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Fume Hoods and Biosafety Cabinets

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Design Guidance

Overall Strategies

Overview

Best Practices

  • Encourage users to close the fume hood sash when not in use by providing visual cues (e.g. magnets on fume hoods) and use training.
  • If purchasing a new fume hood, consider a variable air volume (VAV) or low-flow hood and features such as automated sash controls that close after a period of inactivity.
  • Turn off unused fume hoods if it is safe and practical.
  • Install an energy recovery system (e.g. run around loop) to capture heat from the exhausted air being drawn from the laboratory space around the hood.
  • Ventless (also called ductless or filtered) fume hoods offer opportunities to reduce the laboratory's energy load and eliminate associated duct work and exhaust systems. This also makes the hood easier to move if necessary. However, they may not achieve the same level of capture and containment as a vented hood and require routine monitoring and replacement of filters.
  • Do not use UV lamps in biosafety cabinets. Their effectiveness for disinfection varies based on the conditions and is not recommended. Leave them off and save a little energy.
  • Purchase a BSC with a “once-through” air that is externally vented only if it is necessary for the biomaterials being handled. BSCs that can recirculate filtered air can lead to significant heating and cooling energy savings.
  • Turn off fume hoods and biosafety cabinet blowers when not in use if it is safe and practical. This saves energy and the filters in BSCs will last longer.

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Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles