Fume hoods are an integral part of most labs. These ventilated enclosures enable laboratory personnel to safely work with materials that produce hazardous fumes and volatile vapors. Selecting a fume hood that is the right fit for your laboratory is important and there are many different ducted and ductless designs to choose from. Traditionally, fume hoods consume large amounts of energy, but many newer units are designed with energy efficiency in mind, which reduces operating costs while providing the necessary protection. For a list of fume hood manufacturers, see our online directory: LabManager.com/fume-hood-manufacturers
6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Fume Hood:
- Which chemicals will you use within the hood?
- Is a ducted or ductless hood best suited to your needs and available space?
- Where will you place the fume hood in the lab? Consider workflows, access to external exhaust systems, and competing air patterns.
- What size fume hood will best suit your needs? Be sure to consider what (if any) equipment will be enclosed in the hood.
- Are any service fixtures or accessories such as airflow monitors, electrical outlets, water, or gas fixtures required?
- Are base cabinets for acid, solvent, or non-chemical storage required?
When selecting a fume hood for your lab, there are many factors to consider and options to choose from. Before you buy, always start with safety by making sure the fume hood you purchase is effective against the types of chemicals you’ll be working with. Learn more here: LabManager.com/PRG-2022-fume-hoods
Some main points to consider when looking to increase fume hood energy efficiency are fan efficiency, access area opening dimensions, and ductless technology. Ductless fume hoods recirculate laboratory air after filtering out particles and fumes, rather than venting contaminants. Designs typically use airflow and air velocity meters to ensure the fume hood functions correctly and maintains a safe work environment.