One of the primary safety devices in laboratories where chemicals are used is the laboratory fume hood. It allows a researcher to work with—but not be exposed to—materials that create toxic fumes or particles when it is properly installed and maintained.
Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Fume Hood
- Can your lab go ductless? Ductless hoods are a viable solution for most routine laboratory applications.
- What is the hood constructed from and how is it constructed? Will the chemicals you use attack, degrade, or physically alter the material of the hood?
- What types of safety controls are included in the base cost of the unit?
- Has the manufacturer/distributor gone through a thorough application review process? Does the suggested filtration make sense?
- How hard is installation? Will there be a future/potential need to move the hood after initial installation? Should the hood be portable?
- What are the capital, installation and operational costs? From the lab manager’s perspective, capital costs are but a fraction of the overall budget.
Fume hood types used by survey respondents:
|Conventional ducted fume hood||68%|
|Laminar flow hood||33%|
|Benchtop ductless fume hood||19%|
|Canopy ducted fume hood||11%|
|Variable air volume ducted fume hood||10%|
|Portable ductless fume hood||3%|
Fume hood related components used by survey respondents:
|Transport support cart||6%|
|Fume extractor arms||10%|
|Base storage cabinet||52%|
Nearly 38% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new fume hood. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:
|Replacement of aging system||
|Addition to existing systems, increase capacity||
|Setting up a new lab / developing a brand new method||
|First time purchase||
Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing a Fume Hood
|Performance of Product||86%|
|Safety and Health Features||80%|
|Durability of Product||79%|
|Low Maintenance / Easy to Clean||77%|
|Ease of Use: Ergonomic Operation||75%|
|Value for Price Paid||70%|
|Low Operating Costs||65%|
|Total Cost of Ownership||53%|
|Service and Support||47%|
For more information on fume hoods, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/Fume-hoods