CPAP Therapy FAQs
How to care for your CPAP Equipment and Sleep Better
Does my CPAP Equipment need any maintenance?
To ensure you have the maximum trouble free use from your machine and mask it is important to undertake regular maintenance of your CPAP equipment. The most important maintenence is washing the mask,headgear, tubing and humidifier bowl, and changing the filters. We can check machine pressure, replace filters and clean humidifier chambers.
How should I clean my mask?
Wipe your mask daily using Clinell wipes or a clean damp cloth and leave to air dry. Once a week take the mask apart and wash in mild soapy water, including the headgear. We have a pure Castille soap solution which we recommend to use. Rinse and leave to air dry out of the sun.
Note: Fisher & Paykel grey foam mask supports are not to be put in water – wipe only.
How often should I clean my tubing?
Disconnect your tubing and hang it up to dry daily. It is recommended that you clean your CPAP tubing weekly. Gently wash the tubing in a solution of mild soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and air dry, allowing it to drain.
When should I change my machine's filters?
Philips Respironics CPAP machines have 2 filters, a grey filter and a white filter. It is recommended that the grey filter is washed at least once every 2 weeks and replaced with a new one every 6 months. The white filter should be replaced after 1-2 months of use or sooner if it appears dirty.
Fisher and Paykel Icon Machines have a white filter. This should be replaced every 2-3 months, or sooner if it appears dirty. The new SleepStyle machines have a black filter that can be washed and should be replaced every 3- 6 months. They also have a white filter that removes finer dust, replace these every 2 months.
ResMed machines all have a white filter - We recommend they are replaced every 2 months, depending on conditions. Do not wash these filters as they will lose their ability to catch the dust.
Please phone us if you can't find your filter, as it will eventually stop your machine from working. We can post filters anywhere in Australia if necessary.
How often should I change the water in my humidifier? Every day....
Fill your humidifier with fresh water every night to the suggested line mark on the chamber. Manufacturers recommend distilled water which we can sell to you in 10 litre boxed container for ease of use. Empty your humidifier every morning, rinse and leave it upside down to air dry. If a scum appears on the bottom of the chamber then you can use a solution of one (1) part white vinegar to two (2) parts warm water to help lift it off. Soak, scrub using an old toothbrush or small bottle brush, rinse thoroughly and leave to air dry. You can also run this vinegar solution through your tubing once a month to reduce calcium salts buildup.Rinse thoroughly to remove the smell.
How often should I have a download?
The clinicians at About Sleep would like to see all their clients at least once a year, to ensure that your therapy is on track. Make a booking now if you haven't seen us for a while. Some machines stop working if you haven't cleared the data for a while (about a year). We will download your machine and check your equipment for faults in a 30 minute "CPAP therapy Review" This ensures you are getting the best treatment for your condition.
Why do I feel more tired now than when I started CPAP?
CPAP therapy is reliant on all the equipment being in good condition. If your mask is wearing out, you need to replace parts of it so you do not compromise your therapy. Worn headgear, split silicone, parts of masks missing all cause sub optimal therapy. This in turn, can cause you to become more tired during the day. We can help you with any part from any mask of our 3 manufacturers, up to 10 years old. But we do recommend that you try the new masks - you will love them more than your existing mask.
How long do CPAP masks last?
CPAP masks come with a 3 month warranty, and are expected to last about 6 months. Don't forget you are wearing the mask for up to 8 hours a day, and that is a lot of use. Some people get more than this, with careful use and regular cleaning. If only one part of your mask has broken or perished, you can buy just that piece in most cases. Replace you headgear and silicone seal as often as required to get the best health outcomes for you.
What is Ramp?
All CPAP machines have a ramp facility. Once you turn on a CPAP machine, if you have enabled ramp, your machine will stay at a lower pressure for the time of the ramp that you have set. As the name suggests, the pressure ramps up to the prescribed pressure over the time period set. Philips machines have a button (with a triangle on it) that once pressed, the pressure will drop to the "ramp" pressure. Resmed machines do not have this feature, but patients can turn the machine off and on again to get the same effect. (or allow auto on to turn it on again) . F&P machines do have a ramp, - ask us how to set it if required. They also have Sensawake - which causes the machine to drop in pressure if it senses that you are awake.
Auto On/Auto Off
Both Resmed and Philips machines from the last 10 years have this feature, which can be enabled if required. This means that if you breathe through your mask, the machine will detect this, and turn itself on. Once you take the mask off, the machine will turn itself off. This can be useful for elderly patients who do not notice that the machine is still running.