How to select the right fume hood for your laboratory?

In the dynamic world of scientific research and experimentation, laboratories play a pivotal role. Laboratories are spaces where groundbreaking discoveries are made, and cutting-edge research is conducted. The safety and efficiency of laboratory operations are paramount, and one critical element contributing to both aspects is the laboratory fume hood.

Laboratory fume hoods are essential equipment designed to protect researchers and laboratory personnel from harmful fumes and vapors that are generated during experiments. Selecting the right fume hood for your laboratory is a crucial decision that involves considering various factors. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key aspects to consider when choosing a laboratory fume hood and explore the leading lab furniture manufacturers in the industry.

Understanding the Importance of Laboratory Fume Hoods

Before delving into the selection process, it is important to understand why laboratory fume hoods are indispensable in any research facility. Fume hoods serve as a primary means of protection against exposure to hazardous substances. They provide a physical barrier between the experiment and the researcher, ensuring that harmful gases, vapors, and particles are effectively contained and exhausted.

Moreover, laboratory fume hoods contribute to maintaining a clean and controlled laboratory environment. They help prevent cross-contamination between different experiments and ensure the integrity of research results. The efficient removal of toxic fumes also promotes the well-being of laboratory personnel, reducing the risk of respiratory issues and other health concerns associated with exposure to hazardous materials.

Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Laboratory Fume Hood

Type of Fume Hood:

  • Ducted vs. Ductless: Ducted fume hoods are connected to an external ventilation system, expelling fumes outside the laboratory. Ductless fume hoods use filtration systems to purify the air within the hood before recirculating it into the laboratory. The choice between ducted and ductless depends on the nature of experiments and laboratory settings.
  • General-Purpose vs. Specialized: Consider the specific applications of the fume hood. General-purpose fume hoods are versatile and suitable for a wide range of experiments, while specialized hoods are designed for specific applications such as radioisotope work or chemical storage.

Airflow and Face Velocity:

  • Face Velocity: This refers to the speed at which air is drawn into the fume hood. Maintaining the appropriate face velocity is crucial for the effective containment of fumes. The recommended face velocity typically ranges between 100 to 120 feet per minute (fpm), but this can vary based on the type of experiments conducted.
  • Airflow Design: Consider the airflow design of the fume hood, including the type of sash (vertical or horizontal) and the presence of baffles. Well-designed airflow ensures optimal containment and minimizes turbulence inside the hood.

Size and Design:

  • Interior Space: Assess the internal space of the fume hood to ensure it accommodates the size and equipment of the experiments. Consider factors such as the working height, width, and depth to guarantee a comfortable and efficient workspace.
  • Sash Options: The sash is a crucial component of a fume hood, acting as a barrier between the researcher and the experiment. Choose between vertical and horizontal sashes based on the laboratory’s requirements and the nature of the work.

Safety Features:

  • Alarm Systems: Opt for fume hoods equipped with alarm systems that alert users to unsafe conditions such as low face velocity or malfunctioning filters.
  • Emergency Shutdown: Ensure the fume hood has an emergency shutdown mechanism for quick and efficient response in case of emergencies.

Material and Construction:

  • Materials Used: Evaluate the materials used in the construction of the fume hood. Common materials include stainless steel, epoxy-coated steel, and high-density polyethylene. The choice depends on the type of chemicals used in experiments and the required durability.
  • Build Quality: Consider the overall build quality of the fume hood, including the quality of seams, joints, and the stability of the structure. High-quality construction contributes to the longevity and performance of the fume hood.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • Certifications: Ensure that the selected fume hood complies with relevant safety and performance standards, such as those set by organizations like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Local Codes and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and codes governing laboratory safety. Compliance with these regulations is essential for the approval and safe operation of the fume hood.

Leading Lab Furniture Manufacturers

When embarking on the journey to select the right laboratory fume hood, it is crucial to choose a reputable lab furniture manufacturer that prioritizes quality, safety, and innovation. Here are some leading lab furniture manufacturers known for their excellence in producing laboratory fume hoods and related equipment:

GD Waldner:

GD waldner is renowned for its comprehensive range of laboratory furniture and equipment, including state-of-the-art fume hoods. With a commitment to quality and safety, they provides customizable solutions tailored to the specific needs of research facilities. Their fume hoods are designed to meet the highest industry standards, ensuring optimal performance and user protection.


Selecting the right laboratory fume hood is a critical decision that involves a thorough assessment of various factors to ensure the safety and efficiency of laboratory operations. By considering the type of fume hood, airflow characteristics, size and design, safety features, material and construction, and regulatory compliance, laboratory professionals can make informed decisions.

Moreover, partnering with reputable lab furniture manufacturers is essential in obtaining high-quality and reliable fume hoods. Company such as Gd waldner have established themselves as industry leaders, consistently delivering innovative and compliant laboratory furniture solutions.

As laboratories continue to evolve and conduct increasingly complex experiments, the importance of selecting the right fume hood cannot be overstated. Investing time and resources in understanding the unique needs of your laboratory and choosing equipment from trusted manufacturers will contribute to a safer and more productive research environment.