Heated Tubing for CPAP machines in a fairly common addition to CPAP Therapy. Heated Tubes are designed to keep a stable temperature and humidity level from the outlet of the CPAP to your airway. It does this using heated coils that are powered by a connection to the CPAP machine. In most cases the Heated Tube will connect to the CPAP via a small electric plug. You can adjust the temperature of your CPAP tube to reduce condensation and to keep the air you are breathing comfortably humidified.
Do I need Heated Tubing for my CPAP?
Whether or not to add a Heated Tube to your CPAP is usually a pretty clear choice. For most CPAP users it is important to strike a comfortable balance of humidity in the air that you are breathing. As you adjust the humidity setting up on your CPAP you may encounter rain-out or excess condensation. That is because the CPAP is adding more humidity than your rooms ambient temperature can hold. It literally rains in your tube because the air cools as it travels through the tube to your airway. To remedy this, a heated tube will keep a constant temperature the whole way through so that the rainout doesn’t happen.
Why did I receive Heated CPAP Tubing with my order?
In many cases a heated tube is a standard part of a CPAP order. That is because it allows the CPAP user to add more humidity than would normally be possible in your ambient room conditions. In many cases this will help a new CPAP user to acclimate more easily to CPAP therapy. In other cases, you may receive heated tubing because it pays more. Whether you are purchasing with cash or using insurance heated tubing costs more. So be careful. If you do not need heated tubing, then you may want to look into standard CPAP tubing in an effort to reduce long term cost of your CPAP therapy.
Can I switch to Standard CPAP Tubing from Heated Tubing?
Yes, you can. You might even save some money! The biggest question that you need to answer related to that switch is whether or not you will get enough humidity with a standard CPAP tube. The only way to know is to try. You can substitute the standard CPAP tube for your heated tube. Then adjust the humidity to your comfort and see if you have condensation issues. Much of that issue can be related to your location in the world as well as the time of year. Some areas and sometimes of the year may be drier or more humid as well as colder or warmer. Your needs can change seasonally as well as where you are located.
What are the downsides to Heated CPAP Tubing?
Heated tubing for a CPAP can be very helpful, but is it always a better option? Let’s look at the downsides.
Weight– Heated tubes are quite a bit heavier than standard tubing. That means that if you move around a lot in your bed, you will be pulling a considerably heavier tube with you.
Flexibility– Standard CPAP tubing is much thinner and in turn much more flexible. That gives you a little more freedom of movement in bed while using your CPAP.
Cost– Heated tubing is at least 4 times more expensive than standard tubing. For instance, standard tubing runs less than $10 per tube while heated tubing can be as much as $49. Even if you are operating through insurance the cost difference is significant. To determine the difference in insurance cost you would compare the A4604 (heated tube) procedure code to the A7037 (standard tube) procedure code.
How do I get the right Heated Tube for my CPAP?
Every CPAP that has a heated tubing option must use a specific type designed for that particular CPAP. For instance, the AirSense 10 CPAP from ResMed must use the ClimateLine Air Heated Tube. Because these tubes connect in a very particular way to the CPAP, they are not universal. With that being said, not all CPAPs have a heated tubing option. An example of that would be the AirMini Travel CPAP from ResMed. You can only use the standard non-heated tubing that is designed for the AirMini with that particular device. If you require heated tubing, you should certainly do some homework to make sure that your new CPAP has that option.