Care and Replacement of CPAP Equipment

Tracy R. Nasca

You are about to experience the beginning of a new and improved period in your overall health and well being that only quality sleep without the presence of apneas can provide. CPAP therapy is the cornerstone of sleep apnea treatment and with consistent use, you will benefit greatly.

Your CPAP equipment is an important investment in your sleep health, take good care of it. Proper and routine care will help you prolong the life of your mask, machine and accessories.

Nearly all manufacturer defects for masks and machines will be apparent within the first days or weeks of use and well within the warranty time limit. Don’t leave your equipment vulnerable and within the reach of pets and small children; your mask is not a toy. Handle with care!

CPAP, AutoCPAP and BiLevel Machine Care

The outer casing of your CPAP should not require special maintenance. If necessary, unplug machine and wipe clean with a moist cloth using a mild pure soap detergent. Dry the unit thoroughly. Never submerge your CPAP in water.

Have your machine checked yearly, with a manometer, to make sure it’s delivering the correct prescribed pressure. Local home health care providers should provide this service at no charge. Be aware of the warranty expiration date of your machine; make sure to have it checked thoroughly by your local home healthcare provider routinely and always before the warranty period ends.

Humidifier Water Chamber

Use extreme caution not to spill any liquid on or about your machine, this may damage the interior circuits and void the warranty. When filling your humidifier water chamber, always remove it from the CPAP unit and fill it away from the machine. Distilled water is recommended by most manufacturers. Do not reuse water; empty unused water each morning. Each morning, clean water chamber with a 10 minute soak in a mild pure soap, rinse well and air dry after each use.

Cleaning Products and Cleaning Tips

Choose a mild pure soap for use in cleaning mask and tubing. Never use harsh soaps, chlorine bleach, antibacterial or alcohol based solutions. Aromatic solutions and scented oils should not be used. To cut soap residue or to disinfect, use 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water solution after cleaning.

CPAP Tubing Care

Tubing should be replaced annually or more often if needed. Tiny holes can develop that are hard to see with the naked eye. These holes can compromise the proper delivery of prescribed and adequate pressure. Pets seem to love cpap tubing, especially cat claws and tiny teeth. A tubing cover will protect the hose.

Clean tubing weekly. Fill sink with a mix of warm water and mild liquid soap. Lay tubing in mix to allow water to clean the entire inside surface area. A small baby bottle brush may be gently used to clean inside tubing if necessary. However be careful not to cut through the fragile tubing material between the coils. Rinse well and allow tubing to hang and air dry.

CPAP Machine Filters

Filters are inexpensive and routine replacement will greatly add to the life of your machine. Some machines have 2 filters; the non disposable filter is usually made of foam and usually grey or black in color. This simply needs weekly hand cleaning in a mild dish washing soap mix, then a clear water rinse and air dry. These will last for up to one year. The white fine filters should be replaced as needed when visibly discolored and dirty, just as you would your home air and furnace filters. The disposable fine filters generally need replacing every month or two.

CPAP Mask Care

The mask is comprised of different components being the outer frame, inside soft cushion and the headgear. The soft mask cushion that lies against our face is fragile and most vulnerable. To help add longevity to your mask, remove make-up at night, place mask on clean skin free of oils and moisturizers. Daily, clean the soft cushion with a mild pure soap mix and air dry. Handle the delicate cushion gently to avoid tearing. Weekly, the mask frame and headgear should be hand washed in the same gentle manner. Always air dry.

Replacement

The Medicare replacement schedule is provided below. Private insurance typically allows mask and tubing replacement every 6 months, filters every 90 days and machines every 5 years. Everyone’s private insurance replacement schedule will vary. Check to see what your durable medical equipment coverage allows.

CMS (Medicare) Recommendations for CPAP Supply Replacement

Item

HCPCS Code

Replacement Schedule

Full Face Mask

A7030 1 per 3 months

Full Face Cushion

A7031

1 per 1 months

Nasal Cushion

A7032

2 per 1 month

Replacement Pillow A7033 2 per 1 month

CPAP Mask

A7034 1 per 3 months
CPAP Headgear A7035

1 per 6 months

CPAP Chinstrap

A7036 1 per 6 months
CPAP Tubing A7037

1 per 3 months

Disposable Filter

A7038 2 per 1 month
Non-disposable Filters A7039

1 per 6 months

Oral Interface

A7044 1 per 3 months
Heated Humidifier E0562

5 Years

CPAP Machine

E0601

5 Years

Humidifier Chamber A7046

1 per 6 months

The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Contact your physician or health care provider when you have health related questions. Never disregard or delay medical advice because of information you have obtained on this site.