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Types of Oxygen Tanks & Oxygen Tank Sizes

Types of Oxygen Tanks & Oxygen Tank Sizes

There are many different types of oxygen tanks on the market, allowing for a variety of options to meet different patient uses and needs. Here are the various types of oxygen available and why they are chosen for specific patients.

Types of Oxygen: Compressed Oxygen

Compressed oxygen tanks are what people typically think of when they think of oxygen. These tanks are one of the least expensive types of oxygen tanks and are usually covered by insurance. Though these types of oxygen tanks are quite heavy, there are smaller portable oxygen tank sizes you can fill using your larger tank. However, be aware that even small units can be heavy and you will need to take care to keep them upright to avoid issues with the tank.

Types of Oxygen: Liquid Oxygen

When oxygen is in a cold enough state, it turns to liquid. In its liquid state, a greater amount of oxygen can be placed in a tank while still weighing less than a compressed oxygen tank. These types of oxygen tanks are usually large, but as with the compressed oxygen, smaller portable oxygen tank sizes can be filled for better portability. However, there are some disadvantages to these types of oxygen units that users should be aware of. Liquid oxygen is more expensive than compressed oxygen, and it does not have as long of a shelf life as it will evaporate. Additionally, you are not able to take liquid oxygen tanks on a plane.

Oxygen Tank Sizes

Since both compressed and liquid oxygen tanks need to be refilled or replaced when they run out, another thing to keep in mind is the size of the different types of oxygen tanks. There are two different ways medical oxygen tank sizes are measured. The old method was to give the oxygen tank sizes letters, ranging from A to E, which indicated a specific size. In this categorizing system for medical oxygen tank sizes, A was the smallest unit while E was the largest. That was confusing for some users, so the newer method is to label oxygen tank sizes with M (for medical) with a number signifying the cubic feet of oxygen that each of the medical oxygen tank sizes will hold.

If you are unfamiliar with the new sizing and are concerned about finding the medical oxygen tank sizes you need, most suppliers will show you the conversion of the old technique to the new to ensure you get the size that is right for you.

Types of Portable Oxygen Tanks

You can get portable oxygen tanks for both compressed and liquid gas. These can be carried around your house, but often weigh over 10 pounds, making them hard to carry for long. When you leave your home, you will need smaller tanks, called ambulatory tanks, which usually weigh less than 10 pounds and allow for moving about more easily. You can ask your oxygen supplier about what portable oxygen tank sizes they offer and how they are offered. Many suppliers will deliver the larger types of oxygen tanks to your home and pick up empty tanks. Some suppliers deliver pre-filled portable tanks for you, too. If not, you will still need to fill your own portable oxygen tank sizes from your larger tank. If you find that the refilling process becomes difficult, or that even the ambulatory tanks are too heavy, talk to your doctor about whether a portable oxygen concentrator is right for you.

Oxygen Concentrators: The Smallest Types of Portable Oxygen Tanks

For the smallest, lightest weight portable oxygen tank sizes, a portable oxygen concentrator from Inogen is the ideal choice. Weighing 2.8 pounds for the G4 or 4.8 pounds for the G3, the Inogen One System portable oxygen concentrators offer improved freedom, mobility and independence with total portability and a long battery life. Inogen’s oxygen concentrators also do not need to be refilled, as they pull oxygen from the surrounding air, so you will not have to coordinate deliveries and get rid of empty tanks.

If you are trying to choose among types of oxygen tanks, and want to improve the quality of your life by simplifying the process of getting your oxygen and improving your ability to take your oxygen with you, try the Inogen One System today. As long as you have power, you will never run out of oxygen again. With Inogen portable oxygen concentrators, you get oxygen anytime, anywhere.

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