It’s late at night, you are about to go to sleep, but when you press the power button on your CPAP – Zip, Zilch, Nada – your machine does not turn on. Panic begins to flood your mind. You have a big meeting tomorrow! There is no way on earth you can miss sleep before this meeting!

Panicked, you try everything. Is the power off? No, everything else is turning on. Is it the outlet? No. Is the power cord damaged? No. Do you have everything connected correctly?

After going through this long mental checklist, you realize your machine is done for, and you…well, you are going to try to sleep as best you can and pray your spouse does not kick you out onto the couch because you are snoring too loudly. 

As you crawl into bed and try to shut your eyes, all you can think of is, “How did I miss this? How did I not know my machine was about to die?”

Lucky for you, reader, you are not in bed. You are here, reading this article, and luckily you are going to know the signs before your machine decides to take a permanent hiatus.

1. Low Air Pressure

One big indicator that your CPAP machine is about to go to the great beyond is low air pressure. This, of course, is not to be confused with your therapy pressure being too low. Sometimes even slight changes to your body can mean you need higher or lower air pressure. If you think your therapy pressure has suddenly changed, contact your CPAP provider so they can verify your pressure settings.

Another thing to check would be your filters. Filters need to be replaced regularly for optimal CPAP performance. A dirty that’s full of dust, hair, dead skin cells and other airborne particles causes your CPAP machine to work harder to produce the same amount of air pressure. This can shorten the lifespan of your machine over time.

Check out our CPAP equipment replacement chart for information on the recommendation filter replacement frequency for your specific CPAP machine.

If you’re still experiencing low pressure after checking your settings and your filter, it may be time to consider getting a new CPAP or repairing your current one.

2. Your CPAP Machine Makes Strange Noises

Strange CPAP machine sounds can be a sign of a serious issue, but before you call your CPAP provider, you can do some simple troubleshooting to potentially save yourself some time. If the strange noise is a whistling sound, chances are there is a leak somewhere and you should check all your machine connections as well as your CPAP mask.

Here’s a checklist for air leaks:

  • Is the CPAP hose securely connected to the mask and machine?
  • Are all parts of the CPAP mask securely connected? Pay special attention to the elbow connector that attaches the mask to the hose.
  • Can you feel air leaking around your mask cushion? If yes, you need to adjust your CPAP mask for a better seal. Learn more about how to fix CPAP mask leak.
  • Examine your CPAP tubing for damage. Check for wear and tear near the rubber connection ends.
  • If you use a CPAP machine with humidifier, make sure the humidifier water chamber has been inserted properly. Also, check to see if the humidifier inlet/outlet seals are missing or damaged.

If your CPAP machine makes a whirring, clicking or grinding noise, that’s a sign that the motor needs to be looked at. Your sleep apnea equipment provider can send it for repair if it is an older unit. If it’s a relatively new machine, your CPAP provider can provide you with a warranty replacement.

3. Your CPAP Machine Is More Than 5 Years Old

Nothing lasts forever, unfortunately. While all our CPAP machines do come with a manufacturer warranty, the average lifespan of a CPAP machine is 5 years. 

Even though regular maintenance can make your machine last longer, once your machine is 5 years or older, you may want to consider purchasing a new CPAP and retiring your current unit as a backup. Often CPAPs can seem fine right before they suddenly stop working.

Paying attention to these early signs of CPAP machine malfunction can help you determine if it’s time for a new CPAP machine. With older units, having a backup is strongly advised as repair time can take several weeks.  

If your CPAP is showing signs that it is not long for this world, has a selection of new CPAP machines for sale. We also provide monthly CPAP rentals and quality-checked refurbished sleep apnea machines that make great backup units. And if you have questions about any of our products, feel free to use one of the methods below to get in touch.

3 Signs Your CPAP Machine Is about to Kick the Bucket