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The Case for Ductless Fume Hoods

Maximizing laboratory safety and efficiency with AirClean Systems

by | May 14, 2024

In laboratories across the globe, fume hoods play a critical role in ensuring the safety of personnel by providing necessary ventilation to remove hazardous fumes, vapors, and particulate. However, the operational costs and environmental impact of these essential laboratory safety devices are becoming increasingly significant considerations. There are many advantages to ductless fume hoods, including energy efficiency, cost savings, and environmental benefits as compared to traditional total exhaust fume hoods. For a complete line of eco-friendly ductless fume hood offerings from AirClean Systems please browse our products or request a catalog today!

Understanding total exhaust fume hoods

Total exhaust fume hoods are commonly used in laboratories to protect workers from exposure to hazardous substances. While effective, these systems are energy-intensive, as they constantly expel conditioned air from the building, requiring significant power to operate. While there are options to lower the exhaust of conditioned air, such as VAV (variable air volume) fume hoods, venturi valves, and low-flow, high-performance fume hoods, they all still exhaust costly conditioned air.

The advantages of a ductless fume hood

Ductless fume hoods offer a sustainable and cost-effective option as they are up to 18 times more energy-efficient than their total exhaust counterparts, primarily because they recirculate filtered air back into the laboratory, reducing the demand for HVAC systems. This efficiency translates into substantial cost savings in terms of energy consumption and maintenance. Furthermore, ductless fume hoods are easier to install as they do not require the infrastructure (ducting) of typical total exhaust fume hoods. Additionally, ductless fume hoods offer superior flexibility in laboratory configuration as they can be relocated as laboratory needs change. AirClean Systems ductless fume hoods are fully assembled, plug and-play laboratory ventilation solutions.

Environmental impact and sustainability

The reduced energy consumption of ductless fume hoods not only lowers operational costs but also minimizes the environmental impact of laboratory operations. By consuming less electricity, these hoods contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainability goals. In an era where environmental responsibility is increasingly prioritized, adopting energy-efficient technologies like eco-friendly ductless fume hoods is a step towards enhancing your sustainable laboratory practices and achieving your green lab initiatives.

Case study: A comparative analysis

A comparison between the AirClean Systems Polypropylene Ductless Fume Hood (AC6000S) and a typical 6′ total exhaust fume hood reveals the cost-effectiveness of the ductless option. This comparison leverages the Berkeley National Laboratory Fume Hood Calculator and assumes a location of Washington, DC. The AC6000S has an annual energy consumption of 5781.6 kWh and a total annual electrical cost of $709.40, while the total exhaust hood and associate HVAC consumes 104,213 kWh and costs $12,786.98 annually. Ductless fume hoods require filter replacement annually or biannually depending on the application. For an AC6000S equipped with wide application bonded coconut shell filters the annual filter cost would be $2,400. The annual cost of operating the ductless fume hood (electricity and filters) is approximately four times less expensive. This stark contrast highlights the significant savings that can be achieved with ductless technology.

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