When to Replace CPAP Supplies

October 11, 2022 | CPAP Tips & Tutorials |

When to Replace CPAP Supplies

Why You Should Change Your CPAP Mask

All CPAP masks have a lifespan, which is amount 3 months. Over time the masks become worn, and the seal becomes less effective, which means you do not receive the highest performance from your CPAP therapy.  Some CPAP masks may begin to show wear even before their expiration date, depending on the amount of use they receive.

You may begin to notice when your CPAP mask is wearing out if:

  • You hear grinding sounds while the CPAP machine is running
  • You see warning lights that flash regularly on your CPAP machine
  • You start to experience facial redness, sores, and discomfort

You may also notice that you have to tighten your headgear more than usual to achieve a proper seal or that the cushions feel brittle to the touch. These are also signs that it is time to replace your CPAP mask.

How Often Should You Replace Your CPAP Mask?

You may follow the guidelines provided by the CPAP manufacturer for mask replacement. But all masks experience different levels of use, which may mean you need to replace yours sooner. Look for the indications that your mask is wearing out such as poor seal, deteriorating cushions, or side effects from mask wear such as marks on your face.

While following manufacturer guidelines is good, use your own judgment for deciding when a CPAP mask needs to be replaced.

Some masks may require some of the other parts to be replaced as well. Replacing headgear or replacing nasal cushions or nasal pillow cushions, depending on the type of CPAP mask you use, may require more frequent replacement to maintain proper performance.

Where Can I Buy CPAP Masks?

You can shop for your CPAP masks online. Shopping online at a medical supply store gives you more options with your CPAP mask selection, including varied manufacturers, the type of CPAP mask you are interested in, competitive pricing, and user reviews. You can also talk online with helpful experts to help you make your selection.

Shopping for your CPAP mask online is often easier and faster as they can ship your mask to you promptly.

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Why Change Cushions or Pillows?

Changing cushions or nasal pillows helps ensure that you are getting the best deal with your CPAP mask. Both cushions and nasal pillows wear out quickly with daily use and the seal becomes easily compromised. Also, because cushions and nasal pillows have direct contact with your skin every night you use CPAP therapy, they can become especially dirty which can lead to skin irritations, sores, or red marks.

You may notice if you do not change your cushions or nasal pillows that you may have to tighten your headgear more or make more frequent adjustments to your CPAP mask to get a proper seal. That is because the cushions or pillows are working harder to keep the seal as they wear out.

How Often Should You Replace Cushions or Pillows Based on The Type of Mask?

Follow your mask manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to replacing your cushions or your nasal pillows. They are replaced more frequently as they incur more wear and tear with daily use.

Just know that while manufacturer guidelines are helpful, they do not account for your actual personal use of the CPAP mask. If you use your mask more often you may have to change your cushions or your pillows more often.

Use your best judgment when deciding when to change your cushions or pillows. You can look for telltale signs of wear including:

  • Discomfort when you use your CPAP mask, including sores or red marks, or skin irritation
  • Difficulty getting a good seal, often having to adjust or overtighten the mask to make it fit securely

Where Can I Buy CPAP Mask Cushions and Pillows?

You can find CPAP mask cushions and pillows at most medical suppliers. You can also shop for your cushions and pillows online. Shopping online at a medical supply store gives you more options with your cushion and pillow selection, including specific manufacturers, quantities of cushions and pillows, competitive pricing, and user reviews. You can also talk with helpful experts online to help you make your selection.

Shopping for your CPAP mask cushions and pillows is often easier and faster as they can ship your supplies to you promptly.

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Why Change Headgear and Chin Straps?

Your headgear and chinstraps will also occasionally need to be changed. Headgear and chin straps become loose over time, losing their ability to maintain a strong and secure seal. The materials for both headgear and chinstraps can also start causing skin irritations making wearing them uncomfortable. If you make numerous adjustments to your headgear or chin strap the straps can become too slack for further adjustment.

You may notice that you need to overtighten your headgear to get it to fit right or get a secure seal. This is a clear indication that the straps have become too loose, and the headgear needs to be replaced. A chin strap may start to irritate the chin or other contact points. This means it’s time to replace.

How Often Should You Replace Your Headgear and Chin Strap?

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for replacing your headgear and chin strap. They will not be required to be replaced as often as your CPAP mask or cushions and pillows. Replace your headgear or chin strap about every 6 months. While manufacturer guidelines are helpful, they may not account for your personal use.

If you experience any skin irritation or notice that the headgear or chin strap is no longer comfortable or staying secure, then replace it sooner than the requirements outlined in your manual.

The more often you use your headgear or chin strap the more likely it may have to be replaced sooner. Also cleaning your headgear or chin strap regularly can help retain the integrity and make it last longer.

Where Can I Buy New CPAP Mask Headgear and Chin Straps?

You can find headgear and chin straps at most medical suppliers. You can also shop for your headgear and cushions online. Shopping online at a medical supply store gives you more options with your headgear and chin strap selection, including, competitive pricing and user reviews. Most CPAP masks come with headgear which helps to select a new one much easier. You can also talk with helpful experts online to help you make your selection.

Shopping for your headgear and chin strap online is often easier and faster as they can ship your supplies to you promptly.

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Why Change CPAP Tubing?

Changing your CPAP tubing regularly is critical for maintaining sanitary and effective CPAP therapy. CPAP tubing usually becomes cracked over time, leading to air leaks that reduce air pressure on your CPAP machine. CPAP tubing also becomes contaminated with bacteria more easily if connected to a humidifier. While regular cleaning helps maintain sanitary conditions, it is still a good idea to change the CPAP tubing often.

Most manufacturers will offer guidelines for when to change the tubing, you may notice that the tubing may need to be changed more often, depending on how often you use your CPAP equipment. Rather than rely entirely on manufacturer guidelines, look for indications that your tubing needs to be replaced.

Look for:

  • Cracks or fissures in the tubing where air escapes
  • Listen for whistling or blowing air when you use your CPAP machine

How Often Should You Replace CPAP Tubing?

While most manufacturers recommend replacing your CPAP tubing about every 3 months, you may need to replace it more often because of the frequency of your CPAP therapy. Pay attention to the performance of your CPAP machine. Low pressure even when you have the machine on a high setting may indicate that you are losing pressurized air through holes or cracks in the CPAP tubing. Noisy CPAP machines are often the result of leaky CPAP tubing. Before returning your CPAP machine see if leaking air from the tubing may be causing the disruptive noise at night.

If you feel like you are getting sick often after using your CPAP machine, it may mean that the tubing is getting dirty and needs to be changed. No matter how often you clean your tubing it still captures a lot of bacteria, especially if you use a humidifier.

Where Can I Buy CPAP Tubing?

You can find CPAP tubing at most medical suppliers. You can also shop for your tubing online. Shopping online at a medical supply store gives you more options including, competitive pricing and user reviews as well as different lengths of tubing available. You can also talk with helpful experts online to help you make your selection.

Shopping for your CPAP tubing online is often easier and faster as they can ship your supplies to you promptly and online medical suppliers like The CPAP Shop give you rewards as a return customer.

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What Causes CPAP Filter to Turn Black?

If you never change your CPAP filter, the particles in the air will begin to accumulate on the filter, turning it black. Poor indoor air quality may also be affecting the filter, including airborne particles from cigarette smoke and candles.

How Often Do You Change Filter in CPAP Machine?

Check your CPAP machine’s user manual for specific filter replacement information. Filters generally should be replaced twice a month depending on how often the machine is used.

We suggest you keep a calendar by your CPAP machine and mark the dates you need to clean or replace your CPAP filters. Remember, the white CPAP filters are disposable and should be replaced bi-weekly. The black CPAP filters are washable and should be washed each week and replaced every six months. Following your CPAP filter replacement schedule can help you get the rest you need.

Why Change Humidifier Water Chambers?

Humidifier water chambers often become breeding grounds for bacteria because of the excess moisture. While regular cleaning can help ensure proper sanitation, changing the water chamber on a schedule can also help ensure that you are not getting sick from a damaged or infected water chamber.

While most manufacturers recommend changing the humidifier water chamber every six months, your frequent personal use may require that you change the water chamber more often.  Although manufacturer guidelines are helpful, use your best judgment when it comes to healthy CPAP therapy. Look for some of the telltale signs of a water chamber that needs replacing:

  • Discolored or cracked water chamber
  • One that doesn’t work well, often not emitting water properly into CPAP tubing

How Often Should You Replace Humidifier Water Chamber?

Following manufacturer, guidelines are the best way to schedule when to change your humidifier water chamber, usually every 6 months. But your personal use may require changing the water chamber more often. Be sure to look for signs that the chamber is cracked or discolored. Also, regularly clean your water chamber to help it last longer. Washing the chamber in warm, soapy water can help kill bacteria that may enter your CPAP tubing and then your mask.

But cleaning only goes so far. Be sure to always check for decay so that you are not simply cleaning a damaged part.

If you notice a lot of sinus infections after using your CPAP machine, it may indicate that your humidifier water chamber is beyond cleaning and may need to be replaced.

Where Can I Buy Humidifier Water Chambers?

You can find most humidifier water chambers at medical supply stores. They offer many brand names that fit your CPAP machine. You can also shop online, which is easier and gives you immediate access to more options. You can search by manufacturer and find your replacement part quickly and easily. With online suppliers, you can also get expert help directly to find your part right away and from some suppliers, you can receive rewards as a repeat customer.

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Why Change CPAP Machines?

Getting a new CPAP machine is also an opportunity to take advantage of new comfort features and technology that may not have been available when you received your current machine. Recent advances include:

Quieter motors. Nothing keeps you awake like a noisy CPAP machine.

Improved humidification. Older models may have outdated humidification systems that may provide too much or too little moisture. Newer models may do more to help prevent rainouts.

Advanced sleep data access. Newer models can help you store your sleep data so you can review your CPAP therapy progress from night to night. Some systems allow you to send your sleep data to your doctor for review.

Also, CPAP machines just simply wear out over time. When your CPAP machine is getting noisy and less effective than it may be time to change it for something new.

How Long Do CPAP Machines Last?

Most CPAP machines last about 4 to 5 years, depending on how much they are used.  Signs that your CPAP machine needs to be replaced include:

A suddenly noisy machine. If your CPAP machine was quiet before and noisy now, especially when you inhale, then it may be time for a new machine.

You still experience sleep apnea symptoms. If your bed partner still complains that you snore during your CPAP or if you wake up still feeling drowsy, clearly the CPAP machine is not working properly. After checking the tubing and mask for issues and if they appear to be in working order, then your CPAP machine may be the problem.

Time for an upgrade. The most common reason most patients choose to get a new CPAP machine is to benefit from advanced features and performance. If you have an old CPAP machine, you are missing out on improved technology that makes managing sleep apnea a better experience.

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Where Can I Buy CPAP Machines?

You can find most CPAP machines at medical supply stores. They offer many brand names with a diverse range of features. You can also shop online, which is easier and gives you immediate access to more options. You can search for my manufacturer and find the most suitable CPAP machine for you quickly and easily. With online suppliers, you can also get expert help directly to find your CPAP machine right away and from some suppliers, you can receive rewards as a repeat customer.

Shop CPAP Machines

Where to Buy CPAP Supplies Online

You can purchase CPAP supplies at The CPAP Shop. Find replacement mask parts, filters, and more all online. If you would like to learn more or have any questions, our expert staff would be happy to assist you. Call us at 866-414-9700.

Chris Vasta

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


2 Comments Leave new

  • Maria Salling

    Battery recommend for ResMed 11. Lost power 3 nights during Hurricane Ian. thankfully no problems breathing or snoring. Prefer my cpap for sleeping.

    Thank you
    Maria Salling

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