Ductless vs Ducted fume HoodWhy do you need a fume hood for your Laboratory?

A fume hood is an essential lab component that keeps the work environment clean and sterile. Every laboratory that works with dangerous chemicals needs a fume hood. A fume hood is a ventilated enclosure to catch up, contain, and exhaust vapors, gases, and microparticles. These enclosures act as physical barricades between experiments and laboratories. As a result, harmful gases produced by the experiments are not inhaled. If you don’t install or maintain a fume hood adequately, you risk chemical exposure and an unsafe work environment.

Contact fume hood manufacturers to offer you a perfectly tailored solution.

In this article, we have addressed two types of fume hoods namely Ducted and Ductless hoods, as well as the difference in their working system and weighed their advantages and drawbacks.

How Do Ductless Fume Hoods Work?

Ductless fume hoods are self-contained enclosures that can be transferred conveniently. A ductless fume hood employs a blower to draw harmful stenches, vapors, and particles away from the operator’s respiratory zone and protects the environment from exposure. The air within the hood is subsequently treated by a main filter( HEPA, Activated carbon, or Speciality blended ). Filtered air is then released back into the hood. Because of this specific feature, these hoods are commonly referred to as recirculating range hoods. Throughout the procedure, polluted air is treated and clean air is supplied to the lab. However, the type of filter varies depending on the chemistry,  so the operator must choose a proper filter for safe operation.

Ductless fume hoods are an excellent alternative for laboratories that require mobility. Ductless Fume Hood can be used in laboratories  that handle light to moderate chemicals

Advantages of ductless fume hood

  • Simple to install
  • Comfortable to relocate
  • Long-term filter life
  • Lower  maintenance
  • No Makeup Air
  • Less expensive as no ductwork is involved

Ductless fume hoods have a fair portion of disadvantages. They are cost-effective in terms of installation and operation yet workers are in danger of chemical exposure. Other disadvantages are given below,

Disadvantages of ductless fume hood

  • Handles limited chemicals
  • Not as effective at removing chemical fumes
  • Can be noisy due to the internal blower
  • Cannot handle extreme heating of chemicals

How Do Ducted Fume Hoods Work?

Ducted fume hoods have ventilated enclosures and operate within the confines of the building’s infrastructure. The air enters the fume hood through the face of the hood and exists through the exhaust collar. An exhaust fan connected to the ducting system draws air and unwanted substances away from the operator, out of the hood, and exhausts them into the atmosphere. However, like  Ductless hoods, they don’t recirculate the air into the laboratory. This is the primary difference between the two hoods. 

Ducted fume hoods have a base, work surface, hood, blower, and duct to carry air outside. The airfoils and baffles can be incorporated to improve the airflow. Ducted Fume Hoods are great for laboratories that use toxic chemicals.

Advantages of ducted fume hood

  • Can handle a variety of chemicals
  • Comfortable to maintain
  • Keeps laboratory contaminant-free

A ducted fume hood has its own disadvantages. It requires routine maintenance and should be handled by individuals who have knowledge of mechanical systems. The disadvantages are discussed below.

Disadvantages of ducted fume hood

  • Difficult to install
  • Stationary within a lab
  • Difficult to move or relocate
  • Regular maintenance
  • Consumes more energy

How to choose the right fume hood for your lab?

Here are some factors to help you determine the right kind of fume hood for your lab:

  • The combination of chemicals you intend to use inside the fume hood.
  • The volumes of chemicals you work with.
  • Do you have an HVAC system in your building?
  • Is there a certified team to manage and maintain the HVAC system?
  • Do you keep changing locations?
  • Environment, health, and Safety (EHS) will provide technical guidance in choosing the proper fume hoods.

Bottom Line

Ducted and Ductless fume hoods play a critical part in maintaining a clean atmosphere in a lab and preventing the employees from exposure to dangerous chemicals. An expert fume hood dealer will help you identify your needs and design a fume hood to transform your endeavors into a success.