How to Use Philips Respironics CPAP/APAP Machine

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how to use philips respironics apap/cpap-machine

With a rapid advancement in technology, humanity was introduced to a new level of convenience. One example is the Philips Respironics DreamStation that keeps tens of thousands users asleep at night. With numerous functions built-in, the DreamStation series are some of the most powerful CPAP machines ever made.

Well then, have you had the chance to uncover all the secrets your DreamStation holds?

If not, here is a detailed guide with videos on how to use your DreamStation APAP, DreamStation CPAP, and DreamStation CPAP Pro. For additional information, you can also read the official DreamStation manual.

Getting Started

The DreamStation CPAP machine has various parts. To correctly assemble the DreamStation parts, follow the instructions below.

Setup without Humidifier

  • Lift up on the filter access door and swing it open. Check to see there is a blue reusable filter inside. To use your disposable ultra fine filter, place the optional filter under the reusable filter and snap them together. Place the filter assembly into the device and swing the door closed.
  • To assemble the breathing circuit, connect one end of the flexible tube to the air outlet port. If you are using a heated tube, line its connect up with the top of the air outlet port. Press the heated tube over the outlet port until the tabs click into the slots. Connect the other end to your mask and attach a headgear.
  • For power, insert the socket end of the AC power cord into the power supply. Plug the AC power cord into an electrical outlet. Do not use an extension cord or an outlet controlled by a switch. Connect the power supply cord into the green power inlet on the device.

Setup with Humidifier

  • Simply press the humidifier into the DreamStation to attach.
  • To access the humidifier chamber, slide the humidifier release latch toward the system while simultaneously lifting the lid up. Fill the chamber with distilled water to the maximum fill line each night before you go to bed. Place the chamber into the system and swing the lid closed.

Basic Menu Navigation

  • Scroll through menu options by rotating the dial. There are 4 options: My Info, Preheat (only displays when optional humidifier is attached), My Provider, and My Setup
  • To make a selection, press the control dial.
  • My Info contains treatment information screens such as therapy hours and mask fit.
  • Preheat allows you to warm up your humidifier up to 30 minutes before you start your therapy session.
  • My Provider contains information your provider may ask you to read to them so they can better assist you. It also includes the modem upload and performance check screens.
  • My Setup contains additional settings including comfort features such as ramp and flex settings, as well as humidification modes.

Simple Device Operations

  • For daily use, place your DreamStation on a firm flat surface at a slightly lower level than your sleeping position. Make sure it is plugged in and that air can flow around it. Put on your mask and headgear. Connect the tube to device and mask. Pres the therapy button to begin therapy.
  • If necessary, adjust the mask so that no air leaks into your eyes.
  • DreamStation has a ramp feature that reduces the pressure when you are trying to fall asleep and then gradually increases it to your prescription pressure. To use this feature, simply press the ramp button.
  • Don’t forget to turn the machine off in the morning!
  • With power turned off, you can adjust ramp starting pressure in My Setup. If you don’t see the symbol, your device doesn’t have the feature.


Masks are an integral part of CPAP therapy as they connect the machine and the user to aid inhalation/exhalation. Thus, it is important that CPAP users know how to adjust their masks and machines for the best fit.

Adjusting Mask and Tube

  • Some Philips Respironics Masks have a resistance control setting to help fine tune the level of air pressure compensation (X1~X5).
  • Under My Setup, select Mask Type and match the resistance control setting to your mask.
  • You can also select your tube type in Tube Type under My Setup.

DreamStation Mask Fit

  • Under My Setup, go to Check Mask Fit after putting on your mask to test your mask fit.
  • Once started, the device will start therapy for 40 seconds and measure the amount of leak. Adjust your mask during this period to keep the bar green.
  • At the end, a green check means good fit. The red X indicates a bad fit. If you get a red X, you may adjust your mask and run the test again.

Humidifier & Filter

Just like it is for any CPAP machine, filters and humidifiers are important in CPAP machines. They ensure a sanitary and comfortable CPAP therapy.

Adjusting Humidification

  • After starting therapy, you can adjust humidification by rotating dial to humidification icon and pressing to select it. Rotate the dial to adjust humidification level from 0 (no humidification) to 5 (max humidification). If you are using a heated tube, you can adjust the heated tube setting in the same manner.
  • If you’re using the standard 15 or 22 mm tube, you have the option to use fixed or adaptive humidification. With the blower turned off, rotate the dial to the my setup menu and press the dial. Rotate to the humidification screen and make your selection.

Changing Filters

  • The reusable filter should be cleaned every two weeks and replaced every six months. The optional disposable ultra fine filter should be replaced after 30 nights of use.
  • To change filters, stop the therapy and disconnect the device from its power source. Open the accessory door and remove the filter assembly and examine the filters. Dispose of a dirty or damaged ultra fine filter. If the reusable filter is torn, it must be disposed. Otherwise, wash it and completely dry it before you place it back in.


Did you know that you have to clean your DreamStation? That’s right! As often used as it is, your DreamStation needs your attention.

DreamStation Cleaning

  • Disconnect the flexible tube and mask for cleaning every day. Remove the filter assembly. In a sink or shower, gently wash the tube in a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Rinse it thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely before use.
  • If you are using a humidifier, remove, empty, and clean the humidifier water tank daily. Wash the water tank with warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Before cleaning the device itself, unplug the power cord. Dampen a cloth with water and mild detergent and wipe the outside of the device. Wipe down the device and humidifier. If necessary, the humidifier lid seal can be removed for thorough cleaning. Gently peel the seal from the lid. Wash in a solution of water and mild dish washing detergent. Wipe it completely on both sides and allow it to air dry. Fully open the lid and position the seal against the inside of the seal and gently press.
  • Before reassembling the system, inspect the tube and the mask for any damage. When the parts are thoroughly dry, reassemble the parts.


The times have changed. Phones don’t just text and call anymore - they have access to the internet, games, and photos. So don’t be surprised that DreamStation doesn’t just pump air. That’s right! It has more advanced functionalities as described here. Furthermore, you can download official Respironics DreamMapper app for more convenience.

Understanding Feedback from DreamStation

  • Go to My Info to view your therapy records. Therapy Hours displays your average therapy hours for different time periods. Similar records are displayed in AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index), Mask Fit, and Periodic Breathing screens.

How to Install and Use a Wi-Fi Modem

  • To install a modem, open the accessory door. Insert the modem in to accessory bay, connector first. Gently press until it clicks.
  • Go to My Setup menu and scroll to Wi-Fi menu to select your network.
  • If your provider asks you to manually upload your data, go to My Provider menu and navigate to upload screen. Press the control dial to initiate upload.

How to Install and Use a Cellular Modem

  • To install a modem, open the accessory door. Insert the modem in to accessory bay, connector first. Gently press until it clicks.
  • If your provider asks you to manually upload your data, go to My Provider menu and navigate to upload screen. Press the control dial to initiate upload.
  • You can turn the modem off in My Setup. Note that it will automatically turn back on in 3 days.

Removing SD Card from DreamStation

  • Lift the Accessory door and locate the SD card slot. To remove the SD card, press it gently and the card will pop out slightly.

Power & Traveling

Traveling somewhere? No worries! DreamStation boasts high portability.

Alternate Power Sources on the DreamStation

  • With the use of DC power cord, you can use the device in a boat, motor home, or an RV. However, do not run the device while the engine is running. You can also attach a Philips Respironics DC battery adapter cable to the DC power cord to power the device with a 12V DC freestanding battery.

Traveling with DreamStation

  • DreamStation carrying case is suitable for carry-on luggage.
  • Make sure your water tank is empty before packing.
  • There is a note on the bottom of the device stating that it is medical equipment and that it is suitable for airline use.

DreamStation Travel Kit

  • The DreamStation travel kit includes a lightweight case, 65 W power supply with USB port, and adjustable straps.
  • The lightweight case holds DreamStation without humidifier, hose, mask, and headgear.


You are probably wondering two things: what is oximetry and how is it related to my DreamStation?

  • Oximetry is a noninvasive method for monitoring a person’s oxygen saturation.
  • DreamStation, as if it doesn’t have enough functions already, is capable of oximetry!

DreamStation Oximetry

  • DreamStation is capable of collecting oxygen saturation and heartbeat data with optional oximetry accessories. An oeximetry system is comprised of 3 parts: a link module, an oximetry module, and an oximetry sensor.
  • Start by opening the accessory module and inserting the link module. Next, connect the oximetry module to the link module micro USB port. Then, connect the oximetry sensor to the oximetry module. Attach the sensor to your finger.
  • If you start the therapy, the therapy will display an icon to show that oximetry connection is good. If the icon is displayed, go back and make sure the connections between modules and sensors are good.


Keep in mind that your DreamStation needs a resupply of its parts and accessories. For your convenience, here is a resupply schedule for your DreamStation.

Disposable Filter2 weeksFilters are essential to weed out dust, mold, and germs
Reusable Filter6 monthsFilters wear out and they can expose you to dust, mold, and germs
Tube (flexible or heated)3 monthsTubes can tear and cause leakage
Humidifier Water Chamber6 monthsChambers can crack or grow bacteria/mold.

Now you can confidently say you know your machine inside out. As you’ve probably felt, DreamStation is a very straightforward machine to use. Considering how powerful it is, its simplicity is extremely surprising.

For additional help, feel free to chat, e-mail, or call us at Health Sqyre!

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