Fume hood

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Not to be confused with Exhaust hood.
Fume hood
A common modern fume hood.
Other names Hood
Fume cupboard
Uses Fume removal
Blast shield
Related items Laminar flow cabinet

A fume hood or fume cupboard is a type of local[1] ventilation device that is designed to limit exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes, vapors or dusts. A fume hood is typically a large piece of equipment enclosing five sides of a work area, the bottom of which is most commonly located at a standing work height.

Two main types exist, ducted and recirculating (ductless). The principle is the same for both types: air is drawn in from the front (open) side of the cabinet, and either expelled outside the building or made safe through filtration and fed back into the room.

Other related types of local ventilation devices include: clean benches, biosafety cabinets, glove boxes and snorkel exhausts. All these devices address the need to control airborne hazards or irritants that are typically generated or released within the local ventilation device. All local ventilation devices are designed to address one or more of three primary goals:

  • to protect the user from inhaling toxic gases (fume hoods, biosafety cabinets, glove boxes);
  • to protect the product or experiment (biosafety cabinets, glove boxes);
  • to protect the environment (recirculating fume hoods, certain biosafety cabinets, and any other type when fitted with appropriate filters in the exhaust airstream).

Secondary functions of these devices may include explosion protection, spill containment, and other functions necessary to the work being done within the device.

A general but non-specific term for some of these local ventilation devices is Laminar flow cabinet. This category may include clean benches, biosafety cabinets and other devices characterized simply by the laminar nature of their airflow. The term laminar flow cabinet, however, is insufficient to identify their actual design and use - some will protect the product but not the user, and others will protect both. Terminology for local ventilation devices has been, and remains, unclear and non-specific, and the reader is advised to take special care in selection and specification based upon which of the three primary goals (listed above) are to be met.

Fume hoods typically protect only the user, and are most commonly used in laboratories where hazardous or noxious chemicals are released during testing, research, development or teaching. They are also used in industrial applications or other activities where hazardous or noxious vapors, gases or dusts are generated or released.

Because one side (the front) of a fume hood is open to the room occupied by the user, and the air within the fume hood is potentially contaminated, the proper flow of air from the room into the hood is critical to its function. Much of fume hood design and operation is focused on maximizing the proper containment of the air and fumes within the fume hood.

As most fume hoods are designed to connect to exhaust systems that expel the air directly to the exterior of a building, large quantities of energy are required to run fans that exhaust the air, and to heat, cool, filter, control and move the air that will replace the air exhausted. Significant recent efforts in fume hood and ventilation system design have focused on reducing the energy used to operate fume hoods and their supporting ventilation systems.

Design features[edit]

Fume hoods were originally manufactured from timber, but during the seventies and eighties epoxy powder coated steel became the norm. During the nineties wood pulp derivatives treated with phenolic resin (plastic laminates and solid grade laminates) for chemical resistance and flame spread retardency started to become widely accepted. Fume hoods (fume cupboards) are generally available in 5 different widths; 1000 mm, 1200 mm, 1500 mm, 1800 mm and 2000 mm.[2] The depth varies between 700 mm and 900 mm, and the height between 1900 mm and 2700 mm. These can accommodate from one to three operators. Fume hoods are generally set back against the walls and are often fitted with infills above, to cover up the exhaust ductwork. Because of their shape they are generally dim inside, so many have internal lights with vapor-proof covers. The front is a sash window, usually in glass, able to move up and down on a counterbalance mechanism. On educational versions, the sides of the unit are often also glass, so that several pupils can look into a fume hood at once. Low air flow alarm control panels are common, see below.

Sash counterbalance systems[edit]

  • Cable & Pulley Systems - Typically an aircraft grade stainless steel cable runs over single axle positioned pulleys to the counterweight. Cable counterbalance systems are reliable because cable is 1/8" 17 wire X9 strand stainless steel aircraft cable which is rated at over 12,000 lbs breaking strength. This far exceeds the weight of the sash; therefore, the cable will not break unless it is structurally compromised. Typically to prevent this cable is coated with chemically resistant material. The pulleys that the cable runs on are specifically designed for use with cables and consist of an outer concave housing with an independent bearing center and does not require lubricating. This system has an indefinite lifespan with little to no maintenance.
  • Chain & Sprocket Systems - Typically a hardened chain (similar to a bicycle chain) runs over sprockets to the counterweight. The sprockets are attached onto a single axle which allows them to turn at the same time. This system will travel smoothly no matter where the user chooses to lift the sash along the hood width. This is especially important on longer hoods where the user may be lifting the sash at one end. This system requires regular maintenance as the chain or belt will be expanded because of weak resistance to tension. Beside that chain and sprocket systems require lubricating. That will cause additional service costs in long-term period.

Fume hood liners[edit]

  • Fiberglas Reinforced Polyester (FRP)
  • Epoxy Resin
  • Square Corner Stainless Steel
  • Coved Corner Stainless Steel for Radio Chem applications.
  • Phenolic Resin for most general applications.
  • Cement Board

Control panels[edit]

Most fume hoods are fitted with a mains-powered control panel. Typically, they perform one or more of the following functions:

  • Warn of low air flow.
  • Warn of too large an opening at the front of the unit. Known as a "high sash" alarm, this is caused by the sliding glass at the front of the unit being raised higher than is considered safe, due to the resulting air velocity drop.
  • Provide a method of switching the exhaust fan on or off.
  • Provide a method of turning the internal light on or off.

Specific extra functions can be added, for example, a switch to turn a waterwash system on or off.


Ducted fume hoods[edit]

A common ducted fume hood

Most fume hoods for industrial purposes are ducted. A large variety of ducted fume hoods exist. In most designs, conditioned (i.e. heated or cooled) air is drawn from the lab space into the fume hood and then dispersed via ducts into the atmosphere.

The fume hood is only one piece of the lab ventilation system. As the recirculation of lab air to the rest of the facility is not permitted, air handling units serving the non-laboratory areas are kept segregated from the laboratory units. As a means of improving indoor air quality, some laboratories also utilize single-pass air handling systems, where air that is heated or cooled is used only once prior to discharge. Many laboratories continue to utilize return air systems to the laboratory areas to minimize energy and running costs, while still providing adequate ventilation rates for acceptable working conditions. The fume hoods serve to evacuate hazardous levels of contaminant.

To reduce lab ventilation costs, variable air volume (VAV) systems are employed, which reduce the volume of the air exhausted as the fume hood sash is closed. This product is often enhanced by an automatic sash closing device, which will close the fume hood sash when the user leaves the fume hood face. The result is that the hoods are operating at the minimum exhaust volume whenever no one is actually working in front of them.

Since the typical fume hood in US climates uses 3.5-times as much energy as a home,[3] the reduction or minimization of exhaust volume is particularly beneficial in reducing facility energy costs as well as minimizing the impact on the facility infrastructure and the environment. Particular attention must be paid to the discharge location, so as not to risk public safety, or to pull the exhaust air back into the building supply air system.

Auxiliary air[edit]

This method is outdated technology. The premise was to bring non-conditioned outside air directly in front of the hood so that this was the air exhausted to the outside. This method does not work well when the climate changes as it pours frigid or hot and humid air over the user making it very uncomfortable to work or affecting the procedure inside the hood. This system also uses additional ductwork which can be costly.

Constant air volume (CAV) ducted hoods[edit]

In a survey of 247 lab professionals conducted in 2010, Lab Manager Magazine found that approximately 43% of fume hoods are conventional CAV fume hoods.[4]

Non-bypass CAV ducted hoods[edit]

Closing the sash on a non-bybass CAV hood will increase face velocity (“pull"), which is a function of the total volume divided by the area of the sash opening. Thus, a conventional hood’s performance (from a safety perspective) depends primarily on sash position, with safety increasing as the hood is drawn closed.[5] To address this issue, many conventional CAV hoods specify a maximum height that the fume hood can be open in order to maintain safe airflow levels.

A major drawback of conventional CAV hoods is that when the sash is closed, velocities can increase to the point where they disturb instrumentation and delicate apparatuses, cool hot plates, slow reactions, and/or create turbulence that can force contaminants into the room.[6]

Bypass CAV ducted hoods[edit]

Bypass CAV hoods (which are sometimes also referred to as conventional hoods) were developed to overcome the high velocity issues that affect conventional fume hoods. These hood allows air to be pulled through a "bypass" opening from above as the sash closes. The bypass is located so that as the user closes the sash, the bypass opening gets larger. The air going through the hood maintains a constant volume no matter where the sash is positioned and without changing fan speeds. As a result, the energy consumed by CAV fume hoods (or rather, the energy consumed by the building HVAC system and the energy consumed by the hood's exhaust fan) remains constant, or near constant, regardless of sash position.[7]

Low flow/high performance bypass CAV ducted hoods[edit]

"High-performance" or "low-flow" bypass CAV hoods are the newest type of bypass CAV hoods and typically display improved containment, safety, and energy conservation features. Low-flow/high performance CAV hoods generally have one or more of the following features: sash stops or horizontal-sliding sashes to limit the openings; sash position and airflow sensors that can control mechanical baffles; small fans to create an air-curtain barrier in the operator’s breathing zone; refined aerodynamic designs and variable dual-baffle systems to maintain laminar (undisturbed, nonturbulent) flow through the hood. Although the initial cost of a high-performance hood is typically more than that of a conventional bypass hood, the improved containment and flow characteristics allow these hoods to operate at a face velocity as low as 60 fpm, which can translate into $2,000 per year or more in energy savings, depending on hood size and sash settings.[8]

Reduced air volume (RAV) ducted hoods[edit]

Reduced air volume hoods (a variation of low-flow/high performance hoods) incorporate a bypass block to partially close off the bypass, reducing the air volume and thus conserving energy. Usually, the block is combined with a sash stop to limit the height of the sash opening, ensuring a safe face velocity during normal operation while lowering the hood’s air volume. By reducing the air volume, the RAV hood can operate with a smaller blower, which is another cost-saving advantage.

Since RAV hoods have restricted sash movement and reduced air volume, these hoods are less flexible in what they can be used for and can only be used for certain tasks. Another drawback to RAV hoods is that users can in theory override or disengage the sash stop. If this occurs, the face velocity could drop to an unsafe level. To counter this condition, operators must be trained never to override the sash stop while in use, and only to do so when loading or cleaning the hood.[9]

Variable air volume (VAV) ducted hoods[edit]

VAV hoods, the newest generations of laboratory fume hoods, vary the volume of room air exhausted while maintaining the face velocity at a set level. Different VAV hoods change the exhaust volume using different methods, such as a damper or valve in the exhaust duct that opens and closes based on sash position, or a blower that changes speed to meet air-volume demands. Most VAV hoods integrate a modified bypass-block system that ensures adequate airflow at all sash positions. VAV hoods are connected electronically to the laboratory building’s HVAC, so hood exhaust and room supply are balanced. In addition, VAV hoods feature monitors and/or alarms that warn the operator of unsafe hood-airflow conditions.

Although VAV hoods are much more complex than traditional constant-volume hoods, and correspondingly have higher initial costs, they can provide considerable energy savings by reducing the total volume of conditioned air exhausted from the laboratory. Since most hoods are operated the entire time a laboratory is open, this can quickly add up to significant cost savings. This savings are, however, completely contingent on user behavior: the less the hoods are open (both in terms of height and in terms of time), the greater the energy savings. For example, if the laboratory's ventilation system uses 100% once-through outside air and the value of conditioned air is assumed to be $7 per CFM per year (this value would increase with very hot, cold or humid climates), a 6-foot VAV fume hood at full open for experiment set up 10% of the time (2.4 hours per day), at 18 inch working opening 25% of the time (6 hours per day), and completely closed 65% of the time (15.6 hours per day) would save approximately $6,000 every year compared to a hood that is fully open 100% of the time.[10][11]

Potential behavioral savings from VAV fume hoods are highest when fume hood density (number of fume hoods per square foot of lab space) is high. This is because fume hoods contribute to the achievement of lab spaces' required air exchange rates. Put another way, savings from closing fume hoods can only be achieved when fume hood exhaust rates are greater than the air exchange rate needed to achieve the required ventilation rate in the lab room. For example, if you have a lab room with a required air exchange rate of 2000 cubic feet per minute (CFM), and that room has just one fume hood, which vents air at a rate of 1000 square feet per minute, closing the sash on the fume hood will simply cause the lab room's air handler to increase from 1000 CFM to 2000 CFM, thus resulting in no net reduction in air exhaust rates, and thus no net reduction in energy consumption.[12]

In a survey of 247 lab professionals conducted in 2010, Lab Manager Magazine found that approximately 12% of fume hoods are VAV fume hoods.[13]

Canopy fume hoods[edit]

Canopy fume hoods, also called exhaust canopies, are similar to the range hoods found over stoves in commercial and some residential kitchens. They have only a canopy (and no enclosure and no sash) and are designed for venting non-toxic materials such as non-toxic smoke, steam, heat, and odors. In a survey of 247 lab professionals conducted in 2010, Lab Manager Magazine found that approximately 13% of fume hoods are ducted canopy fume hoods.[14]

Pros Cons
Fumes are completely eradicated from the workplace. Additional ductwork.
Low maintenance. Temperature controlled air is removed from the workplace.
Quiet operation, due to the extract fan being some distance from the operator. Fumes are dispersed into the atmosphere, rather than being treated.

Ductless (recirculating) fume hoods[edit]

Mainly for educational or testing use, these units generally have a fan mounted on the top (soffit) of the hood, or beneath the worktop. Air is sucked through the front opening of the hood and through a filter, before passing through the fan and being fed back into the workplace. With a ductless fume hood it is essential that the filter medium be able to remove the particular hazardous or noxious material being used. As different filters are required for different materials, recirculating fume hoods should only be used when the hazard is well known and does not change.

Air filtration of ductless fume hoods is typically broken into two segments:

  • Pre-filtration: This is the first stage of filtration, and consists of a physical barrier, typically open cell foam, which prevents large particles from passing through. Filters of this type are generally inexpensive, and last for approximately six months depending on usage.
  • Main filtration: After pre-filtration, the fumes are sucked through a layer of activated charcoal which absorbs the majority of chemicals that pass through it. Ammonia and carbon monoxide will, however, pass through most carbon filters. Additional specific filtration techniques can be added to combat chemicals that would otherwise be pumped back into the room. A main filter will generally last for approximately two years, dependent on usage.

Ductless fume hoods are often not appropriate for research applications where the activity, and the materials used or generated, may change or be unknown. As a result of this and other drawbacks, some research organizations, including the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee,[15] Columbia University,[16] Princeton University,[17] the University of New Hampshire,[18] and the University of Colorado, Boulder[19] either discourage or prohibit the use of ductless fume hoods.

A benefit of ductless fume hoods is that they are mobile, easy to install since they require no ductwork, and can be plugged into a 110 volt or 220 volt outlet.

In a survey of 247 lab professionals conducted in 2010, Lab Manager Magazine found that approximately 22% of fume hoods are ductless fume hoods.[20]

Pros Cons
Ductwork not required. Filters must be regularly maintained and replaced.
Temperature controlled air is not removed from the workplace. Greater risk of chemical exposure than with ducted equivalents.
Contaminated air is not pumped into the atmosphere. The extract fan is near the operator, so noise may be an issue.

Specialty hood types[edit]

Acid digestion hood[edit]

These units are typically constructed of polypropylene in order to resist the corrosive effects of acids at high concentrations. If hydrofluoric acid is being used in the hood, the hood's glass sash should be constructed of polycarbonate which resists etching. Hood ductwork should be lined with polypropylene or coated with PTFE (Teflon).

Downflow fume hoods[edit]

Downflow fume hoods, also called downflow work stations, are typically ductless fume hoods designed to protect the user and the environment from hazardous vapors generated on the work surface. A downward air flow is generated and hazardous vapors are collected through slits in the work surface.

Perchloric acid hood[edit]

These units feature a waterwash system in the ductwork. Because perchloric acid fumes settle, and form explosive crystals, it is vital that the ductwork is cleaned internally with a series of sprays.

Radioisotope hood[edit]

This fume hood is made with a coved stainless steel liner and coved integral stainless steel countertop that is reinforced to handle the weight of lead bricks or blocks.


This type of fume hood absorbs the fumes through a chamber filled with plastic shapes, which are doused with water. The chemicals are washed into a sump, which is often filled with a neutralizing liquid. The fumes are then dispersed, or disposed of, in the conventional manner.


These fume hoods have an internal wash system that cleans the interior of the unit, to prevent a build-up of dangerous chemicals.

Energy consumption[edit]

Because fume hoods constantly remove very large volumes of conditioned (heated or cooled) air from lab spaces, they are responsible for the consumption of large amounts of energy. Key statistics laid out in a 2006 article by Evan Mills et al.:[21]

  • For standard two-meter (six-foot) hoods, per-hood energy costs range from $4,600/year for moderate climates such as Los Angeles, USA to $9,300/year for extreme cooling climates such as Singapore.
  • With an estimated 750,000 hoods in use in the U.S., the aggregate energy use and savings potential is significant. Mills et al. estimate the annual operating cost of U.S. fume hoods at approximately $4.2 billion, with a corresponding peak electrical demand of 5,100 megawatts.
  • As a result, fume hoods are a major factor in making typical laboratories four to five times more energy intensive than typical commercial buildings.[22]
  • With emerging technologies, per-hood savings of 50 percent to 75 percent can be safely and cost-effectively achieved while addressing the limitations of existing strategies.

The bulk of the energy that fume hoods are responsible for is the energy needed to heat and/or cool air delivered to the lab space. Depending on the type of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system installed, this energy can be electricity, natural gas, heating oil, coal, or other energy types. Additional electricity is consumed by fans in the HVAC system and fans in the fume hood exhaust system.[23]

Behavioral programs to reduce fume hood energy use[edit]

A number of colleges, universities, and other research institutions run or have run programs to encourage lab users to reduce fume hood energy consumption by keeping VAV sashes closed as much as possible. These programs typically use social marketing tactics such as placing stickers or magnets on VAV fume hoods to prompt users to keep them closed, providing feedback to lab users on the amount of energy consumed by fume hoods, and running competitions in which labs compete to see which building or lab can achieve the largest percent reduction in fume hood height or energy consumption. Organizations that have run behavior programs to reduce fume hood energy use include:

  • Harvard University:[24] A "Shut the sash" campaign in the Chemistry & Chemical Biology (CCB) Department resulted in a sustained ~30 percent reduction in fume hood exhaust rates as a result of increased attentiveness to fume hood sash height. The total pre-campaign exhaust from the 150 VAV fume hoods monitored was 85,000 cubic feet/minute (CFM), and the post-campaign average 59,000 CFM. This translated into cost savings of approximately $180,000 per year, and a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 300 MTCDE (metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent). The campaign included a number of components:
    • Competition: A competition in which labs competed against each other to reduce their fume hood energy use the most
    • Prompts: Placement of “Shut the Sash” magnets on each fume hood as a prompt/reminder
    • Communication: General outreach through posters, flyers, and emails
    • Goal Setting: Monthly goals were set for each lab. These goals were re-evaluated as research groups’ size changes and as their work changes to more or less hood-intensive research.
    • Incentives: Labs that achieved their monthly goal were entered into a monthly raffle in which they could win movie passes or a beer & pizza party. Labs that met their monthly goal at least 4 of the most recent 6 months were invited to highly popular bi-annual wine & cheese parties.
    • Feedback: Real time meters at the exit to most labs allow users to quickly check whether all the hoods are closed each evening if they are the last one to leave the lab. Feedback on performance is distributed twice a month – once to let lab users know if they are on track for their goal, and the other time to let them know who won the raffle that month.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology:[25]
    • Air volume through all VAV hoods in the department is modulated by a Venturi-type air valve by Phoenix Controls. A nominal face velocity of 100 ft/min is maintained. Data from sash position sensors on each fume hood are sent to a central processor that controls laboratory-scale and building-level exhaust. Software automatically collects and redistributes the 15 minutes average sash position by laboratory from this central database
    • The first fume hood behavior intervention in the MIT Chemistry Department occurred mid-November 2006, when the Chemistry Department’s EHS Coordinator reinforced the importance of closing fume hood sashes at the regularly scheduled EHS laboratory representative meeting. The presentation covered the reasons for shutting the sash (cost savings, benefit to the environment, personal safety), a description of how fume hoods work and how energy is consumed, the dangers of improper fume hood use, and the magnitude of the potential energy savings (up to $400/inch of hood opening per year in the widest hoods in the Chemistry Department (and $80/in/year for the hoods in Building 18). Representatives were encouraged to respond after the presentation and after discussion with their labs. This message was reinforced by an e-mail from the department head to the faculty with the goal of ensuring the entire department was familiar with the program. The “shut-the-sash” message was subsequently integrated into the Chemistry Department’s EHS training sessions that are required for all new graduate students.
    • The second intervention was the release of fume hood use data to the faculty principal investigator in charge of each lab. The first datasets were distributed by the department EHS coordinator to the Chemistry faculty in early August 2007. These data were then distributed to other members of the lab at the faculty PI’s discretion.
    • Findings: Average sash height was lowered by 26 percent (from 16.3 +- 0.85 percent open to 12.1 +- 0.39 percent open) throughout the department, saving an estimated $41,000/year. Sash position during inactive periods was lowered from 9 to 6 percent open. Half of all department savings occurred in four (of 25) labs. Energy savings are substantially less than original expectations because most installed fume hoods use combination sashes. Labs with vertical sashes use the most energy, and see the most savings from the intervention.
  • North Carolina State University [26] - During sash closing campaigns conducted at the beginning of each semester, Energy Management and Environmental Health and Safety conduct campus presentations highlighting the University’s responsibility to conserve energy and provide safe working conditions with the goal of educating scientists and research assistants on proper lab protocol and ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Sash opening labels have been placed on all fume hoods on campus to serve as constant reminders for all lab users. In addition to these campaigns, periodic surveys are conducted to inventory which labs are practicing correct lab safety procedures. These surveys also highlight buildings with high energy consumption where further monitoring or outreach is needed.
  • University of British Columbia[27][28] UBC held their first fume hood competition in 2012. Over the course of the six weeks competition, an 85 per cent reduction in fume hood energy consumption was achieved. Six labs were recognized for exemplary fume hood practices at a wrap-up event attended by 130 researchers, with first place groups receiving $500 and second place groups receiving $250. All winning groups also received a commemorative sash (pun intended).
  • University of California, Berkeley[29] UC Berkeley's “Shut the Sash” Fume Hood Campaign educates lab researchers to close the sashes on fume hoods when they are not in use to reduce energy consumption and improve air quality. As of May 2011, the program targets Tan Hall and uses stickers, flyers, and emails to disseminate information. It also involves a competition to see which lab can “Shut the Sash” most consistently.
  • University of California, Davis:[30] In summer 2009, about 600 vinyl stickers were installed on the exterior sidewall of fume hoods in ten buildings at UC Davis. The sticker uses a traffic light color scheme, with a red zone above 18 inches, and a large arrow pointing down with the words, “More Safe, Less Energy” changing from yellow at the midpoint to green at the bottom when the sash is closed completely. Visual surveys of sash-position status were conducted before sticker deployment, about 2 months after sticker installations, and again in spring, 2011, to assess persistence. The survey method estimated sash status by benchmarks in approximate quartiles to streamline the survey effort. This also helped capture information on VAV-system response. These benchmarks were incorporated into energy savings calculations. Sash positions were averaged by floors at each sample time. Survey results showed 90-100% compliance 22 months after installation with no additional reinforcement of closure. Given a per hood sticker installation cost of $5 and a conditioned air cost of $7/CFM/year, the simple payback of the project was estimated to be 15 hours, and the return on investment (ROI) was estimated to be 599%.
  • University of California, Irvine:[31] In order to get the fume hoods sashes closed, UC Irvine's PowerSave Campus Program uses a three-pronged approach. The first method is direct education, in which teaching assistants (TAs) are asked to encourage their students to close the hoods before leaving the labs. The second approach is placing “point-of-decision” reminder stickers on the hoods themselves, explaining that a closed fume hood saves up to 50,000 lbs of CO2 a year. The third method is an incentive-based competition among three buildings that contain fume hoods. During the three-week competition, volunteers periodically audit the buildings’ fume hoods, noting the total number of inches each fume hood has been left open. The building with the fewest total number of inches at the end of the competition wins a catered luncheon for its professors and lab users, and an energy-efficiency certificate provided by the Green Campus Program. In 2007, the Fume Hood Use campaign won an award for “Best Practices in Student Energy Efficiency,” at the sixth annual Sustainability Conference at UC-Santa Barbara, beating all other PowerSave Campus Programs in the UC system. The PowerSave Campus team estimates that the Fume Hood Use campaign saves over 80,000 lbs of CO2 and $13,000 every quarter.
  • University of California, Los Angeles:[32][33][34] As its first initiative, UCLA EH&S's Laboratory Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) jointly sponsored a competition with the Alliance to Save Energy's PowerSave Campus Program to encourage reduced fume hood sash heights in research laboratories. The first fume hood competition took place in the Molecular Sciences Building (MSB) during Fall 2008 and included about 230 fume hoods. Overall, the competition saw a 40% sash height decrease from 13.4” to 8” (as shown by competition behavior and the long-term followup). In order to identify the lasting, long-term behavior change, LEEP and UCLA PowerSave Campus conducted follow-up audits each month after the competition. Sash heights were measured throughout one week, using the same method for recording baseline measurements. The follow-up data showed that MSB’s new average sash height was 7.8”—a 5.6” decrease from baseline measurements. Ultimately, this 40% reduction translates into an annual estimated savings of 1,415,278 lbs of CO2 emissions and $149,730. Several additional competitions have been held following the success of this original one.
  • University of California, Riverside:[35] Make posters & stickers available for download on their website.
  • University of California, San Diego:[36][37] The UC San Diego Annual Shut the Sash Competition is a 5-week campaign sponsored by the PowerSave Campus Program, Facilities Management, Environmental Health & Safety, and the Biology Department. The first competition began in January 2009 and, as of October 2012, has happened every year since. The campaign involves 11 labs in a challenge to reduce their energy consumption and improve air quality by closing the sashes on fume hoods when not in use. The “Shut the Sash” competition helps promote energy savings by challenging laboratories to save more energy than other laboratories from a set baseline. The Shut the Sash Competition educated researchers, raised awareness of lab energy efficiency and showed real savings in energy use and cost. On average, there was a 27 percent reduction in sash heights over a five-week period in 2009. The Shut the Sash competition and awareness campaign also saves 21,734 kWh/year or $1695.25 annually, assuming sash heights stay at a similar level.
  • University of California, Santa Barbara:[38] In summer 2009, about 200 vinyl were installed on the exterior sidewall of fume hoods in seven buildings at UC Santa Barbara. The sticker uses a traffic light color scheme, with a red zone above 18 inches, and a large arrow pointing down with the words, “More Safe, Less Energy” changing from yellow at the midpoint to green at the bottom when the sash is closed completely. Surveys were conducted by collecting real-time sash position data provided by the campus’ building monitoring system (BMS). Data were collected for 10-day periods prior to sticker installation for select fume hoods, and one, two, and three months following sticker installation. The average sash height for each hood was calculated for each 10-day period. In the Engineering Science Building, average sash opening was ~15 inches prior to sticker installation, ~6.5 inches 3 months after sticker installation, and ~9.5 inches 23 months after sticker installation. In the California NansoSystems Institute building, average sash opening was ~7.5 inches prior to sticker installation, ~6 inches 3 months after sticker installation, and ~5 inches 23 months after sticker installation.
  • University of Central Florida:[39] Have placed reminder stickers on fume hoods.
  • University of Colorado, Boulder:[40] Using stickers and educational posters to reminder users of VAV fume hoods to keep them closed
  • University of Toronto[41] The University of Toronto ran their first fume hood sash closing campaign from October 2008 until March 2009. The campaign included workshops, posters, a website, and individual and group competitions. Before the campaign, sashes were regularly left in the same position whether the hoods were in use or not (around 11 inches). During the campaign, sash heights of unused hoods dropped to just under 4 inches on average, resulting in estimated annual savings of at least 49,000 kWh of electricity, 770 mmBTU of heating energy and 51 tonnes of greenhouse gases and as much as 240,000 kWh, 3800 mmBTU of heating energy and 260 tonnes of greenhouse gases. The changes also resulted in between $20,000 and $100,000 in energy cost savings annually. When the campaign organizers inspected sash heights 7 months after the conclusion of the campaign, they found that users had largely reverted to pre-campaign habits.

Calculating fume hood energy consumption[edit]

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has developed a Laboratory Fume Hood Energy Model that estimates annual fume hood energy use and costs for user-specified climates and assumptions about operation and equipment efficiencies.


Fume hood maintenance can involve daily, periodic, and annual inspections.

  • Daily fume hood inspection
    • The fume hood area is visually inspected for storage of material and other visible blockages.
    • If hood function indicating devices are not a part of the fume hood, a 1-inch (25 mm) by 6-inch (150 mm) piece of soft tissue paper should be placed at the hood opening and observed for appropriate directional flow into the hood.
  • Periodic fume hood function inspection
    • Capture or face velocity is typically measured with a velometer or anemometer. Hoods for most common chemicals must have an average face velocity of 100 feet (30 m) per minute at sash opening of 18 inches (460 mm) or higher. Face velocity readings should not vary by more than 20%. A minimum of six readings shall be used determine average face velocity.
    • Other local exhaust devices shall be smoke tested to determine if the contaminants they are designed to remove are being adequately captured by the hood.
  • Annual maintenance**

Exhaust fan maintenance, (i.e.,lubrication, belt tension, fan blade deterioration and rpm), shall be in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation or as adjusted for appropriate hood function.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Study of Factors Affecting Fume Hood Energy Consumption[1]".pdf by American AutoMatrix
  2. ^ Pickard, Quentin (2002). "Laboratories". The Architects' Handbook. Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 228. ISBN 1-4051-3505-0. 
  3. ^ Mills, Evan; Dale Sartor (April 2006). "Energy Use and Savings Potential for Laboratory Fume Hoods" (PDF). LBNL 55400. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Shopping for a Fume Hood? See the Survey Results". Lab Manager Magazine. Jan 1, 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  5. ^ McLeod, Vince; Glenn Ketcham (October 7, 2009). "CAV, RAV & VAV". Lab Manager Magazine. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  6. ^ McLeod, Vince; Glenn Ketcham (October 7, 2009). "CAV, RAV & VAV". Lab Manager Magazine. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Lab Fume Hoods". University of Colorado at Boulder Facilities Management. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Lab Fume Hoods". University of Colorado at Boulder Facilities Management. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Lab Fume Hoods". University of Colorado at Boulder Facilities Management. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Fume Hood Sash Stickers Increases Laboratory Safety and Efficiency at Minimal Cost: Success at two University of California Campuses" (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Wesolowski, Daniel; Elsa Olivetti; Amanda Graham; Steve Lanou; Peter Cooper; Jim Doughty; Rich Wilk; Leon Glicksman (10 Feb 2010). "The use of feedback in lab energy conservation: fume hoods at MIT" (PDF). International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 11 (3): 217–235. doi:10.1108/14676371011058523. 
  12. ^ "Fume Hood Sash Stickers Increases Laboratory Safety and Efficiency at Minimal Cost: Success at two University of California Campuses" (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Shopping for a Fume Hood? See the Survey Results". Lab Manager Magazine. Jan 1, 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Shopping for a Fume Hood? See the Survey Results". Lab Manager Magazine. Jan 1, 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "UW Milwaukee Ductless Fume Hood Policy". 
  16. ^ "Columbia University Chemical Fume Hood Policy". Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Princeton University Laboratory Safety Manual, Section 6B: Controlling Chemical Exposures". 
  18. ^ "University of New Hampshire Fume Hood Program" (PDF). University of New Hampshire Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Fume Hood Questions & Answers" (PDF). University of Colorado - Boulder Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Shopping for a Fume Hood? See the Survey Results". Lab Manager Magazine. Jan 1, 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  21. ^ Mills, Evan; Dale Sartor (April 2006). "Energy Use and Savings Potential for Laboratory Fume Hoods" (PDF). LBNL 55400. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Bell, G.,; D. Sartor; E. Mills (October 2003). "The Berkeley Hood: Development and Commercialization of an Innovative High-Performance Laboratory Fume Hood: Progress Report and Research Status: 1995−2003" (PDF). Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 
  23. ^ "Lab Fume Hoods". University of Colorado at Boulder Facilities Management. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Kreycik, Philip. "Energy - Shut the Sash Case Study". National Wildlife Federation - Campus Ecology. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  25. ^ Wesolowski, Daniel; Elsa Olivetti; Amanda Graham; Steve Lanou; Peter Cooper; Jim Doughty; Rich Wilk; Leon Glicksman (10 Feb 2010). "The use of feedback in lab energy conservation: fume hoods at MIT" (PDF). International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 11 (3): 217–235. doi:10.1108/14676371011058523. 
  26. ^ "NC State: Shut the Sash". Sustainability at NC State. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "Shut the Sash". 
  28. ^ "Shut the Sash Ends With a Bang". University of British Columbia Campus & Community Planning eNewsletter. May 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  29. ^ "Green Campus Projects" (PDF). UC Berkeley Green Campus Chronicles. May 2011. 
  30. ^ "Fume Hood Sash Stickers Increases Laboratory Safety and Efficiency at Minimal Cost: Success at two University of California Campuses" (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  31. ^ "UC-Irvine’s "Shut the Sash" Campaign Counts Inches to Save Energy". National Wildlife Federation Blog. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  32. ^ "Behavioral Changes in Laboratory Energy Consumption – Fume Hoods" (PDF). UCLA Laboratory Energy Efficiency Program. March 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  33. ^ "We Want You To Shut Your Sash: UCLA Fume Hood Competition—Round Two!" (PDF). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  34. ^ "Fume Hood Competition". PowerSave Green Campus UCLA. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  35. ^ "Shut the Sash". UC Riverside Environmental Health & Safety. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  36. ^ University of California, San Diego 2012 STARS Submittal (PDF). University of California, San Diego. 2012. 
  37. ^ "Shut the Sash Competition". 
  38. ^ "Fume Hood Sash Stickers Increases Laboratory Safety and Efficiency at Minimal Cost: Success at two University of California Campuses" (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  39. ^ "Shut the Sash!". 
  40. ^ "Lab Fume Hoods". University of Colorado at Boulder Facilities Management. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  41. ^ "Just Shut It: Fume hood sash closing campaign". University of Toronto Sustainability Office. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 

External links[edit]