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What's going on with my nebulizer system?
Are your treatment times taking just a little bit longer each day? Does your system seem weaker than before, or noisier than it used to be? How often should you be replacing your system filters and neb cup, or should you just buy a brand new one altogether?
After years of helping customers work through problems and frustrations like these, we’ve seen just about every scenario imaginable. This article presents Nebology’s Tips & Tricks for diagnosing common system problems and highlights the importance of proper system maintenance for getting maximum health benefits from your aerosol treatments.
FIRST, CHECK YOUR TUBING
Your device's tubing is similar to the tires on your car—you never think about them until there’s a problem. In our experience, however, a vast majority of system issues can be corrected simply by checking your tubing! Most people check that the tubing is secure to their neb cup before each treatment without even thinking about it, but rarely consider checking that the tubing is still securely fastened to the air compressor unit. The vibration of the unit will often cause the tubing to work itself off after several treatments, so checking this is always one of the simplest and easiest things to consider.
Another common tubing problem is that kinks can develop over time, no different from a garden hose, when the tubing kinks air can’t pass through. This can dramatically decrease the pressure reaching your neb cup, increasing the amount of time it takes to nebulize the medicine, as well as putting undue stress on the compressor as it fights to push that air through the constricted section.
The last item to consider when checking your tubing is condensation, or a build up of moisture within the tube. With enough use, the air passing through the inside of the tubing can make just enough temperature difference compared to the ambient temperature outside it, causing tiny moisture droplets to form. Picture your iced tea sitting out on the porch on a warm summer afternoon as droplets form on the outside of your glass. This is essentially what’s happening on the inside of your tubing, just on a much smaller (and slower) scale. While the moisture is natural and will minimally affect treatment efficiency at first, with time there can be enough residual water in the tubing to significantly restrict airflow.
In the case of your tubing being loose or simply bent in an odd manner, these are easy fixes. But with more serious kinks and moisture collection, it’s highly recommended to just replace your system’s tubing.
HOW OLD IS YOUR NEB CUP?
PARI Neb cups were engineered in Germany, and are designed to far outlast most all other neb cups on the market. So why do we, and medical professionals, recommend replacing your nebulizer every six months? Because medication buildup can not only affect the performance, but can also, in extreme cases, contaminate the contents of your medicine. Simply stated, with repeated use over time, this residual residue and even (in extreme cases) bacteria can begin to attach itself to the inside of your neb cup, affecting both performance and your health.
We at Nebology feel these two points of nebulizer maintenance can’t be stressed enough:
- Thoroughly disassemble and wash your nebulizer cup with dish soap and hot water between each treatment and allow adequate time to dry before using again. And while it’s not completely necessary, know that PARI Nebulizers can be cleaned in a dishwasher as well—just be careful that the individual pieces are secured so that they won’t fall into the heating element during the wash cycle.
When in doubt, swap it out. If your nebulizer cup looks even the slightest bit discolored or dirty, don’t use it! Better safe than sorry, and your health isn’t something to take chances on.
One last point to mention here is cup assembly. PARI LC Neb cups are pretty much fool-proof, however, we have seen some cases where the nebulizer parts weren’t properly aligned or secured into place when put back together after use or cleaning. If your nebulizer is decently new and in otherwise good shape, but doesn’t seem to be performing correctly, then check that all the components including the inner baffle, top valves, and mouthpiece are all firmly and securely situated into their proper places.
Yep, your machine has to breath too. All PARI air compressor units have a filter that should be changed every six months, or with the same regularity as your neb cup. This ensures that the air intake on the system base is adequate and unrestricted, allowing it to output at its maximum potential. Think of it like your car’s air filter, or one of the filters to the central air conditioning in your house. As dust, dirt, and other air pollutants begin to collect on the filter, the airflow becomes restricted and puts increasingly higher strain on the system over time.
PRO TIP: To remove the air filter on most PARI compressors, use a coin (we think nickels work best!) and remember the rhyme that works with most any screw-type item: Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty. From there, the filters simply pop in and out and can easily be reinserted into the front or side of the unit in a reverse manner.
Other than the air filter, PARI compressor units are otherwise unserviceable at home. While it doesn’t affect performance, we do recommend regularly wiping the device with a damp cloth and light dish soap or vinegar in cases of something getting on it. If your tubing, neb cup, and air filters are all in good shape, and all other considerations mentioned have been checked, but you’re still having trouble with your treatments being weak, taking longer, or the machine itself just sounding too loud or incorrect—then please contact us immediately so that we can assess the situation and if needed, begin the warranty process with PARI on your compressor unit. It’s very rare for a compressor to fail, but sometimes it does happen.
This sums up the most typical performance problems we see customers dealing with on a daily basis and the importance of regular maintenance of your PARI neb system. Hopefully this article has helped you assess and correct any small issues you’ve been experiencing, or at the very least given you some considerations for keeping your system in optimal working condition. If you continue having issues with a system you’ve purchased from us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your customer service support team, available by email or phone:
Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm ET
Also, if it’s time to replace any of the components on your system mentioned above, then check out our easy supply kit builder, available in both One-Year and Two-Year bundles:
Replacement Supply Kit: One Year of Nebulizer Supplies
Replacement Supply Kit: Two Years of Nebulizer Supplies
Did we miss something you think we should have included? Share your experiences with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to the article (with credits!).
From all of us at Nebology, thank you and be well!