The cost of running an oxygen concentrator.

The cost of electricity to operate your oxygen concentrator may be a medical deduction for your tax returns.  To compute the cost, do the following: 

Look at the label on your concentrator. It states the number of volts and amps the concentrator uses. For this example, we will use  115 volts at 4 amps.

Then you calculate the number of kilowatt (KW) hours per year as follows:

1) Compute the number of watts
115 volts x 4 amps = 460 watts (W)

2) to convert this to kilowatt hours
460 W x .001 KW/W = .46 KW

3) to compute the number of killowatt hours used.
For this example, we are assuning that the concentrator runs 24 hours per day, every day of the year.
. 46 KW x 24 H/day x 365 days/year
= 4,029.6 KWH/Y

4)Multiply the above result by the cost per KWH for electricity.
You can call your electric company for the cost for your area.

Using 11.04 cents for this example (the average for all U.S. in 2010)
4,029.6 KWH/Y x $0.1104/KWY = $444.87 (the yearly cost)

Check with your tax preparer to see if this along with any other medical expenses which you pay for can be used in your US tax return,

12 Responses to “The cost of running an oxygen concentrator.”

  1. Marybeth says:

    Wow, the yearly cost is high. I guess you could say it is nickel and diming a user to death. It is still a lot even if you can take a tax deduction for it, because the deduction only saves you a small part.

    Now I undersand why some people are so emphatic about using liquid oxygen.

    • Mary-IN says:

      Cost is certainly a factor in choosing to use liquid. Of even greater concern is the weight of portables. Carrying liquid portables allows you to have more time away from home with less weight. Liquid also does not stop when the electricity goes out. An even greater concern with concentrators is that they can appear to be working…you can hear them…but they are not producing oxygen. These days though most companies are pushing the concentrators and home-fill systems. Liquid is labor intensive. Someone has to come and fill the tank every week or two and that requires a lot more than having an “on-call” repairman or someone who comes and checks your concentrator ever six months or so if they remember to do it.

  2. Patty says:

    Mary’s 3-31-11 note above is the first I’ve heard that concentrators may be running but not making oxygen. Can anyone tell me more about that?

    Thank you.

  3. mikos says:

    I, like patti, would like to hear more on this issue of concentrators running but not making oxygen. my Pulmonologist is prescribing one for me as I will be able to use the concentrator anywhere: USA, EEC electric, can charge in auto, airlines accept them for flying It will have a back up battery, I will be able to travel anywhere in the world with it. Weight 4.9 lbs.

    • Tom says:

      Many of todays oxygen concentrators have a low oxygen sensor alarm and will trigger when oxygen purity drops to 85% or less. Call your homecare company to see if your concentrator has this feature.

  4. Lilly says:

    I heard from a friend of mine that their father was on Oxygen and they didnt have to pay for the electric that their oxygen runs on. They had some kind of company that had the electric company not charge them. Do you know what this company is by any chance?

  5. Barb says:

    ALWAYS!!! And, I emphasize ALWAYS check to see if the water container (if using water for humidity) is on correctly. If it is not you will not receive any oxygen until it is corrected.

  6. Chris says:

    My wife has a concentrator and we have Southern California Edison for power. They have a program called Medical Baseline Allowance which basically gives us double the kwh in our lowest tier. When we first moved we were always in the highest tier midway through the month but now we have rarely gone into the 2nd tier. All we had to do was print the application from their website and have her doctor fill out the medical necessity form and fax or mail it in to them. I would highly recommend that everyone check with their respective power companies and inquire about such a program, it will save you TONS of money.

    • Cindy says:

      This option is NOT available in Las Vegas, NV!!! I just called & spoke to someone. We are just a few dollars over in being eligible for financial help with our electric bill. I have my mother-in-law in my home on oxygen. She has been with use for 8 years & has been on oxygen for 2 years. My father-in-law also lives with me, fortunately he is not on oxygen yet.
      How can people taking care of their elderly parents get help????? So frustrated!

      • Ellen says:

        Just moved to las vegas. Had I known that electricity was so expensive I may not have made the decision to come here. Have resorted to not using my oxygen @ night to save on the power bill. We need to lobby for a plan similar to so cal edison’s miedical baseline in nevada. What used to cost me $85 per month for electricity in california now costs nearly $300 here in vegas. This is almost criminal.

  7. Nancy says:

    You can purchase a pen-like device which measures the oxygen feeding into the tubing. I always checked it AFTER installing fresh water to the concentrator. Typically, there are careless re-setting mistakes which cause the oxygen to be depleted. One common error is in the threading of the water canister upon refill. Another could be in not properly securing one of the tube connections, and a kink in the tubing. Also, if by chance, water gets improperly routed in the tubing, of any degree, a drop will occur in oxygen flow. Best way to prevent, keep the device handy and test the flow at the point it attaches to the nose cannula section. If output is less than your prescribed setting, troubleshoot from the water bottle at the concentrator and follow the tubing inspecting it until you discover the culprit. Always check the meter gauge and these can be purchased at most medical suppliers carrying oxygen therapy related products OR on the internet for about ten dollars! Hope this helps! AND CHECK the output at the endpoint of tubing
    Daily as well as each time the concentrator is turned off for any reason. I kept a backup tank handy and checked it also before attaching the cannula.

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