Top Features Readers Look for in Fume Hoods

Learn the most popular types of fume hoods and more from our latest product survey results

By Shane Downie

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

  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 types used by survey respondents:

Conventional ducted fume hood 68%
Laminar flow hood 37%
Benchtop ductless fume hood 20%
Canopy ducted fume hood 20%
Variable air volume ducted fume hood 20%
Portable ductless fume hood 6%
Other 1%

50% 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:

Safety and health features 94%
Performance of product 88%
Durability of product 87%
Low maintenance / easy to clean 82%
Ease of use; ergonomic operation 80%
Value for price paid 77%
Low operating costs 66%
Warranties 63%
Total cost of ownership 62%
Service and support 58%

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

See results from previous surveys:

Categories: Surveys

Published In

The Automated Lab Magazine Issue Cover
The Automated Lab

Published: December 11, 2017

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