Lab technicians work under a wide range of conditions due to the hazardous nature of some materials that they work with. Laboratory spaces must provide the proper protection and safety measures for working with these hazardous materials. One of these safety precautions is the use of a fume hood when working with materials that produce gas and fumes. If your lab works with these types of materials often, you may want to know how to improve your lab’s fume hood performance.
Test Airflow & Containment
Your first step to increasing your fume hood’s performance is to test its airflow to see where it may need adjustments. One metric that you should record is the average face velocity, measured by the amount of air that flows through the “face” of the unit, hence the name. You want to ensure that the average face velocity maintains an even rate of airflow, especially when you connect it to vents and ducts.
Keep the Area Free of Clutter
Don’t leave equipment, materials, and other objects near the front of the fume hood. Doing so can impact the hood’s performance and create unwanted airflow or different currents. Excessive clutter could also cause an unsafe blockage in airflow that may expose your lab to hazardous fumes. For best practices, keep objects at least six inches away from the fume hood while it’s in use.
Minimize Conflicting Air Currents
If you use portable fans or feature HVAC ductwork in your laboratory, make sure that you don’t direct these toward the lab’s fume hood. If you allow these conflicting air sources near the fume hood, the airflow currents could draw out contaminants and risk your lab’s air quality. Even foot traffic passing in front of the fume hood could cause a disturbance, so use caution when passing it, and try to limit traffic in front of the hood.
When working with chemicals and reactions in the lab, you must maintain proper safety at all times, so it’s important to know how to improve your lab’s fume hood performance. You can also employ circulating chillers and heaters for more specific lab processes. If you’re looking for recirculating chillers for sale and more, visit USA Lab Equipment’s online shop.