Hyperbaric Chamber Air Compressors:
I am getting so many complaints that I want to talk about this before people buy or rent a chamber from me. A common complaint I get about the chambers I sell are loudness. Some are louder than others. I am about to make a video on the sounds of each type without showing the brands because I am not saying that the loud ones are not as good. Some of the louder ones are very expensive and very powerful and commercially rated that can be used all day long without getting too warm.
Some people prefer it to be very quite when they are in the chamber and others put on headphones. Sometimes the "white noise" sound of a loud compressor puts people to sleep and relaxes them. Having a good muffler (silencer) usually solves the problem.
Loudest: Highest pitch, cement mixer type sound. Hard to watch a DVD player on low without having headphones on.
Softest: You almost have to feel the air to know that the compressor is working. The softest air compressors are no louder than a very soft conversation. The sound is on the baratone side, similar to the noise that my therapist's white noise machine sounds like on the other side of the door.
Louder compressors are generally louder that are higher powered. Higher wattage, higher amperage, and higher horsepower play a factor. I would say the most important thing to look for is the highest amps, not necessarily the highest horsepower or wattage. A hair dryer can 2850 watts and cost under 50 bucks. The amperage capacity is what makes it expensive.
Higher amperage and higher horsepower generates usually more noise and vibration. There are some manufacturers use highly efficient linear compressors that use less amperage so it lowers the electric cost though. These compressors generate more air flow with lower noise and vibration.
Having a good muffler stops the hissing sound. It is hard to talk on the phone in a loud chamber that has a high pitch noise. see my noise page
There are so many air compressors on the market that I had to call stores that sell air compressors not related to hyperbaric chambers. Every company said they had the best compressor so I had to buy different ones and test them. Some emitted super high EMF also.
Usually, the way to stop the noise with a very loud, super high psi compressor, is to get an extension hose, drill a hole in the wall of the room so that the hose goes through the wall and the compressor is in the closet or all the way in the basement if you have a long enough hose. Most clinics that have loud compressors usually have the compressors in the other room so that it is not so loud. All you hear is the oxygen concentrator if they have one.
compressors in other room with an extension hose. The higher psi compressors usually are not frictionless. This is what makes them noisy. Some are piston powered and others are diaphram powered (piston powered ones have has a screw that attaches to an arm that goes back and forth. The linear motor that floats between the magnants have a hum sound
Some companies use dual compressors. I would always use a dual compressor. I worry that one day that if one failed I always have a backup. If I sleep in mine and the power goes off, which is a huge fear, I am covered. I use a Cyberpower battery backup. The 900 watt avr model is the one I use. Its the Greenpower 1500va one. Any Best Buy store should have one.
I also use bring this compressor with me so that when I go to the beach I can hang out by the ocean while everyone else lays on the towels. Do you really think I care what people thnk of me? I also go to parks and people come by and knock on it and peep in through the window. It's so funny. They have never seen a chamber. I just wave back to them.
"The reason it is so quiet is because they use two 80 motors that feed air into each other in serial reducing the strain and pressure on the other motor when working together."
This is not accurate. The 80 motor they use is quiet on its own. The reason for using two motors in serial is to take strain off a motor but this has to due with greater efficiency, less heat and noise with 2 motors in serial than a 120 or even 200 motor. The numbers are the size of the motor. The bigger the motor the more heat in the longer use of it in a session in the chamber (When a chamber is closing in on 4psi there is more back pressure on the motor, slowing a 120/200 and producing more heat than 2 80s in serial). Of of the chambers uses one 80, another uses 2 80s in serial, and another uses two 80s in serial, and the largest ones use two 80s in parallel.
The main reason for using two compressors in serial is so to reach higher pressure without over heating the compressors.
The use of two 80’s in parallel provides quieter, cooler and great air flow which inflates the chamber faster and makes it much less muggy. Just general better air quality.
(2 80s in serial performs better than a 120/200 because the first motor is pressurizing and feeding compressed air into another motor that will work less hard compressing and more towards helping with the back-pressure feeding back as you get close to 4 psi.)
Another thing is EMF. Better motors create less EMF. The last thing I want is to put a child in a chamber that gives off too much EMF. EMF exposure is something you should look into if you don't know about it already. Basically, EMF lowers the body voltage. When people are really sick they have a lower voltage than a healthy person. I urge people to go to the counter at Radio Shack and just ask them if you can use their battery tester for a minute. (Or you can just buy one. They only cost about 14 bucks). Wet your fingers and pinch the black wire with one hand and the red wire with the other hand. That will tell you your starting voltage. -70 to -90 millivolts is what you should want to see. Use a hair dryer and soak up all the EMF and come back and you might notice that your voltage has gone down even lower. The worse thing is standing next to a blender. That creates the most EMF of any household appliance, just second in EMF exposure to an airplane engine. (I SIT AS FAR AWAY FROM THE ENGINE AS A I CAN OR I WON'T EVEN TAKE THE FLIGHT IF I HAVE TO SIT NEAR THE ENGINE).
Beware of compressors that do not display the CE seal. This is a sign that the compressor went though the highly comprehensive process of being approved to display this seal. If you are going to use a chamber, I do not want to use it without this seal. Chambers that are approved do not necessarily have the CE seal. It's the European equivalent to the UL seal that you see on most products that are safe in the USA.
Piston Air Compressors: How to buy -
How to buy a quality compressor for your chamber is a question I get all the time. There are 2 types of compressors to choose from used with hyperbaric chambers. A good compressor will have a longer warranty. The oil lubricated ones have the least amount of noise but the larger high powered ones will generally be louder as their are more moving parts. The larger ones will fill the chamber with air faster but make more noise but the small ones will take a little longer but will be quieter. ONCE IT THE CHAMBER IS INFLATED, IT IS ALL THE SAME. It is just weather I want to take a little extra time on the inflation. Noise can be a deciding factor for people that are sensitive to noise. Also air flow when 2 or more people are in the chamber. More air flow equals less mugginess and cooler air. Compressors can be 35 decibels, or higher or lower depending on the compressor. I like the cast iron compressors the best as they block most of the noise compared to the aluminum ones that seem to get louder over time as they aren't as durable. I will not recommend a compressor unless it has been approved and meets all government regulations, period. The cheaper aluminum rods in the cheap models are still approved but usually last the least amount of time before having to replace the compressor.
If using the chamber for session after session, continuously, a more powerful compressor is probably better but louder but a high psi compressor can be used in a clinic all day long. If buying it for residential purposes, a small one is fine. Sacrificing noise to high volume usage with residential usage isn't really my concern.
The thing I look for most when getting a compressor is lower rms which makes the compressor last the longest. The larger ones usually have higher noise levels but because they are not being used to their full potential and just inflating a chamber which only uses a bout 20% of the compressors full potential, it doesn' create excess heat and thats why clinics usually prefer the larger noisier compressors although the sacrifice is louder noise. Most end up drilling a hole in the wall and putting the compressor in another room or some closet. Some even try to sound proof the rooms they put the compressors in
All chambers come with a dual or single stage compressor. The most expensive company has the oen with 1 compressor and the cheaper ones usually have two smaller compressors working together. Two compressors workign together generally going at the same time stay cooler than the one with one compressor that is bigger, unless it is a top of the line one that usually has a high price tag.
Those that are sensitive to EMF might want to choose one over the other. The dual compressor models are usually lower warming as they have to work less hard as one bigger one unless the bigger oen is capable of doing more than the job of inflating the chamber.
Some people even put ice in a cooler and put the compressor horses in it which give off very cool air. This is for peole that don't have the air coolers. Air coolers cost about 300. Some people even use both an ice cooler and a dampener.
Notice: Some chambers have compressors that come with the purchase of a chamber that get hot and humid inside the chamber. You can buy an after market compressor for more money. IF you don't want the original manufacturer's air compressor, let us know. We can always sell it to someone that doesn't want a better one. There are only a few companies that put top of the line quiet air compressors that you can put a penny on top of it and it won't vibrate it off. Very grounded ones.
Note: putting an oxygen concentrator to the chamber will help get rid of bacteria if the chamber is used a lot. Many people are nasty and get sick from bacteria in the chamber. Similar to bed bugs probably for those that don't clean their sheets regularly and let their dog sleep with them and not washing its feet after it walks around walking in dog pee all around the city.
NO oil vs Low oil VS LOTS OF OIL COMPRESSORS
All work good but the models that you don't have to oil are the least noisy. It would seem that the oil lubricates it but the non oil type are much more expensive and don't get hot like some of the oiled type. The cheaper ones have to be oiled more often than others because it will over heat if you don't. The single stage ones are usually the better ones if getting oiled type models. The compressors that do not have belts that do not have to be oiled are usually louder. This is the only con to the models that you don't have to oil.. They are just louder but you don't have to hassle with anything.
Noise: the noise is from the humming of the pumps as it compresses the air. The cheaper ones vibrate more and you can feel the vibration even when on the cushion laying down in the chamber. The single stage types are the best. The direct drive type oil less ones are noisier and may create more heat. When air is pumped under pressure it creates heat naturally. Nothing is actually wrong with heated air so I don't think its a concern if the air is coming out warmer than you think it should be.
Know that the direct drive type model compressors that are maintenance free and louder as you don't have to ever lubricate anything you also get less years out of it. It will not last as long as the models that you have to oil and will have to be replaced sooner than later, but then again, they are very cheap to replace compared to an oil less model.
If you need help deciding on if you think you should get a chamber that you have to lubricate regularly or one that is oil less, let me know. There are trade offs that half the people want the oil less and the other type doesn't want the sound extra friction and choose the models they have maintain more.
Questions to ask about compressors before buying
Note: Although not talked about, most manufactures that have chambers that "are able" to be inflated to higher pressures than 1.3 ata come with lower powered compressors. I cannot speak of the better compressors because I am in the states. I won't even bring up these. Canada dealers. That is another story. They will talk to you about these until you want to buy one. It is legal to sell the compressors that go to this pressure but cannot be sold at the same time of the sale of a chamber. Same goes with a concentrator. There is a reason you can't buy these at the same time.
Note: veterinarians can buy these with no problem as its not for human usage.
Note: two smaller compressors will keep the chamber much cooler than one large. Large compressors produce more heat. Having 2 to 3 compressors makes it cooler but just know the more compressors you have, the cooler it will be but the noisier it will become unless you use an sound suppression cooler or an ice cooler. The cooler works just a few degrees higher than the ice cooler but the sound reduction makes up for it.
What is the power output/ peak power of the compressors?
What is the Psi of the compressor?
How many compressors are used to inflate the chamber?
Can the compressors inflate the bolsters?
What types of compressors are more portable?
Which air compressor configuration is most quiet? Know the decibel level.
What type of compressor requires the least amount of maintenance?
What is the weight of the compressor/s?
Filtration system (How air passes throughout the chamber)
What type of filtration system does the chamber have
Will the chamber cycle air throughout the whole length of the chamber or part.
Is there an internal air filter
When do you have to change it
How expensive are replacements
Where is the manufacturer located if I need to get a time on replacement parts. Some are in China and take weeks.
What are the filters made out of
Will mold build up in a humid environment
I will do my best to answer any question about any hyperbaric chamber. Contact me if you have any questions.