Top Considerations When Hiring/Renting a Portable Oxygen Concentrator in Perth, Australia

In recent years, Perth has seen a significant increase in the reliance on portable oxygen concentrators. This shift is largely due to advancements in technology, making these devices more accessible and user-friendly for individuals requiring respiratory support.

Navigating the world of portable oxygen concentrators can be daunting, especially when you’re looking to hire or rent. With an increasing number of individuals turning to these life-enhancing devices for respiratory support, it’s crucial to make an informed choice that caters to your specific needs. This comprehensive guide aims to walk you through the vital considerations to ensure you select the best possible equipment for your respiratory requirements.


Top Considerations when Hiring/Renting a Portable Oxygen Concentrator in Perth, Australia


Assessment of Respiratory Requirements


It’s essential to begin with a clear understanding of your respiratory needs:

The foundation of choosing the right concentrator lies in a detailed consultation with healthcare professionals. They assess your oxygen levels and recommend a device that delivers the correct amount of oxygen per minute, considering factors like your activity level and the severity of your respiratory condition.

When renting a portable oxygen concentrator, one must consider the specific respiratory condition it is intended to alleviate. Different respiratory conditions, such as COPD, asthma, or sleep apnea, have unique demands. For instance, more serious conditions require continuous oxygen flow, while others may need it only during specific times like during sleep or physical activity.

To look further into understanding this, here are some examples below:

  1. COPD: Patients may need continuous oxygen flow, especially during exertion or sleep, as their lungs cannot efficiently exchange gases due to damage.
  2. Pulmonary Fibrosis: This condition often requires increased oxygen flow rates due to scarring of the lungs, which severely restricts breathing.
  3. Cystic Fibrosis: While the need for supplemental oxygen may vary, during a flare-up of symptoms, more robust oxygen support might be necessary.
  4. Chronic Asthma: In severe cases, particularly during an asthma attack, a pulse dose delivery may not be sufficient, and a continuous flow might be necessary to maintain adequate oxygenation.

Your lifestyle, daily routine, and specific medical requirements should guide the selection of the right concentrator for your individual needs. This includes considering the weight and size of the device, its noise level, and its compatibility with your daily activities.

Types of Portable Oxygen Concentrators


Knowing the types of concentrators available is key to making the right choice:

There are primarily two types of portable oxygen concentrators: pulse dose and continuous flow. Pulse dose models deliver oxygen in bursts at the beginning of each breath, whereas continuous flow devices provide a steady stream of oxygen regardless of the user’s breathing pattern. Both types cater to different respiratory needs and lifestyles. Recognising these differences will aid in making a decision that aligns with specific health requirements.


Pulse Flow Versus Continuous Flow


Pulse Flow Oxygen Concentrators:


Pulse flow concentrators deliver oxygen in measured bursts during the inhalation phase of breathing. They are engineered to respond to the user’s breathing pattern, conserving oxygen, and extending battery life due to their on-demand delivery system. This makes them particularly energy-efficient and portable, ideal for individuals who are on the move and require oxygen therapy intermittently, such as when walking or engaging in light activities.

Key advantages of pulse flow concentrators include:

  • Lightweight Design: They are generally more compact and easier to carry, facilitating mobility.
  • Battery Efficiency: The oxygen is delivered efficiently, which often leads to longer battery life.
  • Adaptability to Breathing Patterns: They can adjust to the user’s breath rate, providing more oxygen as needed during activities.

However, pulse flow may not be suitable for all users, especially those who breathe through their mouth or those with very slow or shallow breathing patterns. Users who require oxygen during sleep typically may not benefit from a pulse flow device due to the potential for irregular breathing patterns during sleep.


Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators:


Continuous flow models deliver a constant stream of oxygen, regardless of the user’s breathing pattern. This feature is essential for individuals who require a steady supply of oxygen, such as those with severe respiratory conditions or those who need oxygen supplementation during sleep.

The continuous flow system provides a specific amount of oxygen per minute, and the rate can be adjusted to meet the user’s needs. This makes them the preferred option for users who:

  • Need a Consistent Oxygen Supply: This includes individuals with severe COPD or other respiratory diseases that affect lung function significantly.
  • Use Oxygen Concurrently with Other Medical Devices: Such as CPAP or BiPAP machines for sleep apnea.
  • Have Higher Oxygen Requirements: Especially those who cannot maintain adequate oxygen saturation levels with a pulse dose system.

Continuous flow concentrators tend to be larger and have shorter battery lives due to the constant oxygen output, which can limit portability and require the user to plan for power sources during travel or activities outside the home.

Battery life is a critical factor to consider, particularly for those who spend significant time away from power sources. Some models offer extended battery life or the option to use additional batteries. Portability features to consider include the weight of the device, ease of carrying (like with a shoulder strap or a cart), and its overall dimensions.

Quality and Condition of Equipment


The quality and maintenance of the equipment cannot be overlooked:

  • The importance of renting well-maintained and reliable concentrators cannot be overstated. This ensures not only the effectiveness of the therapy but also the safety of the user. A well-maintained concentrator is less likely to malfunction and more likely to provide consistent oxygen delivery.
  • A reputable company will ensure they are consistently inspecting their equipment for safety, cleanliness, and functionality before hiring out, as this is crucial. This involves checking for any signs of wear and tear, ensuring cleanliness to avoid infections, and verifying that all functions operate correctly.
  • Compliance with safety standards and manufacturer guidelines is a must. This compliance ensures that the concentrator meets regulatory requirements and operates within safe parameters. This includes regular maintenance checks and compliance with manufacturer guidelines.

Duration and Flexibility of Rental


The duration and terms of the rental are crucial factors:

  • Determining the required duration of the rental is important for cost-effectiveness and convenience. Whether you require the concentrator for a short-term recovery or for long-term use, this assessment will impact the type of rental plan you choose.
  • Rental providers in Perth offer various options for both short-term and long-term rentals. Short-term rentals can be daily or weekly, while long-term rentals might span months or even years. Understanding these options helps in choosing a plan that best suits the duration of the user’s needs.
  • The flexibility of the rental agreement is an often overlooked yet vital aspect of renting a portable oxygen concentrator. Life is unpredictable, and your need for a concentrator may change due to various factors, such as an improvement or decline in your health status, a change in your travel plans, or simply the evolution of your respiratory needs over time. It’s worth choosing a rental service such as Oxygen West, who offer flexibility in terms of extending or terminating the rental agreement.

Cost and Affordability


Navigating the cost and affordability of renting a portable oxygen concentrator is a critical step in the decision-making process. It involves understanding the market, evaluating the total cost of rental services, and balancing the financial considerations with the quality and features offered.

It’s advisable to conduct a comprehensive comparison of rental costs offered by different providers. This comparison should go beyond the base rental rates to include all aspects of the service, including delivery and setup fees, maintenance costs and discounts for longer terms.

Transparency in pricing is paramount. When examining rental agreements, look for and inquire about potential hidden fees or additional charges that could affect the total cost. These may include late return fees, equipment damage, cancellation policies or extra accessories.

While affordability is a major concern, it should not come at the expense of the concentrator’s quality and features. Consider the following:

  • Device Reliability: A less expensive rental might mean an older or less reliable model, which could lead to additional costs or health risks down the road.
  • Feature Suitability: Ensure the concentrator has the necessary features to meet your medical needs. Sacrificing essential functions for a lower cost can be detrimental to your health.
  • Quality of Life: A concentrator that is bulky or noisy may be cheaper but could significantly impact your quality of life.

The goal is to find a balance where the costs align with your budget, but the concentrator still meets the necessary medical requirements and supports your lifestyle without compromise.

Battery Management


Effective battery management is essential for maximizing the usability and convenience of a portable oxygen concentrator. It involves knowing how long your device can operate on a single charge, how to prolong battery life, and what options are available for extended use.

Each model of portable oxygen concentrator comes with its own specifications for battery life and recharge times, which can vary significantly. It is of value to consider battery life expectancy, recharge times and the performance of a battery over time as it ages.

Different models have varying battery life spans and recharge times. To ensure continuous oxygen therapy without interruption, it’s wise to consider the options for additional batteries, such as purchasing extra batteries, rental packages, and compatibility with your device.


Tips for Managing Battery Life Effectively


Proper battery management can help extend the life of your batteries and ensure they remain reliable when you need them most:

  • Regular Charging: Even when not in use, batteries should be charged regularly to maintain their capacity. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging intervals.
  • Storage Conditions: Store batteries in a cool, dry place to prevent degradation. Extreme temperatures can affect battery performance and lifespan.
  • Energy-Saving Habits: When possible, use the lowest flow setting that meets your oxygen needs, as higher settings can deplete battery life more quickly.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep the battery contacts clean and check for any signs of damage or corrosion, which could affect performance.

Insurance and Liability


When renting a portable oxygen concentrator, the terms surrounding insurance and liability are as crucial as the features of the device itself. They protect you from unforeseen costs associated with equipment damage or malfunction and ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities as a renter.

Insurance coverage can vary greatly between rental companies, and it’s important to have a clear understanding of what is included in your rental agreement. Look out these considerations:

  • Extent of Coverage
  • Deductibles and Limits
  • Coverage During Transportation


Knowing your liability is essential in case the equipment is damaged or malfunctions:

  • Renter’s Responsibility: Clarify what you are responsible for if the equipment gets damaged under your care. This can range from minor repair costs to replacement of the device.
  • Reporting Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the proper procedure for reporting any issues to the rental company. Prompt reporting can often mitigate additional damage and costs.
  • Malfunction Liability: In some cases, if the device malfunctions due to no fault of your own, the company may replace the unit at no additional cost. Understanding this aspect can save you from unwarranted charges.


The terms and conditions of the rental agreement should be transparent and clearly outlined to avoid any misunderstandings:

  • Read the Fine Print: Take the time to read the rental agreement thoroughly, paying special attention to the sections on insurance and liability.
  • Ask Questions: If anything is unclear in the agreement, don’t hesitate to ask the provider for clarification before signing.
  • Documentation: Ensure that all agreed-upon terms are documented in writing. This includes any verbal agreements or assurances made by the rental company.

In this blog, we have seen that choosing the right portable oxygen concentrator in Perth requires careful consideration of your individual respiratory needs, the types of concentrators available, their quality and condition, rental duration and flexibility, cost, battery management, and the insurance and liability terms.

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision that ensures you receive the most suitable and reliable respiratory support for your needs.

Breathe easier with Oxygen West!

Our team are committed to providing you with comprehensive guidance, straightforward pricing, and detailed explanations of our rental agreements.

We have hand-selected only the best equipment, with a range of additions and accessories to meet your specific requirements. Explore our home oxygen concentrators here, and our portable oxygen concentrators for on the go!

Choose Oxygen West to support your respiratory health – call our friendly team today on 08 7444 4009.

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