Oxygen Tank Use in the Summertime
While your oxygen tanks can help you enjoy some outdoor fun and summer activities with friends and family, please ensure that you are keeping them safe from extreme heat, humidity, and water.
The high temperatures that summer brings can be hard on oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators. It’s important to ensure that oxygen tanks are kept in a cool place and that your oxygen concentrator can operate effectively in your home. Please check the manufacturer’s manuals which outline operating conditions, specifically the temperatures these units can withstand.
Plan outdoor activities when the weather is best suited to use your oxygen tanks and avoid strenuous activity when it’s very hot out. It’s a good idea to stay indoors during the hottest days and avoid mid-day outdoor activities. When you and your patient are outside, try to find a shaded area for relief for you and the oxygen tanks as often as possible, and don’t forget to drink plenty of liquids, preferably water or whatever the doctor has ordered for the patient.
Homes with patients who use oxygen but don’t have air-conditioning should consider visiting an air-conditioned location such as a library or movie theater to prevent overheating.
Storing your oxygen tanks is something that is often not discussed much, especially during June through August when the temperatures tend to be at their highest. Leaving oxygen tanks in a locked car can cause severe damage very quickly, as temperatures can exceed 100°F in just an hour and can continue to rise even if the outside temperature is only 75°. You should also never leave your oxygen tanks in a garage, attic or basement/crawl space as temperatures can get very hot in enclosed spaces. Make sure that you store your oxygen tanks in a living space of your home, like a room or closet that is kept at the same temperature as the rest of the house.
There are some activities in the summer can be dangerous for those who use oxygen tanks, such as sitting around a campfire or celebrating a holiday with sparklers. It is extremely dangerous for someone to use oxygen in the presence of an open flame, so it is important that the oxygen tanks and the person using it are at a safe distance away while it is in use - at least 8–10 feet away from a heat source.
Oxygen tanks are not be submerged in water and it’s important to make sure that the tanks stay as dry as possible. If you are bringing your oxygen tanks to the beach or pool, make sure that they are safely protected from extreme heat, sand and water. If the tanks get damaged by water, they may be irreparable.