The Ultimate Guide to Benchtop Fume Hoods by Global Lab Supply

Benchtop fume hoods are an essential piece of equipment in any laboratory, offering a safe and controlled environment for working with hazardous materials, chemicals, or substances that produce fumes, vapors, or gases. Global Lab Supply is committed to providing high-quality benchtop fume hoods that meet the diverse needs of today's scientific community. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the world of benchtop fume hoods, covering everything from their importance and types to installation, maintenance, and safety measures. By the end of this guide, you'll have a thorough understanding of benchtop fume hoods and how they can enhance the safety and efficiency of your laboratory.

The Significance of Benchtop Fume Hoods

Protecting Laboratory Personnel

One of the primary purposes of benchtop fume hoods is to protect laboratory personnel from exposure to hazardous fumes, chemicals, and biological agents. Fume hoods create a physical barrier between the user and the potentially harmful substances, minimizing the risk of inhalation or skin contact.

Maintaining Experimental Integrity

Benchtop fume hoods also play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of experiments. By containing fumes and preventing cross-contamination, they ensure that experiments yield accurate and reliable results. This is particularly important in fields such as chemistry, biology, and pharmaceutical research.

Regulatory Compliance

Many laboratory operations are subject to strict regulations and safety standards. Utilizing benchtop fume hoods helps laboratories comply with these regulations, reducing the likelihood of fines or penalties for non-compliance.

Types of Benchtop Fume Hoods

Ducted Fume Hoods

Ducted fume hoods are connected to an external exhaust system that removes hazardous fumes from the hood and releases them safely into the atmosphere. They are suitable for laboratories with high ventilation requirements and a constant need to remove fumes quickly.

Ductless Fume Hoods

Ductless fume hoods, also known as recirculating fume hoods, use a combination of filters to purify and recirculate air within the hood. They are ideal for laboratories without access to external ventilation or for applications where energy efficiency is a priority.

Vertical Sash Fume Hoods

Vertical sash fume hoods have a vertically moving sash that can be adjusted to control the size of the hood opening. This design allows for flexible and precise containment, making them suitable for a wide range of laboratory applications.

Horizontal Sash Fume Hoods

Horizontal sash fume hoods have a horizontally sliding sash. These hoods are often preferred when the user needs to work with larger equipment or containers, as the horizontal sash provides easy access to the entire workspace.

Selecting the Right Benchtop Fume Hood

Consider Your Application

Before choosing a benchtop fume hood, consider the specific requirements of your laboratory and applications. Different hoods are designed for different purposes, so it's crucial to match the hood type with your needs.

Evaluate Ventilation Requirements

Assess your laboratory's ventilation capabilities. If you have access to ductwork and can accommodate a ducted fume hood, it may be the best choice for efficient fume removal. However, if ductwork isn't available or if you prioritize energy efficiency, a ductless fume hood might be more suitable.

Space and Layout

Consider the available space and layout of your laboratory. Ensure that the benchtop fume hood you choose fits comfortably in your workspace and allows for easy access and movement.

Safety Features

Check for safety features such as airflow alarms, sash sensors, and emergency shut-off systems. These features enhance the safety of laboratory personnel and prevent accidents.

Energy Efficiency

Incorporating energy-efficient fume hoods can reduce operational costs and environmental impact. Look for hoods with energy-efficient motors and adjustable airflow settings.

Installation and Setup

Professional Installation

It is essential to have your benchtop fume hood installed by trained professionals. Improper installation can lead to performance issues and safety risks. Global Lab Supply provides installation services to ensure that your fume hood is set up correctly.


Place your fume hood in a location that allows for efficient airflow and proper containment. Avoid obstructing the airflow with other equipment or obstacles that could compromise safety.

Certification and Testing

After installation, your fume hood should be certified and tested to ensure it meets safety and performance standards. Regular testing and maintenance are crucial to keeping the hood in optimal condition.

Maintenance and Care

Routine Inspections

Perform regular visual inspections of your benchtop fume hood. Check for any signs of damage, wear, or airflow issues. Address any problems promptly to maintain safety and performance.

Filter Replacement

If you are using a ductless fume hood, monitor the condition of the filters and replace them as recommended by the manufacturer. Clean filters ensure effective removal of contaminants.

Sash Maintenance

Keep the sash of your fume hood clean and in good condition. A well-maintained sash ensures proper containment and airflow control.

Annual Certification

Schedule annual certification and testing of your benchtop fume hood by qualified technicians. This ensures that the hood continues to meet safety and performance standards.

Safety Measures

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In addition to using a benchtop fume hood, laboratory personnel should always wear appropriate PPE, such as lab coats, gloves, safety goggles, and face shields, when working with hazardous materials.

Proper Training

Ensure that all laboratory personnel are adequately trained in the safe use of benchtop fume hoods and are familiar with emergency procedures.

Emergency Response

Have emergency response protocols in place, including procedures for dealing with chemical spills, fires, or equipment malfunctions. Emergency equipment such as eyewash stations and fire extinguishers should be readily accessible.

Airflow Monitoring

Regularly monitor and maintain proper airflow within the fume hood. Most hoods are equipped with airflow alarms that alert users to any issues with ventilation.

Enhancing Efficiency and Sustainability

Adjustable Airflow

Take advantage of adjustable airflow settings on your benchtop fume hood. Lowering the airflow when not working with hazardous materials can save energy without compromising safety.

Eco-Friendly Materials

Consider using eco-friendly materials and practices within your laboratory. This includes choosing green chemistry alternatives and recycling hazardous waste properly.

Sustainable Lab Design

When designing or renovating your laboratory, incorporate sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, to reduce your environmental footprint.

Upgrading Your Benchtop Fume Hood

Technology Integration

Explore options for integrating advanced technology into your benchtop fume hood, such as digital airflow monitors and remote monitoring capabilities. These features can enhance safety and convenience.


If you have an existing fume hood that needs improvement, consider retrofitting it with modern safety features or energy-efficient components. This can extend the life of your equipment and improve its performance.


When your benchtop fume hood reaches the end of its service life or is no longer cost-effective to maintain, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Upgrading can result in long-term cost savings and improved safety.


Benchtop fume hoods are indispensable tools in laboratory environments, safeguarding personnel and experiments from hazardous fumes and chemicals. Choosing the right fume hood, installing it correctly, and maintaining it diligently are key to ensuring its effectiveness and safety. Global Lab Supply is your partner in providing high-quality benchtop fume hoods and expert guidance to meet your laboratory's unique needs. By following the recommendations and best practices outlined in this guide, you can create a safer, more efficient, and sustainable laboratory environment.

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