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Is It Better to Rent or Buy a Used Oxygen Concentrator?

Oxygen concentrators are essential medical devices that help people with respiratory conditions breathe easier. If you're in need of an oxygen concentrator but don't want to invest in a brand new one, you may be wondering if it's better to rent or buy a used device. In this article, we'll explore the factors you should consider when making this decision and weigh the pros and cons of both options.

What this article covers:

Understanding Oxygen Concentrators

Oxygen concentrators are medical devices that provide a steady flow of concentrated oxygen to individuals who have difficulty breathing on their own. These devices work by separating oxygen from the surrounding air and delivering it through nasal tubing or a mask. Knowing the basics of how oxygen concentrators function is crucial in making an informed decision about whether to rent or buy one.

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator is a machine that extracts oxygen from the surrounding air, concentrates it, and delivers it to the user. It ensures a medical-grade supply of oxygen, eliminating the need for bulky oxygen tanks. But with any machine, people often wonder about its safety and efficiency. For example, can you get too much oxygen from a machine? It's essential to be aware of potential oxygen concentrator dangers while also understanding the numerous oxygen concentrator benefits.

But have you ever wondered how this amazing machine actually works? Let's dive deeper into the fascinating world of oxygen concentrators and also discuss the oxygen concentrator pros and cons.

First and foremost, an oxygen concentrator consists of various components that work together seamlessly to provide much-needed oxygen. These components include an air compressor, a sieve bed, and a delivery system.

oxygen concentrator rental

The air compressor is responsible for drawing in the surrounding air and compressing it. This compressed air then passes through the sieve bed, which is where the magic happens. The sieve bed contains zeolite, a material that selectively absorbs nitrogen and other gases, leaving behind pure oxygen.

Once the oxygen has been separated from the other gases, it is delivered to the user through a tube or mask. This allows the user to inhale the concentrated oxygen directly into their lungs, providing relief and improving their breathing.

How Does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?

An oxygen concentrator uses a filtration system to remove nitrogen and other gases from the air, leaving behind pure oxygen. It then delivers the concentrated oxygen through a tube or mask, allowing the user to inhale it directly.

But how does this filtration system actually work? Let's explore the inner workings of an oxygen concentrator in more detail.

The filtration system in an oxygen concentrator typically consists of two sieve beds, which alternate between adsorption and regeneration cycles. During the adsorption cycle, one sieve bed absorbs nitrogen and other gases from the air, while the other sieve bed undergoes regeneration to release the trapped gases.

This alternating process ensures a medical-grade supply of concentrated oxygen, as one sieve bed is always adsorbing while the other is regenerating. The oxygen is then delivered to the user through a tube or mask, providing a medical-grade flow of oxygen to support their breathing needs.

It's important to note that oxygen concentrators require a power source to function. Most models can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet, while some portable models have rechargeable batteries for added convenience.

In conclusion, oxygen concentrators are essential medical devices that provide a lifeline for individuals with respiratory conditions. Their ability to extract and deliver concentrated oxygen is truly remarkable, offering a convenient and reliable solution for those in need. Whether you're considering renting or buying an oxygen concentrator, understanding how it works empowers you to make an informed decision that can greatly improve your quality of life.

The Pros and Cons of Renting an Oxygen Concentrator

If you're unsure about the long-term need for an oxygen concentrator or simply want to try it before committing to a purchase, renting may be a suitable option. Let's explore the benefits and drawbacks of renting a concentrator.

Benefits of Renting

  • Renting can be a cost-effective solution, especially if you only need an oxygen concentrator for a specific period of time.
  • It allows you to try different models and brands to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
  • You can avoid the hassle of maintenance and repair costs, as rental companies typically handle these issues.

One of the significant benefits of renting an oxygen concentrator is its cost-effectiveness. If you require an oxygen concentrator for a short-term period, renting can save you a substantial amount of money compared to purchasing one outright. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who only need oxygen therapy temporarily, such as during post-surgery recovery or while traveling.

rent oxygen concentrator

Moreover, renting gives you the opportunity to try out different models and brands of oxygen concentrators. Each concentrator has its own unique features and specifications, and by renting, you can experiment with various options to find the one that best meets your specific needs and preferences. This flexibility allows you to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing an oxygen concentrator in the future.

Another advantage of renting is that you can avoid the burden of maintenance and repair costs. Rental companies typically take care of any maintenance or repair issues that may arise during the rental period. This means you don't have to worry about finding a technician or paying for expensive repairs if something goes wrong with the concentrator. The rental company will handle all the necessary servicing, ensuring that you have a reliable and functioning oxygen concentrator at all times.

Drawbacks of Renting

  • Rental costs can add up over time, potentially exceeding the price of buying a used portable oxygen concentrator for sale.
  • You may face availability issues, especially during peak periods when demand for rental concentrators is high.
  • Some rental agreements may come with restrictions or additional fees for exceeding a certain usage quota.

While renting an oxygen concentrator can be beneficial, it is also essential to consider the potential drawbacks. One disadvantage is that rental costs can accumulate over time, especially if you require the concentrator for an extended period. In such cases, the total rental expenses may surpass the price of purchasing a used oxygen concentrator outright. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the duration of your oxygen therapy needs and compare the costs of renting versus buying to determine the most economical option for you.

Availability can also be a concern when it comes to renting oxygen concentrators. During peak periods, such as travel seasons or times of high demand, rental companies may face a shortage of available concentrators. This can potentially result in delays or difficulties in obtaining the equipment you require. It is advisable to plan ahead and make rental arrangements well in advance to mitigate any availability issues.

Additionally, some rental agreements may come with restrictions or additional fees if you exceed a certain usage quota. This means that if you require a higher flow rate or longer usage time than what is specified in the rental agreement, you may incur additional charges. It is crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of the rental agreement to ensure that it aligns with your specific oxygen therapy requirements.

rent portable oxygen concentrator

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Oxygen Concentrator

If you have a long-term need for an oxygen concentrator, buying a used device may be a more cost-effective option. Let's explore the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing a used concentrator.

Benefits of Buying Used

  • Buying a used oxygen concentrator can be significantly cheaper than purchasing a new one, saving you money in the long run.
  • You have the freedom to use the concentrator for as long as you need without worrying about returning it or paying ongoing rental fees.
  • Used concentrators are often readily available, making it easier to find a device that meets your specific requirements.

When it comes to purchasing a used oxygen concentrator, the benefits go beyond just cost savings. One of the advantages of buying used is the potential to access high-quality devices at a fraction of the price. Many people who have used oxygen concentrators for a limited period of time may decide to sell them once they no longer need them. This means that you can find devices that have been gently used and are still in excellent condition.

Furthermore, buying a used oxygen concentrator gives you the freedom to use it as long as necessary, without the hassle of returning it or dealing with ongoing rental fees. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who require long-term oxygen therapy. By owning the device, you have the peace of mind knowing that it is always available whenever you need it.

Another advantage of purchasing a used concentrator is the wide availability of options. Unlike new concentrators that may have limited stock or specific models, the used market offers a vast array of devices to choose from. This means that you can find a concentrator that perfectly suits your specific requirements, whether it's a portable device for travel or a stationary unit for home use.

Drawbacks of Buying Used

  • There may be a lack of warranty or limited warranty coverage on a used oxygen concentrator, potentially resulting in higher repair costs if any issues arise.
  • The maintenance and repair responsibilities fall solely on you as the owner, which can be a hassle and an additional expense.
  • Not all used concentrators may be in optimal condition, so thorough research and inspection are crucial to ensure you're purchasing a reliable device.

While buying a used oxygen concentrator offers numerous advantages, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. One of the main concerns when purchasing used medical equipment is the lack of warranty or limited warranty coverage. Unlike new devices that often come with extensive warranty options, used concentrators may not offer the same level of protection. This means that if any issues arise, you may be responsible for the repair costs, which can be a significant expense.

rent oxygen machine

In addition to repair costs, maintenance and upkeep are also important considerations when buying a used oxygen concentrator. As the owner, you are solely responsible for the maintenance and repair of the device. This includes regular cleaning, filter replacements, and addressing any technical issues that may arise. While this gives you full control over the device, it can also be a hassle and an additional expense that should be taken into account.

Lastly, it's crucial to thoroughly research and inspect any used concentrator before making a purchase. While many used devices are in excellent condition, there is always a possibility of finding one that may not be in optimal shape. By conducting thorough research and inspection, you can ensure that you're purchasing a reliable device that meets your needs and will provide you with the necessary oxygen therapy.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Renting and Buying

When deciding whether to rent or buy a used oxygen concentrator, it's essential to weigh certain factors that can influence your decision.

Cost Considerations

If cost is your primary concern, consider the duration for which you'll need the concentrator. Renting may be more cost-effective for short-term use, while buying used can save you money in the long run if you require the device for an extended period.

Duration of Need

If you anticipate needing an oxygen concentrator for an extended period, buying a used device may be more convenient and financially beneficial. However, if your need is temporary or uncertain, renting can provide flexibility and cost savings.

Maintenance and Repair Issues

Consider your willingness and ability to take on maintenance and repair responsibilities. Renting frees you from these concerns, but buying a used concentrator means you'll need to handle any repairs or servicing required.

oxygen machine rent

Making the Right Decision for Your Health and Lifestyle

Choosing between renting and buying a used oxygen concentrator ultimately depends on your unique circumstances and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision.

Personalizing Your Decision

Take into account your specific medical needs and the features required in an oxygen concentrator. Renting allows you to try different devices until you find the one that suits you best, while buying a used concentrator provides the possibility of personalizing it to your liking.

Considering Lifestyle Factors

Consider how frequently you'll be using the oxygen concentrator and how it fits into your daily routine. Renting may be more suitable for those who travel frequently or have temporary needs, while buying a used device can provide more stability for those with consistent long-term requirements.

In conclusion, the decision to rent or buy a used oxygen concentrator depends on various factors such as cost, duration of need, and personal preferences. Rentals offer flexibility and cost savings for short-term use, while buying used can be a budget-friendly option for long-term requirements. Assess your individual circumstances and consult healthcare professionals to make the right decision that ensures your health and lifestyle needs are met.

Do I Need a Prescription for a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Yes, you do need a prescription from your doctor to obtain a portable oxygen concentrator. Portable oxygen concentrators are considered durable medical equipment and a prescription is required to document medical necessity. You can use your existing oxygen prescription. Here at  Main Clinic Supply, we will contact your healthcare provider to obtain your existing oxygen prescription. 

Popular portable oxygen concentrator models like the Inogen One G5 and Inogen One G4 provide the freedom of mobility with supplemental oxygen so you can comfortably go about your daily activities. But always remember to work with your doctor to determine if portable oxygen is right for you and obtain a valid prescription.

oxygen machine on rent 

How Do I Get Approved for a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Here are the main steps to getting approved for a portable oxygen concentrator:

  • Get a prescription from your doctor detailing your medical need for portable oxygen, including your required oxygen flow rate and usage per day/night. 
  • Contact Main Clinic Supply, we can setup a phone call to obtain a new oxygen prescription with a licensed doctor.  Quick, easy and free of charge! 
  • You'll receive instructions on properly operating the system and can ask any questions. Enjoy your newfound freedom and mobility!

Choose an experienced medical equipment provider to handle all paperwork and coordinate insurance approvals on your behalf. With the right prescription and knowledgeable provider guiding you, gaining approval for a portable oxygen concentrator is straightforward.

If buying a used portable oxygen concentrator, be sure to consider Certified Pre-Owned models which come with a warranty and can save over purchasing new.

Will Medicare Pay for the Purchase of a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Unfortunately, despite the growing significance of portable oxygen concentrators in healthcare, Medicare does not cover purchasing these devices as part of its standard benefits package. This can frustrate patients who rely on POCs for their respiratory needs.

Will Medicare pay for the purchase of a portable oxygen concentrator?

No, Medicare does not cover the purchase cost of portable oxygen concentrators. Medicare considers portable oxygen concentrators to be a convenience item rather than a medical necessity. 


In conclusion, determining whether to rent or buy a used oxygen concentrator requires carefully weighing factors like cost, duration of need, maintenance responsibilities, and lifestyle considerations. Renting provides short-term flexibility while buying used can offer long-term savings. Work with a knowledgeable provider. Oxygen concentrators grant critical mobility and independence. For an affordable option when purchasing, consider a Certified Pre-Owned portable model that can provide the benefits of ownership at a fraction of the cost of new with a 2 year warranty.. With the right information and planning, you can make the best oxygen concentrator decision for your health, finances, and lifestyle.

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