As a laboratory technician, you need to consider the overall safety of your workspace at all times. You should consider all the environmental controls before and after every procedure. One of the most popular safety components of a laboratory is a fume extraction system. Laboratory fume hoods play an important role in keeping the occupants healthy, safe and productive in the facility. That is why it is important to choose the right chemical fume hood for the lab. Here are a few tips on how to get theright lab fume hoodfor your laboratory.
Know the type of chemicals you use:
Knowing the chemicals that are present in a laboratory can make the selection process simpler. The best approach is to meet with representatives from several fume hood manufacturers to do a comprehensive assessment of the chemicals in your laboratory. The representatives should produce a detailed report on the components and recommend a suitable chemical hood. The results of the assessment will also help you to make a decision as to whether a ducted fume hood is better than a ductless one.
Consider where you will place the hood:
Initial planning is critical whenever you intend to bring a new chemical fume hood in the lab. You need to consider where you will place the hood. The room’s ventilation and the movement of people affect the efficiency of the fume hood. Hence, the equipment must be placed away from doorways and air conditioning systems in order to safely remove the toxic vapor from the chemicals. Once you know where to position the hood, you can decide either to buy a table-top model or a full-sized variant. The location of the hood should also enhance operator convenience and workflow.
Consider Airflow Monitors:
A good fume hood should have a device that monitors the airflow and sounds an alarm in case there is a limited flow of air in and out of the laboratory. An airflow monitor usually warns the users whenever its velocity goes up to an extent it poses a threat. The system should notify the user immediately there is a problem in the hood. Also, choose a system with automated sash sensors that close the system whenever they detect any lack of movement after a specified duration.
Choose enough enclosure:
You should go for a fume hood with enough enclosure that allows at least five inches of space behind the sash. The equipment should have enough space so that the chemicals placed inside it do not touch the roof or the airfoil at the front. When you are working with a lot of solvents, go for a hood that has open top units to capture hazardous vapors. If you operate the hood with chemicals that can cause fire, ensure the hood you choose has enough space for a fire extinguisher.
Consider installation costs:
You need to be aware of the installation costs associated with every laboratory fume hood you choose. Every lab fume hood has its unique features. This means that the buying and installation price vary significantly .
However, many laboratory fume hood manufacturers offer installation services for free. They will only charge you for maintenance. There are a lot of qualified installers out there who are professionally trained in every facet of a fume hood system. Their rates depend on the number of hoods you want to install and the amount of time and effort it takes to install them.
In summary, you must tread carefully whenever you are choosing a hood system. We hope that the tips discussed above will give you some useful insights whenever you want to buy a laboratory fume hood.