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. Ducted units connect to your facility’s ductwork to direct fumes outside, while ductless units use filters to cycle clean air back into the laboratory. 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
7 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 your 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?
- Do you want safety or energy monitoring?
Webinar: Common Errors in Fume Hood Safety
The fume hood is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied safety devices in the lab. Unsure if you and your staff are using it properly? Sign up to watch our free, on-demand webinar covering the most common errors in fume hood safety at this link: labmanager.com/fume-hood-errors
To minimize exposure to fumes, move your hands slowly when working inside the fume hood. Quick movements will generate more turbulence, which can expose you to more fumes.