Fume Hood Testing
Chemical Fume Hoods are an important and very common containment control device found in the laboratory. Many factors impact the ability of a hood to contain harmful vapors and provide the user with the level of protection that it is intended to deliver. Laboratory design and modifications to the laboratory layout have a significant effect on fume hood performance. Minor modifications to the surrounding environment can cause positive and negative consequences on fume hood performance.
Unfortunately, there are still many people in the industry that believe a simple face velocity test is adequate to verify fume hood performance. Significant testing has been performed by various independent agencies and the consensus is that fume hood efficiency and the ability to contain harmful fumes is not necessarily related to fume hood face velocity. Most fume hood manufactures perform the ANSI/ASHRAE 110 tracer gas test on their equipment in the factory under ideal conditions (“As-Manufactured”). Once the fume hood has been installed in its final location and the entire air system has been balanced an “As-Used” tracer gas test should be performed. The intent of the “As-Used” test is to verify that the hood performs as the manufacture intended and user specified when affected by the surrounding environment.
Testing performed by AccuTec provides a measurable and repeatable benchmark of performance and provides the user with the required information for proper operation of each hood. Although we recommend performing a tracer gas test (ANSI/ASHRAE 110) on all new hoods and any hood that has had modifications made to the surrounding environment or system, once a baseline has been established, a simplified test can be performed annually as required by OSHA.
Below is a brief summary of the tests performed by AccuTec in compliance with the ANSI/ASHRAE 110 tracer gas test.
- Visual Assessment of Air Flow
- Face Velocity Measurement and Documentation
- Monitor Verification and Calibration
- Cross Draft Velocity Measurement and Documentation
- Tracer Gas Containment Test Under the following conditions:
- Static Operation
- Sash Movement Effect
- Space Pressure Effect