Caire Companion 5 - Product Review

Launched in 2014, Companion 5 is the 1st oxygen concentrator marketed under the brand name Caire (A Chart Industries Company). This product comes almost 2 years after acquisition of AirSep by Chart.

Caire Companion 5

What you would like about Caire Companion 5:

  • LCD Screen
  • Ease of service
  • Low Maintenance
  • Low power consumption at low flow rates
  • Easy recognition of alarms compared to competitors
  • Less number of parts inside the machine – Low breakdown rate

What you won’t:

  • About 20% heavier than the competition - 16.3 kg.
  • Outlet Pressure is lowest among the immediate competitors – 4.6 psig.
  • Power Consumed at high flow is 350 W which is considerably more than the competition.

LCD Screen

Caire Companion 5 is the only machine among competitors which has a proper 6 digit LCD screen. The display shows:

  • Elapsed Time
  • Alarm Codes
Caire Companion 5 LCD screen

All the earlier OC models by AirSep had alarms which were difficult to recognize. This alarm code display on LCD is definitely one step forward.

Internal Components

The engineers in Caire have managed to simplify the machine by reducing the number of internal parts and circuits.

We are taking this positive because lower number of parts generally tend to decrease the breakdown rates.

Size

Dimensions: 21.5”H x 12.5”W x 13.5”D

Overall, a compact machine and is head to head with its competition in terms of size.

Caire Companion 5

Weight

It is quite surprising to see that Companion 5, despite of being one of the latest launch in market, weighs 16.3 kg (36 lbs), about 20% heavier than its immediate competitors.

This weight would have sounded disappointing if some other company had manufactured this product but because this product comes after acquisition of AirSep, we believe that the compromise in weight would only be to increase the durability of machine

Humidifier Connector

Humidifier is connected through a connecting tube.

Companion 5's humidifier

Oxygen Purity

90% (-3% / +5.5%) .

Power Consumption

At 2 LPM: 250W

At 5 LPM: 350W

This was the most power efficient machine at 2 LPM until Inogen launched its ‘At Home’.Caire has used variable valve cycle timing to reduce the power consumption at low flow rates but at high flow rates this machine consumes more power than industry average.

Some people seem to like this, while majority of people are finding this disappointing.

Flowmeter

Uses a floating ball type flowmeterto set flow upto 5 LPM in increments of 0.5.

Caire Companion 5 Flowmeter

Sound Level

40 dB at 2 LPM. There is no mention anywhere of the sound level at 5 LPM but according to sources the expected level at 5 LPM is around 45 dB.

Alarms

Caire Companion 5 has a very impressive alarm system.

Caire Companion 5 Alarms

Three LED lights and an LCD screen form different combinations to display different alarms. The LCD screen displays the alarm codes.

Companion 5 Alarms
Alarm Type Visual Audible Code
System Malfunction Solid RED Light Continuous AL-PO1
Power Outage/Power Loss Solid RED Light Continuous AL-PO2
Low Flow Flashin RED Light Beeping AL-P20
High Flow Flashing RED Light Beeping AL-P40
Low Oxygen Concentration (Below 85%) Flashing YELLOW Light Beeping AL-P08
Low Oxygen Concentration (Below 70%) Solid YELLOW Light Continuous AL-P04

Earlier, users had to count the number of beeps to recognize the alarm type which was very inconvenient. With this product, Caire has made this job very easy for the users.

Altitude

-1,253 ft to 9,878 ft.

Filters

2 layers of filters:

  • External filter - Air intake filter
  • Internal Filter - HEPA filter

Maintenance

No weekly cleaning of intake filter required unlike competitors.

Routine service requirement: Every 2 years (varies with the environment)

The Cabinet

The machine has a 2 piece cabinet which makes it very easy to service.

Servicing was a tedious task in AirSep’s last machine VisionAire where everything was jam packed.

Caire Companion 5 Open Cabinet

Front panel

Caire Companion 5 Oxygen Concentrator

Wheelbase

Caire Companion 5 Wheelbase

Back Panel

Caire Companion 5 Back Panel

Top 5 Oxygen Concentrators in Caire Companion 5' competition

  1. Inogen At Home
  2. Philips Respironics Everflo Q
  3. Nidek Nuvo Lite
  4. Invacare Perfect O2
  5. DeVilbiss Healthcare 5 Liter Compact

Top 3 comparison with Caire Companion 5

  1. Caire Companion 5 v/s Airsep VisionAire 5
  2. Caire Companion 5 v/s Inogen at Home
  3. Caire Companion 5 v/s Invacare Perfect O2 v/s Philips Respironics EverFlo Q

It’s quite obvious that Caire has manufactured this machine with service in mind.

The weight, power consumption and sound level of this machine are certainly not very impressive. A lot was expected from Caire especially after acquiring AirSep, but so far seems like an above average product.

There are claims from distributors that this machine is going to be more durable than industry standards but it is too soon to comment on that.

Have questions? Ask them now!

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