Just like with any equipment you purchase, CPAP machine maintenance is important. One particular area often overlooked is the importance, maintenance and replacement of CPAP machine filters. It’s not only important for your health to change the filters regularly, but it’s also essential for your machine’s health as well.
Importance of CPAP Machine Filters
Changing your CPAP air filter consistently can have a profound positive effect on the quality of your sleep as well as your lung’s overall health. Protecting your CPAP machine investment will result in added years of efficient use of your machine. Through this preventative measure, it can save you money in the long run — the better you take care of your filter system components, the better the machine will work and the longer use you’ll get from it.
Your CPAP device draws in the indoor room air, filters it, pressurizes it and delivers the air to your airways to keep them open while you’re sleeping. CPAP machines today can also suck up different types of small debris particles from your surrounding atmosphere. These different types of debris particles may include:
- Pet dander
- Potential harmful microcontaminants
CPAP machine filters are designed to clear these particles from the air delivered to the machine and then into your lungs.
Filters are not costly and regular replacement will add life to the machine greatly.
Two Main Types of CPAP Machine Filters
Many machines have two filters: disposable and reusable (non-disposable).
1) CPAP Machine Disposable Filters
You don’t need to clean disposable filters. You just throw them away when they expire. Typically, two filters come in a pack. As a general rule, you should replace the disposable filters every 30 days. These are simple to replace and you just throw away the old ones. Ensure you check that the filter is for the right model of machine you have since filters can be used for different types of CPAP.
2) CPAP Machine Reusable Filters
Non-disposable or reusable filters are made of a foam material that you clean by simply rinsing them out. These filters help to keep bigger particles out like dust and animal fur. You should clean them periodically, however, they still will eventually wear down and you’ll need to replace them. Every 90 days is a good time to replace them. They usually come in packs of two for various types of CPAP machines.
Although you should replace most CPAP machine components every few months, a reusable CPAP filter needs to be cleaned or replaced once a month, depending on which filter type you have in your machine. Filters can easily catch the bacteria found in air. The bacteria can pervade your respiratory system if you have dirty filters. If you have pets or smoke, you should replace these filters more frequently than every four weeks.
Examples of Disposable Filters
This hypoallergenic filter has a mixture of materials, with on side designed for warding off bigger particulate matter and the other to block fine particles.
This filter is a six-pack of fine, generic filters made to use with DreamStation CPAP devices. The filters help block fine particles from getting into the CPAP machine from the surrounding environment.
These filters come in a two replacement filter package for the AirMini AutoSet Travel CPAP machine. They aren’t meant to be washed, but instead thrown away and replaced every six months.
These filters come in a six-pack of fine disposable filters for all Respironics M Series devices.
Finally, these filters come in a 12 pack package of replacement filters intended to use with the AirMini AutoSet Travel CPAP device. They’re also not meant to be washed, but instead thrown away and replaced every six months.
Examples of Reusable Filters
These reusable foam filters include two reusable foam filters you can use for the All PR System One Series machines, All M Series machines and SleepEasy machines.
These reusable filters come with a two-pack of reusable, generic filters made for the DreamStation CPAP devices. You can clean and reuse them throughout their lifecycle.
These filters are replacement reusable foam filters you use in the Respironics REMstar Legacy devices.
The reusable black foam filters include two reusable foam filters you use for the IntelliPAP line of devices.
These filters come with a pack of one reusable foam filter designed for cleaning and reusing and made for the Puresom and Zzz-PAP CPAP machine, ComfortPAP machine and Apex XT machine.
How to Replace the CPAP Machine Filter
Buying a filter for a CPAP machine is simple and affordable and you can easily do it online through our store that offers various filters to match your CPAP device. Each is made of high quality and are competitively priced.
When replacing a filter, you simply find the air intake area at the back of the device and remove the old filter. Then you just insert the new filter. Most paper and foam filters will require you to insert the paper first then the foam part. If the filter you’re using has a plastic mesh side, you’ll have to insert the mesh facing into the device and the softer side facing out. If you see a tab, you can simply fold it to face out of the device to ensure simple removal the following month.
If you find you’re having difficulty locating your filter inside your machine, you can contact your reliable medical equipment provider to help you or refer you to the page in the machine manual for reference.
If your device is able to house both filter types, you’ll want to place the thin disposable filter in first and then the thick reusable filter next. This way your foam reusable filter will capture the bigger particles and the finer debris will be caught by the disposable filters.
Take Care of Your CPAP Filter Replacement Today
Taking care of your sleep apnea is vital and doing so correctly will benefit the quality of both your life and health greatly. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a risk of things like heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, even heart failure. Sleep apnea requires long-term management maintenance cleaning, along with regularly changing the reusable and disposable filters is part of this important CPAP machine maintenance.
David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it’s like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient’s perspective to the CPAP.com blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment.