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How Does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?

What Is an Oxygen Concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator (also sometimes called “oxygen generator”) is a medical device used to deliver oxygen to those who require it. People may require it if they have a condition that causes or results in low levels of oxygen in their blood. These oxygen concentrators are normally obtained via prescription and therefore cannot be purchased over the counter. Oxygen concentrators are powered by plugging in to an electrical outlet or by battery. If the concentrator is powered by an electric battery, that battery will need to be charged by plugging into an outlet. Several parts make up a concentrator, including a compressor, sieve bed filter and circuit boards.

So how does an oxygen concentrator work differently from other oxygen delivery systems? An oxygen concentrator has a compressing element, but it should not be confused with compressed oxygen or an oxygen tank. The compressed oxygen in an oxygen tank has a set amount of oxygen that it dispenses to the user, eventually requiring a refill or replacement when that oxygen runs out. People using compressed oxygen tanks must keep several on hand to ensure that they do not run out. An oxygen concentrator, on the other hand, pulls in air from the atmosphere, purifies it, compresses it and then delivers the oxygen-rich air continuously to the user. Because the oxygen concentrator simply uses the surrounding air to create oxygen-rich air, the air supply will never run out. Instead of refilling compressed air, an oxygen concentrator just needs access to power.

How Does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?

If you are still wondering, “How does an oxygen generator work,” here are some additional details. An oxygen concentrator works much like a window air conditioning unit: it takes in air, modifies it and delivers it in a new form. An oxygen concentrator is engineered to take in the surrounding air, compressing and purifying it by removing other agents that make breathing difficult for the person receiving supplemental oxygen. Oxygen-rich air is produced and ready for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.

An oxygen generator works by:

  1. Taking in air from its surroundings
  2. Compressing air, while the cooling mechanism keeps the concentrator from overheating
  3. Removing nitrogen from the air via filter and sieve beds
  4. Adjusting delivery settings with an electronic interface
  5. Delivering the purified oxygen to the user via a nasal cannula or mask

How does a portable oxygen concentrator work differently from a stationary oxygen concentrator? Quite simply, a portable oxygen concentrator is made to travel with you, so they are lighter than a stationary concentrator and are able to run on battery power. Otherwise, portable concentrators work the same way as a stationary system.

Inogen Oxygen Concentrators

Inogen was founded on the conviction that oxygen therapy technology needed to advance in order to help patients continue to live long, active lives. We believe oxygen therapy should help improve your life, not make it more difficult. As a result, we worked to create our compact, lightweight oxygen concentrators to help free patients from heavy, cumbersome tanks, awkward travel, being stuck in one spot and managing refills or replacements. With Inogen, you can reclaim your freedom, mobility and independence, allowing you to live the way you want while getting the oxygen you need. Oxygen. Anytime. Anywhere.

If you’ve been using an oxygen tank system or a stationary oxygen concentrator and you want to learn more about how to use a portable oxygen concentrator, read on to learn about the Inogen One G4 or G3 portable oxygen concentrators. If you prefer a stationary concentrator for your home, learn below about our stationary oxygen concentrator, the Inogen At Home:

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Inogen One G4 Oxygen Concentrator

Inogen One G3 Oxygen Concentrator

Inogen At Home Oxygen Concentrator

Inogen One G4 Systems

The Inogen One G4 System is our most technologically advanced portable oxygen concentrator. The next innovation in portable oxygen, the Inogen One G4 is clinically validated to deliver oxygen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Designed to be remarkably small, the Inogen One G4 portable oxygen concentrator is one of the lightest and quietest units available for oxygen therapy today. Weighing only 2.8 pounds, this portable oxygen concentrator is easy to take with you, wherever you go. It offers 1-3 flow settings, using our proprietary Intelligent Delivery Technology®, ensuring that oxygen therapy is delivered effectively and efficiently in all modes of use, whether users are asleep, at rest or exerting themselves. The Inogen One G4 System also includes a Bluetooth System and the Inogen Connect App, helping you monitor your oxygen use and your Inogen One System through any supported device. Additionally, you will receive a carry bag, user manual, AC/DC power supplies and your single rechargeable battery with a life of up to 5 hours. Your Inogen One G4 System meets FAA requirements and is covered by a Standard 3-year warranty. However, if you choose to purchase one of our three Freedom Packages, you will receive everything listed above, as well as additional batteries and a lifetime warranty, freeing you from worry.

Inogen One G3 Systems

The Inogen One G3 portable concentrator allows you to enjoy oxygen anytime, anywhere, even while you travel. This model provides 5 flow settings and infinite oxygen as long as the concentrator has power. It is lightweight, weighing 4.8 pounds, and provides the quiet energy efficiency and easy operation of all Inogen oxygen concentrators. This model is clinically validated for use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and uses our proprietary Intelligent Delivery Technology® to ensure that oxygen therapy is delivered efficiently and effectively in each mode of use, oxygenating patients whether they are exerting themselves, at rest or asleep. The Inogen One G3 System comes with the G3 concentrator, a single rechargeable battery with a life of up to 10 hours, AC/DC power supplies, a user manual and a carry bag. The Inogen One G3 System also meets FAA requirements and is covered by a standard 3-year warranty. To receive a lifetime warranty and additional batteries, purchase one of the three Freedom Packages and free yourself from concern about running out of power or other issues.

Inogen At Home

The Inogen At Home is our stationary oxygen concentrator. One of the most energy-efficient, lightweight stationary oxygen concentrators available, the Inogen At Home weighs 18 pounds—half the weight of many other home oxygen concentrators currently being used. The Inogen At Home is energy-efficient, using just 100-watts of energy on Flow Setting 2 and saving you money on your electricity bill. Even better, although this oxygen concentrator provides you with 5 liters per minute continuous flow oxygen, it is extremely quiet. If you need a stationary oxygen concentrator, try Inogen’s At Home oxygen concentrator for your oxygen therapy.

Learn More

Still want to learn more about oxygen concentrators? Check out our infographic on the History of Oxygen Concentrators.

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