft, fuzzy side facing out. The tab is folded out for easy removal. The foam filter is placed on the outside to remove the larger dirt particles first.
If you are using a two colored filter, the colored side faces out as shown in the image below.
How often should I clean my filters?
Washable foam filters should be cleaned as soon as they become discolored. Depending on your environment, that may mean weekly cleaning.
Disposable filters should not be cleaned, just disposed of.
How often should I replace my filters?
Reusable foam filters should be replaced when they deteriorate and begin to fall apart, much as a sponge does. The foam filter should be washed with a mild detergent monthly and should be replaced every 3 months or more if the foam is torn.
Disposable fine filters should be discarded as soon as they become discolored or at least every 30 days.
Standard Disposable Filters for ResMed machines should be discarded every month or more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.
Hypoallergenic Disposable Filters for ResMed machines should be discarded every month or more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.
If you live in a house with pets or smoke, you may need to replace the filters more often.
What are reusable foam filters?
Foam filters are designed to collect larger dirt particles and animal fur. If two filters are used in a machine, the foam filter should be on the outside.
An example of a reusable foam filter is shown below.
What are disposable fine filters?
Ultra fine filters collect much smaller particles and are useful for those with allergies or sinus issues. These filters are not meant to be cleaned, but discarded when dirty.
An example of a disposable fine filter is shown below.
What is an In-line Outlet Bacteria Filter for CPAP/BiPAP?
Bacteria filters are fine enough to remove some bacteria and are clinically indicated when a CPAP machine is used by more than one person. However, many CPAP users find them helpful in reducing the occurrence of sinus infections and other nasal issues. Bacteria filters can be used with an CPAP/APAP/ or BiPAP machine.
Bacteria filters are housed in a plastic frame and are placed at the CPAP air outlet, rather than the air inlet. They may be used with humidifiers, but should be removed and allowed to air dry during the day.
This filter is placed at the air outtake for your machine if you are not using a humidifiers. If you are using a humidifier, it is placed at the air outake for your humidifier. The bacteria filter is placed in the air outtake and the CPAP hose is placed on the other end.
The entire housing is disposable and should be discarded as soon as matter becomes visible. A clogged Bacteria filter may affect the amount of air delivered by the CPAP.
An example of a bacteria filter is shown below. Follow by an image showing how it installed.