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2014 Fume Hoods User Survey Results

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.

Trevor Henderson, PhD

Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Fume Hood Survey Says 2014

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.
  2. 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?
  3. What types 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 initial installation? 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.

Fume hood type(s) currently being used in readers’ labs:

Benchtop ductless fume hood 13%
Canopy ducted fume hood 10%
Conventional ducted fume hood 36%
Laminar flow hood 25%
Portable ductless fume hood 5%
Variable air volume ducted fume hood 4%
Down flow workstation 6%
Other 1%

Fume hood related components used by survey respondents:

Airflow monitor 25%
Work surface 23%
Base storage cabinet 22%
Blowers 12%
Digital monitors 9%
Fume extractor arms 5%
Transport support cart 3%
Other 1%

Nearly 21% of respondents plan on purchasing a fume hood in the next year. 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
Changing from a ducted fume hood to ductless fume hood
Changing from a ductless fume hood to a ducted fume hood

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a fume hood:

Performance of product 97%
Safety and health features 97%
Durability of product 95%
Ease of use/Ergonomic operation 94%
Low maintenance/Easy to clean 91%
Value for price paid 88%
Low operating costs 86%
Warranties 85%
Service and support 79%
Availability of supplies and accessories 77%

For more information on fume hoods, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most recent survey results here