What Size (watts) and Type of Inverter for a CPAP Machine?

If you suffer from sleep apnea and are looking for a reliable power solution for your CPAP machine while out camping, would an inverter battery solution be it?

Can you run a CPAP machine on an inverter?

Yes, an inverter is one of the several power solutions you can use provided it supplies enough power (watts) that meets the CPAP’s requirements.

But what size inverter should you use? Are there alternative ways you can power the CPAP machine besides an inverter?

This post provides guidance on what size (watts) and type of inverter you can use for your CPAP machine and the alternative ways to power it while you are out on the road.

Inverter size (watts) and Type of Inverter?

How Many Watts for the Inverter?

This depends on the CPAP machine’s power draw (watts) which can vary from one make and model to another.

The power draw can vary from one model to another. You can read off the power consumption data from the technical specifications section of its owner manual or its power brick which may list power requirements as:

  • watts,
  • volts and amps AC, such as 1 amp at 100V AC which works out at about 100 watts AC power, or
  • volts and amps DC (24V at 3.75A = 90 watts).

For the most part, you should be able to use an inverter with a minimum power continuous consumption of at least 300 watts but consult the owner manual to be sure.

Will a 300 Watt Inverter Work?

Yes, provided that the power consumption (watts) of the CPAP machine is under 300 watts. Preferably use a pure sine wave inverter.

Pure sine wave or modified sine wave inverter?

while some people have reported using modified sine wave inverters to power their CPAP machines, it is generally advisable that you use a pure sine wave inverter and some manufacturers require it.

Confirm by checking the CPAP’s owner manual.

Battery capacity (Ah)

The recommended battery size for the CPAP machine depends on its power consumption – which can vary from one model to another and the treatment rate used.

CPAP manufacturers may specify the recommended battery capacity (Ah) for a given treatment pressure and model of CPAP.

Alternatives Sources of Power

Using 12V Or 24V DC Power from The House Battery

In addition to an inverter, you may be able to power the CPAP machine from a 12V or 24V supply instead of 110V from an inverter (Confirm if the CPAP machine uses DC power and which voltage is supported).

Using 12V or 24V DC power vs. Generator power

If it uses 12V or 24V, the receptacle can be installed beside the bed if not already provided.

You’ll need to order a 12V or 24V power cord for it depending on what is supported.

The benefit of using DC is that it is a quieter solution, unlike an inverter whose fan hum you’ll have to deal with and or even a generator that is noisier and may not be able to run at night for various reasons including the regulations at the camping ground.

Closing Thoughts

You can use a power inverter to keep your CPAP machine running safely and reliably provided it is able to meet its power requirements which is usually a minimum of 300 watts of continuous AC power – confirm with the CPAP manufacturer though. Make sure it is a pure sine wave inverter

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