A fume hood is an integral part of any laboratory or educational setting. These devices establish a safe work surface by exhausting hazardous chemicals, and should be purchased from a reputable supplier to ensure optimum functionality and durability.
When looking for a fume hood manufacturer, make sure to inquire on every aspect of the process. Ask about the material used to construct the hood, what safety standards it meets, what the longevity is like, what installation fees are involved, what sort of lab it best suits, what customizations are available, and of course, the overall cost. We can walk you through the criteria a fume hood should meet, in detail.
Fume Hood Testing Standards
ASHRAE stands for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The ASHRAE 110 is an industry standard testing that fume hoods must adhere to, ensuring they were built, installed, and operate correctly.
Manufacturers should guarantee that their products meet this important safety standard. The ASHRAE 110 tests smoke visualization, tracer gas containment, and face velocity, a measurement of how much air the fume hood can draw in per minute. This critical test determines the top factor for usability in a fume hood, as a hood with poor face velocity (under the recommended 100 feet per minute [FPM]) means chemical fumes are not being directed properly.
Our iQ Labs fume hoods (both floor mounted and benchtop) meet the ASHRAE 110 criteria.
Make sure the fume hood you are purchasing is UL Listed. Underwriter Laboratories (UL for short) is a safety certification company with regularly updating standards, ensuring products are always at peak performance for the operators utilizing them. UL Listed is a nation-wide credential for standalone products as a way to acknowledge proper safety and sustainability excellence.
When a fume hood manufacturer has this seal on their products, you can be assured that you are receiving a long-lasting fume hood with a decreased risk of fire or electrical shock in an area containing flammable materials.
The Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association has their own standard, requiring products to be safe and of laboratory grade. Fume hood manufacturers should guarantee that their products meet these standards, which include a wide scope of necessary tests for material durability, construction and implementation of exhaust, and safe installation.
OSHA requires initial installation inspection and quarterly fume hood face velocity testing to make certain the primary function of the fume hood, exhausting harmful vapors, is intact.
Fume Hood Technical Specifications
Once you know that the fume hood meets the necessary safety standards, it’s time to ask about the specifics.
The ventilation of your fume hood will depend on if you have a ductless (also known as portable) or ducted fume hood. Ductless fume hoods contain filters that recycle the contained air and return it back into the laboratory space.
Ducted fume hoods, which are the kind carried at iQ Labs, attach to duct work and are equipped with blowers, transferring the contaminated air completely outside of the facility, meaning they are more efficient at maintaining a safe, hazard-free environment.
The chemical materials your lab works with, the size of your lab, and your local filtration requirements can play a role in determining the type of fume hood you require.
The two main types of fume hoods airflow are constant air volume (CAV) and variable air volume (VAV). These affect energy efficiency by allowing the user to control the input or output of air.
CAV is dependent on the position of the fume hood sash (the adjustable window separating the operator from the materials). While the CAV system does have a lower installation cost, since it is constantly pulling air from the HVAC system, energy efficiency can decrease. Your CAV system can be upgraded to a VAV at any time.
VAV fume hoods employ a Venturi valve to regulate the airflow. Because this method is extremely precise, the VAV system is more intricate and therefore more expensive to install, though it is more energy efficient.
With more companies searching for ways to optimize energy use, a VAV fume hood system is always a good long-term choice.
Depending on the work you are conducting and the available space in your lab, you might need a particular size fume hood. We offer a wide range of fume hoods, including LA and BV series bench top hoods, dual-entry teaching hoods, and floor mounted hoods.
If you’re a professor in an educational lab setting, the dual-entry fume hood maximizes work space and allows multiple people to engage in a lesson or demonstration. If your lab is spacious, a floor mounted hood is large enough to accommodate roll-in lab equipment.
Certain materials may be used in a fume hood to make it strong or resistant to certain chemicals, including stainless steel. The quality of the construction materials will affect the safety and longevity of your fume hood, so it is important to make sure your manufacturer can guarantee all materials used are incredibly durable and resistant to corrosion.
Your lab may require specialty fume hoods. These are built with particular materials for specific needs, such as work with low-level radioisotopes and hazardous, highly reactive perchloric acid.
Your lab may have specific needs that require customizations. At iQ Labs, we offer fume hood blowers and fans. These additional safety features limit the chance of a contamination accident.
Fume Hood Repair & Replacement Parts
It’s important to check whether the manufacturer offers repair services or replacement parts in case a fume hood breaks. Fume hoods do require regular maintenance to operate safely, especially given the critical nature of the service they provide.
Find replacement fume hood parts (and the installation instructions) at iQ Labs. While we do not do on-site installation, our network of national repair and installation partners will assist you on more complicated repair processes.
Laboratory Furniture & Fume Hoods
If you are searching for a fume hood, it can be easier to find the rest of your laboratory furniture at the same manufacturer. iQ Labs provides furniture, casework (like chemical-specific cabinets), and other accessories (like countertops and plumbing fixtures) to round out your lab needs.
Fume Hood Price
When it comes down to it, price will be a determining factor in what fume hood you choose. Always ask the manufacturer for a quote to see if it fits in with your lab budget. We are happy to provide that to you today. Send us a message or give us a call to discuss what fume hood best suits your laboratory needs.