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How Many Watts Does a CPAP Use? Do They Consume Lots of Power?

CPAP machine

CPAP machines are literal lifesavers in some situations. They are essential for patients suffering from respiratory conditions and diseases such as sleep apnea and eliminate most of the side effects that these patients experience. Most CPAP machines provide air at high pressure to keep your airway from collapsing and allow you to breathe without using too much energy.

However, the main concern most people have when buying a CPAP for home use is its associated costs—from the initial purchasing cost, the maintenance costs, and the electricity costs. In this article, we’ll talk about how many watts a CPAP machine uses compared to other home equipment, the average estimated watts-hours, and how it works.

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What Is a CPAP Machine and How Does It Work?

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is one of the most commonly used machines in treating sleep apnea and other breathing conditions. It keeps your airway open enabling you to receive enough oxygen for optimal metabolic functions.

CPAP machines significantly improve sleep quality for all users while reducing the risk of contracting several health conditions, including strokes and heart disease. There are three types of CPAP machines, and they all come with different types of nasal masks.

The three types of CPAP machines include:
  • Bi-level PAP: Uses two different pressures; inhalation and exhalation.
  • Auto CPAP: This machine self-regulates using a range of various pressures that enable the airways to open.
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation: These machines are reserved for people with central sleep apnea, and they keep your airways open by delivering air whenever necessary.
woman sleeping with CPAP machine
Image Credit: Independence_Project, Shutterstock

How Does the CPAP Machine Work?

The CPAP machine draws air from the room, then filters it and delivers it at different pressures through a mask and tube to you when you are sleeping. Nasal masks work by holding the tube in place and positioning it toward your nasal passages.

There are three types of nasal masks, and they include:
  • Normal nasal mask: Covers your nose only and is recommended for people who often turn in their sleep.
  • Nasal pillow mask: This nasal mask covers only your nostrils. Some even come with prongs that fit inside your nostrils.
  • Full mask: A triangular mask that covers your nose and mouth. It’s best suited for people who breathe through their mouths while sleeping.

How Many Watts Does a CPAP Machine Use?

If you want a CPAP machine in your home to help you get quality sleep, you should pick one that meets your requirements, with considerations such as noise, cost, wattage, and type of nasal mask. Knowing the wattage is crucial, especially if you travel a lot and have to use different outlets.

Most CPAP machines range from 30–60 watts, with some using up to 150 watts. If you are using rechargeable batteries to charge your machine, you need to be aware of the power required to run it so your CPAP machine won’t shut down in the middle of the night.

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Different CPAP Machines and Their Wattage

1. ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud CPAP Machine

The ResMed AirSense 1O Auto is the most sought-after CPAP machine. It’s a dependable, durable, and comfortable machine with well-defined features for maximum efficiency, which is why it’s so popular.

It can detect your breathing pattern and change the pressure, its most popular feature. On average, it requires 50 watts to run.

2. Luna II Auto

The Luna II Auto is also a popular CPAP machine, and it has some pretty incredible features. It can detect your breathing and notify you if there is an issue with the airflow and mask fit. This machine has a unique feature that makes all the necessary adjustments for air leaks and changes in pressure, keeping it secure and efficient.

It also has features that alter the pressure levels of the CPAP machine, an inbuilt humidifier, and a quiet motor system. On average, it uses about 150 watts.

3. ResMed AirMini

Despite its small size, this CPAP machine is secure and efficient. It can deliver oxygen to the nasal mask at the same air pressure as the larger machines. It is a smart device, and you can control it through an app on your phone.

It’s simple to travel with due to its small size and light weight; it also comes with its inbuilt humidifier, and you don’t have to travel with a bottle of water. Since it has waterless humidification, it requires little power to run. It uses 6.3 watts on low settings and 27 watts at the highest setting.

4. DeVilbiss IntelliPAP Auto CPAP Machine

The demand for this CPAP machine has increased significantly in the last few years. It’s automatic and changes the pressure based on your breathing pattern and mask conditions, thus providing instant pressure release. Since it adjusts automatically, it uses less power, about 65 watts on average.

divider 4 Watts Used to Run a CPAP Machine Compared to Other Home Appliances

When purchasing a CPAP machine, you need to pick one with a suitable wattage and one that you can connect to the outlets in your room. Luckily, they have a wide range of wattage use which gives you many options to choose from.

The table below compares the wattage use of CPAP machines compared to other home appliances.

Appliance Watts
CPAP machine 60
Blender 300
Microwave 1,000–2,000
Hot plate 750–1.500
Hair dryer 1,000–1,875
Washing machine 500–1,000
Desktop PC 200–400

Compared to most home appliances, a CPAP machine uses the least number of watts to run efficiently, meaning you can power it using a battery, unlike many other home appliances.

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Can a 300-watt inverter run a CPAP machine?

Since CPAP machines are typically low-wattage, you can run any CPAP machine using a 300W inverter.

Can you run a CPAP machine with solar?

Yes. You can power a CPAP machine using solar-powered batteries, provided they have enough capacity to run the whole night. Since most solar-powered batteries have a DC current, you will need to use the CPAP machine with an inverter.

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In conclusion, most CPAP machines use between 30 and 60 watts on average, but some do use more power—up to 150 watts depending on the machine you choose. Compared with other household appliances, this is not a huge amount of power, and most small inverters will be able to power CPAP machines without a problem.

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Featured Image Credit: sbw18, Shutterstock


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