What to Do with an Old Oxygen Concentrator?

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If you or a loved one no longer needs an oxygen concentrator, you may be wondering what to do with the old device. Oxygen concentrators are medical devices that provide supplemental oxygen to people with breathing difficulties.

They can be expensive, costing anywhere from $600 to over $2000. So it’s understandable to want to find a good use for an old concentrator rather than just throwing it away.

I recently had to figure out what to do with my elderly father’s oxygen concentrator after he passed away. I did a lot of research and wanted to share what I learned, in case it can help others in a similar situation. You can also visit MainClinic Newsroom for some ideas. Here are some options for what to do with a used oxygen concentrator:

Donate It

One of the best things you can do with an old oxygen concentrator is donate it to someone in need. There are many people who require supplemental oxygen but can’t afford a concentrator. Donating yours could greatly improve their quality of life.

You can reach out to local hospitals, nursing homes, or charities to see if they accept donated oxygen equipment. Some non-profit organizations that may take concentrators include:

  • The American Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Local churches or community centers

Be sure to clean and sanitize the device thoroughly before donating. Include any accessories like tubing, filters, and the user manual if you have it.

Sell It

Another option is to sell the oxygen concentrator you used. While you likely won’t get back what you originally paid, you can still recoup some of the cost. Plus, it allows someone else to get a concentrator at a discounted price.

There are a few places you can try selling a used concentrator:

  • Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
  • Ebay
  • Specialized medical equipment resellers
  • Local buy/sell/trade groups

When listing it for sale, be honest about the condition, age and usage of the device. Take clear photos and provide as many details as possible. Keep in mind concentrators do require some maintenance, so factor that into your price.

Trade It In

Some oxygen equipment retailers and suppliers offer trade-in programs for old concentrators. They may give you credit for a new device or accessories.

Contact the manufacturer or the supplier you originally purchased from to ask about trade-in options. Even if they don’t offer a formal program, they may still take back old equipment.

Trading in is a good way to offset the cost of a replacement concentrator if you are upgrading to a newer model. Just make sure you are getting a fair value for your trade-in.

Recycle It

If the concentrator is very old or no longer working, recycling may be your best bet. Concentrators contain materials like plastic, metal and electronics that can be recycled and reused.

However, you can’t just put a concentrator in your regular recycling bin. These devices are considered e-waste or electronic waste. They must be recycled separately so the components can be safely broken down.

Many cities and towns have e-waste recycling centers or collection events. Check with your local waste management company to see what electronic recycling options are available in your area. Some retailers like Best Buy and Staples also have e-waste recycling programs.

Before recycling, remove any disposable accessories like filters, tubing or masks. Make sure to delete any personal settings or information stored on the device.

Use It For Parts

If you are handy or know someone who is, an old concentrator can be taken apart and used for parts and materials. Things like the motor, cooling fan, valves, and tubing may still be useful even if the concentrator as a whole no longer works.

Tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts may be able to repurpose these components for other projects. For example, the motor could power a homemade tool or robot. The valves and tubing could be used in a custom aquarium setup.

You can offer up the parts for free on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Or reach out to local maker spaces and tinkering groups to see if anyone is interested in the components. One man’s broken concentrator is another man’s treasure trove of parts!

Keep It As A Backup

My last suggestion is to keep the old concentrator as a backup, especially if you or a family member still require oxygen therapy. Having a spare can provide peace of mind in case the primary concentrator malfunctions or needs maintenance.

Of course, this only makes sense if you have room to store an extra concentrator. And you’ll want to make sure to run it periodically to keep it in working order. But if you rely on a concentrator, having a plan B is never a bad idea.

I ended up donating my dad’s gently used concentrator to a local charity that provides medical equipment to low-income seniors. They were thrilled to get it and I felt good knowing it would help someone else breathe a little easier.

Conclusion

I hope this overview of what to do with an old oxygen concentrator is useful. Everyone’s situation is different, so consider your options and go with what makes the most sense for you.

The important thing is finding a responsible way to dispose of medical equipment so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. Whether you donate, sell, recycle, or repurpose the concentrator, you’ll be doing some good.

To learn more about oxygen concentrators, visit the MainClinic Newsroom for helpful articles and resources. And if you need to purchase a new or used concentrator, they can help with that too. Stay well and breathe easy my friends!

Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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