Alaska Sleep Education Center

CPAP Filters: Why filter replacement is so imporant

Posted by Laci Michaud on May 12, 2016 10:07:53 AM


As with any equipment you purchase, maintaining your CPAP is important.  An area often overlooked are the filters in your CPAP machine.  It is not only important to regularly change your filters for the health of your CPAP but it also directly impacts the user's health as well. 

What does a CPAP Filter do?

Filters protect your machine as well as your respiratory system. The CPAP machine takes in air from the room, filters it, and pressurizes it to deliver therapy to keep your airway open during sleep.

Today’s CPAP units can also suck up random small debris particles from the surrounding environment.   This can include items such as dust, pet dander, smoke, and other potentially harmful microcontaminants. The filters are designed to clear these elements from the air that is directed into the machine and ultimately to your lungs.

What do the CPAP filters normally look like?

There are typically two types of filters available for CPAP machines; disposable and non-disposable. Most filters are made of disposable materials. The most common ones are paper, foam, or a woven synthetic material that feels like polyester batting. 

The ultra fine disposable filters will look similar to this:


The non-disposable foam filters will look like this:


When should I conduct a filter replacement?

It is very important to regularly change your CPAP filters. Keeping these relatively inexpensive components as clean as possible will ensure the cleanliness of the air you breathe, as well as the long-term functionality of your device.  

It is generally recommended to change out the ultra- fine disposable filters at least once a month.  Some health insurance plans will cover the cost of these new filters every two weeks. 

It is recommended to clean the foam non-disposable filters at least once a month.  Purchasing brand new non-disposable filters is recommended once every six months. 

If you have any questions regarding when you need to replace your accessories for your CPAP machine click here for a recommended replacement schedule.


How do I change my filters on my machine?

Changing your filters is a fairly easy process.  If you look at the back of your machine, where the device draws air from the rooms, you will typically find where your filter is located.  Different brands and machine models can have their filters located in different areas but filters will typically be housed near the back of your machine.

If you have trouble finding where your filter is located, you can contact your durable medical equipment (link to ASC phone list) provider for some assistance or refer to your machine’s manual for reference.

If your machine has the option to house both types of filters place the thinner disposable filter in first, then the thicker reusable filter will go in last.  This way the reusable foam filter can trap the larger particles and the disposable filters can catch the finer debris.

Alaska and Allergies

If you are in a particularly dirty or dusty Allergies-996073-edited.jpegenvironment, you may choose to replace your filters more often. 

If you are an allergy sufferer, it is imperative to have the cleanest filters possible to avoid breathing in additional allergens when you are using your CPAP.  Don’t let allergies get in the way of your CPAP therapy.

It is also a good idea, especially in early summer, to check out the pollen levels in your surrounding areas and purchase your filters accordingly. 

To check the air quality in Anchorage, Alaska you can click here to get an idea of the pollen and spores in the air. To check the air qualities in Fairbanks, Alaska click here. 

Even if the filter appears clean, it should be replaced on at least a monthly basis. Keep yourself healthy and replace your filters as often as you should!  If you would like to order filters, accessories, or DME equipment the Alaska Sleep Clinic has that option available to you.  Click the link below to start the process and a durable medical equipment representative will contact you to get the purchase process started.

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Topics: CPAP

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