Doctors recommend oxygen concentrators for patients with mild respiratory disorders who cannot breathe the open air. Oxygen-providing equipment can also be used at home, and sometimes patients are offered portable ones.
Oxygen concentrators can produce hissing, rattling, or squeaky sounds. It is possible to use earplugs so that you don’t hear the sounds, but reducing the noise is definitely a better strategy.
This article will explain how to reduce noise from an oxygen concentrator.
Why does an Oxygen Concentrator Produce Noises?
Oxygen concentrators absorb atmospheric air and transform it into pure breathable oxygen. Older models of oxygen concentrators were designed so that the compressor is placed on rubber vibration mounts.
The purpose of the rubber mounts was to absorb vibrations and sounds released by the compressor. However, if the rubber breaks, you will hear crackling or hissing sounds.
Current models of oxygen concentrators have their compressors sitting on springs which reduces the sounds released, but not enough.
The component that is responsible for the sound in the oxygen concentrator is the motor.
Portable oxygen concentrators release only a little sound. On the other hand, home oxygen concentrators are associated with the most noise because they have bigger internal parts to enable a massive flow of oxygen.
So basically, the more oxygen a concentrator produces, the noisier it becomes.
A suggestion on how to reduce noise in an oxygen concentrator is by reducing the flow rate of oxygen.
So what happens if you already purchased a home oxygen concentrator? You have to figure out a way to reduce the sound.
Ways to Reduce Noise from Oxygen Concentrators
You may be researching and figuring out ways of quieting down your oxygen concentrator for several reasons.
Depending on the problem you are dealing with, an oxygen concentrator can produce sounds ranging from 30-70dB.
Here are some of the strategies on how to reduce noise from oxygen concentrators.
Reinforce the Internal Parts and the Casing
As the oxygen concentrator gets older, its casing and internal parts may begin to loosen.
The case is mounted to the motor using screws. The case attaches to the engine, is placed on springs, and is attached to the case.
So if the screws loosen or, by any chance, the case breaks, the oxygen concentrator starts to make noise.
Also, if the springs break, the motor will start banging on the case, thus, producing very annoying sounds.
I can confidently say that this is the worst-case scenario.
One method to fix this issue is to tilt the machine to lie on the side where the springs are still functional.
If the case of your oxygen concentrator is broken, you can replace it with one that has pads.
Smoothing the Surface
Multiple parts of the oxygen concentrator vent from the underside ensure enough room for proper airflow. If you are keen, you have noticed that most of the noise comes from the bottom of the oxygen concentrator.
Make sure you damp and adjust the bottom part to prevent air blockages.
The following are steps you can use to prevent air blockage:
Layer the bottom of the oxygen concentrator with cotton towels or woolen blankets
Lift the machine from the blanketed base using one or a half-inch thick board on the left and right sides.
You can also place clean dish sponges under each wheel and on the thick board, which is held in place by some carpet tape.
The essence of this procedure is to reduce the noise, as the layers of woolen blankets dampen the noise, and the sponges absorb any vibrations coming from the wheel.
Proper Placement in the Room
It may not sound like a serious issue, but oxygen concentrators produce low-frequency sounds that may mimic bass sounds from an audio device.
If you place the concentrator along a wall or on a hard corner, the sounds will worsen.
Consider placing the machine at least a foot from the wall.
Another way to reduce the acoustic vibrations is by soft-padding using wool on the vertical surfaces surrounding the machine to dampen them.
Reducing the Noise using a Muffler
Most oxygen concentrators have mufflers, and if they break, they can make a lot of noise. If the muffler breaks, you will need to repair it to avoid the noise.
If the muffler is assembled well, turn it a bit so that its plastic tie wraps are not in contact with any other components.
You can also check to ensure that the entire inside of the concentrator’s case and motor are covered in acoustic foam, except the bottom plate.
Ensure that there is room on the inside of the bottom plate, on both sides of the compressor, to accommodate fiberglass insulation.
The insulation may also play a part in reducing the noise.
Use fiberglass that is just enough so that you do not block the fan blades located on both ends of the compressor.
If you find this method complicated, you can stick to the damping procedure on the exteriors. Make sure you check all the three fans and ensure they are clean.
Placing the Oxygen Concentrator on a Smoother Surface
At this point, you know that the oxygen concentrator has an engine that keeps shaking on springs.
Therefore, if you place the machine on a hard surface, the sounds will be very loud. It would help if you considered using a smoother surface. Here are some examples of the materials you can use to reduce the noise.
- A dish sponge
- A rug or two
- A new carpet
- A piece of cloth
Cleaning the Oxygen Concentrator’s Filters
Your oxygen concentrator may be making noise because its filters are dirty.
If the oxygen concentrator you are using has reusable filters, ensure to clean them regularly as per the instructions in the manual.
If the air filters are replaceable, you should consider replacing them after six months or one year.
You can get the air filter kit easily, but ensure that you get one that matches your oxygen concentrator.
Using an Anti-Vibration Mat
As I stated before, placing your oxygen concentrator on hardwood floors or hard surfaces, in general, intensifies the noise because of increased vibrations.
Using thick rugs and towels can help to dampen the noise.
Note that the bottom part where you place the padding emits dust and dirt.
That is why I advise you not to use pieces of cloth you still use because the oxygen concentrator can destroy them.
What can you do if the padding you have used does not dampen the noise?
You can purchase an anti-vibration mat and use it instead of the padding. Anti-vibration mats can be used on other home appliances such as washing machines and dryers.
Increasing Oxygen Tubing
This is the simplest method to reduce noise from oxygen concentrators. It works when you do not want to do any repairs or straining procedures.
Suppose the noisy oxygen concentrator is in a hospital room. You can take the whole machine and place it outside the room with the aid of a longer oxygen tubing.
You should purchase an oxygen tube of your desired length depending on how far you want to take the oxygen concentrator.
Using a White Noise Machine
The purpose of a white noise machine is to obscure all the noises coming from the oxygen concentrator.
The white noise comes in handy, especially when you want to sleep and do not want any disturbances.
Another tip is to use regular house appliances such as the ceiling fan to mask the sound. This is effective only if the noise from your oxygen concentrator is not that loud.
How to Reduce Noise from Oxygen Concentrator
For some people, oxygen concentrators are a must-have item. Depending on the severity of some respiratory diseases, some individuals may have to carry an oxygen concentrator wherever they go.
Sounds produced by the machine can disturb you and the people around you.
Imagine placing an oxygen concentrator on the wall of a shared apartment. It can make your neighbors lose sleep. However, you can use the procedures mentioned above on how to reduce noise from an oxygen concentrator.
A summarized procedure on how to soundproof the machine is by redirecting the sounds from the bottom and ensuring that all the internal parts are steady.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.