Portable vs. at Home Oxygen Concentrators

It is no secret that the majority of doctors and oxygen therapy users prefer oxygen concentrators to oxygen tanks. Concentrators are much more convenient and flexible for those that use them. Those that require oxygen therapy love that concentrators are reliable, safe, and offer independence and freedom.

Some concentrators offer more independence and flexibility than others, however. It all boils down to two different types of concentrators: portable oxygen concentrators and at home concentrators.

Portable Concentrators

Portable concentrators are designed to be just that: portable! They can be used both at home or on the go, but are a much more convenient size and weight.

These units are typically smaller and a lot more compact than home concentrators, but they are effective and beneficial for those needing oxygen therapy.

Most portable units use an on-demand system or pulse flow system to deliver oxygen, which is why these units can be as small and compact as they are.  They run on rechargeable batteries (remember that battery life does vary), but can also be plugged into an outlet.

Portable units can only produce a maximum oxygen output of 3 liters per minute.

Portable concentrators are conveniently small enough to fit in your car and can be placed in carrying bags with shoulder straps for easy on-the-go moments.

Most major brands have been approved by the FAA for traveling on airplanes. O2 Assist offers many different portable options, including units that weigh less than five pounds.

Home Concentrators

At home concentrators, while typically small enough to move from place to place within your home, are much larger and a bit more difficult to maneuver than portable unit designs. They do, however, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights to fit the needs and specifications of your home.

Home oxygen concentrators most often use a continuous flow system (unlike the on-demand system used by many portable concentrators).

Home concentrators run on your home’s electricity, so be advised, the cost to run these machines will show on your monthly utility bill.  Most at home units provide 5-10 liters of oxygen every minute, which is much more than portable units. O2 Assist offers both 5 and 10 LPM (liters per minute) units.

These two different types of concentrators are similar in some ways, however. Both portable and at home concentrators work very much the same way in how the air is processed.

Each unit takes in air, changes it (compression sequence, filtering, removal of nitrogen), and delivers the new, purified, and concentrated oxygen to you via a nasal cannula. Deciding which concentrator is best for you is an important decision. It is best to consult with your doctor on this matter. T

o learn more about portable and at home concentrators, be sure to contact one of our knowledgeable representatives at O2 Assist.