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||70%|
|Laminar flow hood||38%|
|Benchtop ductless fume hood||21%|
|Canopy ducted fume hood||20%|
|Variable air volume ducted fume hood||11%|
|Portable ductless fume hood||6%|
Fume hood related components used by survey respondents:
|Base storage cabinet||62.5%|
|Fume extractor arms||9.8%|
|Transport support cart||5.4%|
48% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new fume hood. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:
|Replacement of aging fume hood||
|Addition to existing systems, increase capacity||
|Setting up a new lab / developing a brand new method||
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a fume hood:
|Durability of product||87%|
|Performance of product||84%|
|Safety and health features||80%|
|Low maintenance / easy to clean||78%|
|Value for price paid||74%|
|Ease of use; ergonomic operation||74%|
|Low operating costs||62%|
|Total cost of ownership||56%|
|Service and support||45%|
For more information on fume hoods, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/fume-hoods