Regardless of your personal reasons for seeking out hyperbaric therapies and your decision to purchase a portable mild hyperbaric chamber; one thing is for certain… Cost comes in to play. But is cost the only thing we should be concerned with when researching manufacturers and the units available for home and office use? Certainly not!
Cost is a big issue, but it’s not the only one. Just like purchasing a new or used car; factors like safety, warranty, extended warranty, and customer service come into play. Fact is, you can always get a better price… but will you have gotten a better deal?
Based upon the most commonly asked questions and concerns from mild hyperbaric shoppers, we have developed a six point analysis to help you determine what manufacturer offers the best value for a 1.3 ATA mild hyperbaric chamber. The six points we are going to discuss are: Cost, Safety, Ease of Use, Warranty, Return Policy, and Customer Service
Just because something is the most expensive doesn’t make it the best, and just because something is the least expensive doesn’t make it the worst. The best example of this would be prescription and over the counter drugs. Your name brands are going to be 2-10 times more expensive than your generic drugs. Why? The answer is marketing. Often times the greater cost of one product versus another is marketing and brand name. So… cost is cost, just know what you’re paying for.
Most peoples’ first concern. Sadly, a lot misinformation regarding explosions of mild hyperbaric chambers is now circulating the industry further propagating these fears. In the past, I have stated that no mild hyperbaric chamber has ever "exploded", unfortunately I was applying the term explosion as in "A violent and destructive shattering or blowing apart of something, as is caused by a bomb" -- Google. However, it appears that even a shock wave transmitted outward is considered an explosion. Therefore, I must retract this former statement and state that portable hyperbaric chambers from OxyHealth TM, Summit to Sea, Performance Hyperbarics, and Pressure Tech have all "exploded". However, despite such failures; long term injury and or death has never been documented as a result of such a failure. Certainly when hard chambers "explode" it is far more violent and multiple deaths have been documented. I suppose that it is these fears that the promoters of the term "explosion" are seeking to invoke. Keep in mind that this is a consumers buying guide; so let us compare one simple fact concerning safety and brand selection. If an OxyHealth TM chamber is operated at the same pressure of approximately 4 psig as a Summit to Sea chamber, why would the failure of a window in one chamber be any more dangerous than the next. In other words, why would an "explosion" of one brand be any different than that of any competitor considering treatment pressure is the same. That said, the question of safety should not come down to brand but rather if one can determine if a rapid pressurization from the treatment pressure would be deemed unsafe.
Ease of use:
Every 1.3 ATA mild hyperbaric chamber is going to provide the same benefit. You will receive the same treatment in a chamber with a diameter of 21” as you will in a chamber with a diameter of 28”, 34”, or even 40”. The real question is, how comfortable will you be? And, how easy can a treatment be facilitated. Is the chamber large enough to have a second person for monitoring purposes or just for good company? Can the chamber easily be operated from the inside as well as the outside? And last, what is the visibility inside the chamber? Most things are easier when you can see!
One year seems to be the industry standard; beyond that… additional years can be bought from the manufacturers themselves or other third party agencies. I don’t recommend spending the money on the added warranty packages though, because any problems with a unit are usually experienced within the first few weeks of ownership which will be fully covered by the warranty. However, should you choose to purchase the extended warranty; they are generally full extension of the original limited warranty.
Chances are you won’t want to return your new mild hyperbaric chamber! However, in the case that you do… Make sure that is even a possibility before you buy!
Good customer service should almost cost extra, because it is that valuable. Unlike the car in your garage, when you have a question or concern about your new mild hyperbaric chamber, there isn’t a guy on the corner you can take it to. Sure, most salespeople are going to be courteous while they are still trying to get in your pockets, but what about after the sale? Will they be there when you have questions? Will they still get right back to you? In the rare case you need to utilize your warranty, will they assist you? Will they be there when you need them? Good customer service is more than good phone etiquette; it is the understanding that every customer is a lifelong relationship.
In summary, when purchasing a mild hyperbaric chamber there are a few points you will want to be clear on before making the final purchase. Those points are cost, safety, ease-of -use, warranty, return policy, and customer service. It is recommended that you prepare a small list of questions to keep you on point while doing your market research. Only when you are completely informed of all your options can you truly make the right decision and get “The Best Deal”.