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What Are Walk-In Fume Hoods?

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Walk-in fume hoods are simply a ventilated enclosure used in a laboratory setting.  The fume hoods are connected to the ventilation system in the laboratory to carry away effluents from both the user and the building itself.  The difference between a general fume hood and a walk-in fume hood, is the walk-in variety are used to house very large equipment that may contain fumes that must be ventilated.  As the name implies, a person is able to walk in or out of the fume hood either before or after the work has begins.  Generally, these fume hoods extend from the floor to the ceiling where the hood connects to the building’s ventilation system. 


Before considering purchasing the right fume hood for the laboratory, there are several key points to consider.  First, it is imperative to know what the laboratory requires.  Some labs will be sufficient with a general fume hood, while others require the hood to be a walk-in version.  This can depend on the type of materials circulating in the laboratory and the general volume of airflow needed.  Caustic chemicals and materials may require more airflow than benign materials.  Also consider if there are any additional electrical or plumbing requirements associated with the fume hood.  It is important to fully understand what each component of the fume hood does.  This way, one can ensure he/she is making the best possible decision for the laboratory.  Become familiar with the various parts of the fume hood such as the different sash opening sizes, air foil designs, and whether a horizontal or vertical sash is preferred.  (Typically, a horizontal sash is easier to move.)  Obviously too, it is important to know how much space there is within the laboratory.  Knowing the appropriate height, depth, and width of the fume hood will also help determine the correct one to purchase.  It is also very important to consider the fact that the entrance to the hood is basically at the ground level on the floor.  This can be important when determining the airflow.  Simple movements, such as walking, can deflect currents into the fume hood.  Additionally, air currents could cause leaks under the doors.

There are several options and designs for fume hoods to choose from, and really the process can become quite overwhelming.  The best course of action when determining the correct fume hood is to gather a list of information.  This also can help make sure that nothing is missed, or overlooked.  Decide what exactly is needed and how much space there is within the laboratory.  A professional, such as the professionals at, will better be able to determine the exact fume hood that meets the requirements of the laboratory.