A Heated Humidifier is a device that works with your CPAP machine to provide moisture. Dry air can cause irritation throughout your mouth, throat and nasal cavity, so the humidifier helps prevent that. The temperature is adjustable, as well.
There are 3 types of humidifiers:
No, you do not have to use a humidifier in order to use your CPAP machine. The humidifiers provide moisture to the airflow, they are not required for the machine to function. Heated humidifiers are only for those who wish to have moisture in the airflow of their CPAP therapy.
Heated CPAP tubing regulates the temperature of the airflow from the machine to your mask. The idea is to keep the air at the temperature you want it while it travels from the machine to your mask.
Another reason is to avoid “rainout”, which is when condensation builds up in the tubing. This occurs because of the temperature difference between the humidifier and the standard tubing.
Manufacturers recommend the use of distilled water for CPAP machines.
While filtered tap water will not have all the bacteria and germs, the minerals and chemicals that make water “hard” will still be present. Over time those minerals and chemicals will build up and damage the machine. Distilled water is safest because it has none of those minerals or chemicals.
The temperature depends on the type of humidifier, the climate of the room, and the comfort of the user. So, there is really no right or wrong answer. The user should begin with the standard setting and adjust accordingly from there.
Yes, all the water chambers need cleaned regularly. The confusion is that some water chamber tubs are labeled “cleanable” or “washable.” That just means that placing them in a dishwasher is safe. Users can hand wash any water chamber, though.