Fume cupboards and ventilation
Explore energy saving advice on fume cupboards and ventilation, and how to make use of funding for sustainability improvements to your lab.
- Video: Fume cupboards (Lab Sustainability Webinar, March 2021, Andrew Arnott)
- Fume cupboards (Lab Sustainability Webinar, March 2021, Andrew Arnott)
Did you know that a fume cupboard can use up to £2,000 of energy each year if not used efficiently? That’s roughly twice the average UK home. Luckily there are quick and easy ways to make substantial improvements in sustainability, saving cost and carbon.
If possible, switch off the fume cupboard when not in use. This is not always possible – check with your lab manager or building technical manager.
Don't use the fume cupboard as a storage cupboard – use it for experimental processes only. Materials that need ventilated storage should be stored in ventilated cupboards, not a fume cupboard. Fume cupboards use up to 100x more energy than a ventilated cupboard.
Compare what you do to our fume cupboard best practice poster.
This is also covered in the lab sustainability training presentation video above.
Use our fume cupboard label to remind colleagues to shut the sash. This can be printed on an A1 sheet, or across multiple A2, A3 or A4 sheets and joined together. Get in touch if you would like us to supply labels for you. The safe zone is 500mm.
Read the University’s policy and guidance on lab ventilation.
Read our ventilation best practice, including: VAV fume cupboards; optimising face velocities; replacing old plant; demand-based ventilation; shut the sash; set-back of ventilation rates; and low flow fume cupboards.
Apply for the Sustainable Campus Fund
The Sustainable Campus Fund can be used to support improvements to fume cupboards or lab ventilation – for example, if you are currently using your fume cupboard as a storage device for chemicals we can help you replace it with a separate ventilated cabinet which saves 99% of the energy.