How to replace gear? Oh man I have that down to a friggin science.
Masks....every six months by default. I dont care if they still look and feel as if they could make it another six months, when the six month mark hits, BAM my mask gets replaced with a brand new one
Mask cushions: mask cushions are arguably the nastiest piece of CPAP gear. Those cushions get disgusting and I dont even have oily skin! I have dry skin. The max for a mask cushion is three months, two months is what I prefer. Ive noticed my DME is telling me "every month" now. Thats changed from when I first got into CPAP in 2007, then it was "every three months." The way you tell a mask cushion is worn out is, 1) time...how long youve been using it, 2) as soon as it gets flimsy and the silicone starts getting this thinned out, real super floppy feel to it...thats time to replace it with a NEW cushion
Hoses: every three months replace it, or whenever you get a pinhole near either end, they say these modern machines "compensate" for loss of pressure if you have a leak. HORSE PUCKEY! Ive had pinhole sized leaks (just one) in a hose before and did not know it. Id just start feeling absolutely awful again, had no reason why. I'd call my DME, they'd tell me to wash my cushion and my face to make sure I was getting a good seal, they'd tell me to examine the hose for small holes...BINGO! Id fine them and trash them. Soon as I had a new hose with no pin hole in it, my therapy went back to normal and I felt normal again.
Filters: The DME/insurance standard is "every three months." I think you can get by on that, but personally I am proactive and replace my filters once a month. I dont wait until my filter gets dirty looking or clogs up slowing airflow. Filters cost so little and you can buy them OTC off the Internet for practically nothing...it makes more sense to me and my health to just replace them monthly
Humidifier pot: I change mine once a year. I know the DME/insurance standard is every six months (if I remember correctly). I change mine every six months. Get the tougher, dishwasher safe plastic humidifier pots. My first APAP lasted three and a half years, I loved it. I think I could have gotten another six months out of it, maybe another year. I ruined it by using a cheapo, flimsy plastic Resmed humidifier pot and the plastic cracked inside the humidifier, water went everywhere and the machine went bad maybe a few weeks afterwards.
Id be dead by now if I didn't use my CPAP gear every night.