One of the primary safety devices in laboratories where chemicals are used is the laboratory fume hood. A well-designed fume hood, when properly installed and maintained, can provide a substantial degree of protection for the researcher, provided its proper use and limitations are understood. Check out the results of our latest fume hood survey.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Fume Hood

1. Can your lab go ductless? Ductless hoods are a viable solution for most routine laboratory applications. If a total exhaust hood is not an absolute requirement for the process being performed, a ductless solution often makes more sense.

2. What is the hood constructed from, how is it constructed, and how does this affect equipment life cycle? Based on your application, will any of the chemicals being used attack, degrade or physically alter the construction material of the hood? Will the hood stand up to harsh corrosives?

3. What type of safety controls are included in the base cost of the unit?

4. Has the manufacturer/distributor gone through a thorough application review process? Does the suggested filtration make sense?

5. How hard is installation? Will there be a future/potential need to move the hood after it has been installed the first time? Should the hood be portable?

6. What are the capital, installation and operational costs? From the lab manager’s perspective, capital costs are but a fraction of the overall budget. Installation/labor costs and operational costs must be factored in as well.

Types of fume hoods our readers are using in their labs:

Conventional ducted fume hood 60%
Benchtop ductless fume hood 10%
Canopy ducted fume hood 10%
Variable air volume ducted fume hood 8%
Down flow workstation 6%
Portable ductless fume hood 5%
Other 1%

Reasons our respondents were considering buying a new fume hood included:

Setting up a new lab/developing a brand new method 38%
Replacement of aging fume hood 32%
Addition to existing systems; increase capacity 22%
Changing from the current type of fume hood 4%
Other 4%

The top ten factors/features important to lab research respondents in their decisions to buy a fume hood:

Durability of product 98%
Low maintenance/easy to clean 98%
Performance of product 97%
Safety and health features 96%
Ease of use: ergonomic operation 95%
Low operating costs 90%
Total cost of ownership 86%
Value for price paid 85%
Warranties 85%
Service and support 79%

Recently Released Fume Hoods

• Provides real-time PPM measurements for filter saturation and an on-board application validation system
• Includes AirSafe™ TOUCH microprocessor controller with LCD one-touch controls
• Features multi-level administrator-defined access— up to 8 unique users
• Comes with energy consumption monitor with energy conservation mode
• Boasts Silconazyne™ bonded gas phase filtration

AirClean Systems

Protector® XStream®
• Provides excellent containment for an extremely safe environment
• Features unobstructed sight line of 37-1/2”
• Includes new anti-racking sash suspension system and captured counter weight for whisper quiet operation
• Contains new Eco-Foil™—an aerodynamic sill that reduces energy consumption 7-10% over flat airfoils
• Brings significant savings to the user’s bottom line


UniFlow SE Aire-Stream
• Are UL 1805 certified
• Offered in 48”, 60”, 72” and 96” widths in either constant air volume or restricted bypass models
• Is a high performance fume hood that maximizes user protection and energy savings


• EverSafe II™ microprocessor safety controller monitors and adjusts fume hood face velocity to the user preset value
• Has been ASHRAE 110 tested and provides excellent containment from toxic fumes and vapors
• Available in 30, 42 and 54 inch widths

Mystaire Misonix


Fume Hood Manufacturers

Air Master Systems
Air Science
AirClean Systems
CIF Furniture
Design Filtration
Flow Sciences
Genie Scientific
Germfree Laboratories
Hanson Lab Furniture
Kewaunee Scientific
Lab Synergy
LM Air Technology
Mystaire Misonix
Mott Manufacturing
RDM Industrial
Sentry Air Systems
Terra Universal
TFI/Inline Design
The Baker Company
Thermo Fisher Scientific