Choosing the correct protective equipment for a certain type of experiment is essential in any lab. Fume hoods are basic pieces of personal protective equipment that help protect you from being exposed to chemical agents and other harmful substances as you complete your task. Laboratory fume hoods are also required to prevent environmental contamination and the inhalation of gases. From ducted fume hoods to canopy versions, you can find the right kind for your laboratory as well as a multitude of accessories.
Which FumeHood IsRight for My Lab?
The type that would work well for your lab depends on the kind of work you intend to complete. The main options for laboratory hoods are:
- Bypass Fume Hoods: They can minimize vapor spillage through constant exhaustion and by directing the air away from the work environment.
- Non-bypass Versions: Featuring a smaller opening, these types pull the air quickly into the hood to maintain a constant volume.
- Canopy Fume Hoods: Only suitable for use with non-hazardous and non-toxic items, these models are similar to a domestic over-the-stove vent fan.
- Laminar Models: They are suitable for those who work with bugs and other biological material. They offer clean air over the samples, but no safety in an enclosure for you.
- Reduced Air Volume Hoods: Using a small blower and bypass blocks to reduce the air volume in the enclosure, this option suits those interested in a system that saves energy. They work well for small-sized experiments and are often easier to install and maintain than conventional fume hoods.
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Lab Hood?
Besides the work you intend to complete, also keep in mind several other factors when deciding which kind of hood to purchase. Some of the most important are:
- Laboratory Size: Consider the space you have available in your lab. Make sure the lab fume hood model you choose also fits comfortably through the entrance. Moreover, check whether it is of a suitable height for the person who will use it regularly.
- Ease of Maintenance: Fume hoods require professional cleaning on a regular basis, so choose a model that is easy to clean without contaminating the room. If possible, look for a filter system or a scrubber to make sure the environment is not at risk.
- Fume Hood Alarms: Any fume hood system should have an alarm, which will notify you immediately in the event of a malfunction. This is particularly important for those situations you use solvents and acids that can produce a volatile condition.