Cost Comparison: Budgeting for a Filtered Fume Hood

Oftentimes the decisions for new laboratory equipment are based on budgeting rather than just the needs and features of equipment. The initial costs can potentially prevent lab managers from getting the exact equipment they would like or updating equipment when they should; however, the benefits of greatly lowered costs in the future more than justify a higher upfront cost.

Filtered Fume Hood as an Option

Chemical fume hood price can depend on many factors.

Equipment and installation budgeting can be especially difficult for labs in hard-to-reach locations such as basements, interior rooms of tall buildings, or in older buildings with established infrastructure already in place. The Protector® Echo™ Filtered Fume Hoodrequires no ducting, taking the costs and hassles of setting up new ductwork throughout a building out of the equation. The Echo also provides the flexibility to be moved around the lab since it is not connected to ductwork, meaning it won’t be affected by the existing infrastructure or require any construction and major installation costs.

The Echo combines the fully-featured, patented containment-enhancing design of Labconco’s Protector Hoods with Erlab®’s GreenFumeHood® (GFH) Filtration Technology. Through the use of Neutrodine Filters, the Echo efficiently filters more than 500 chemicals. Because it can handle solvents, acids and bases simultaneously, it can be used for a broad range of applications, providing the abilities of a traditional fume hood without the restrictions of being attached to the ceiling or the high costs of exhausting the lab’s tempered air.

How the Budget is Affected

Costs for a traditional fume hood set up include the hood, the remote blower, and the cost of continually exhausting air out of the laboratory while forcing make-up air in. For a standard 6’ benchtop hood running at 100 fpm with an 18” sash opening, the make-up air alone can cost $5880 per year* (based on 735 CFM and $8/CFM). The cost of exhausting the air out with an average blower (1 HP, 2” static pressure) running 24 hours a day 365 days a year can add nearly $1400 in additional costs each year. Annual certifications for a traditional hood are another $1200. So the total cost for a single traditional hood’s operation and maintenance can average almost $8500 every year!* Labs with multiple fume hoods can spend tens or hundreds of thousands on these costs annually.

Comparatively, the Protector Echo Filtered Fume Hood requires zero make-up air. It filters the air and puts it right back into the room. An exhaust fan maintains the hood’s face velocity, but with the air returning into the room, the annual energy cost drops to less than $300. Because there is no ducting or blower, annual certifications aren’t needed. The majority of the approximate $1800 in annual maintenance cost goes into replacing the Neutrodine Filters, which can last up to 2 years. This gives a total average cost for the Echo’s operation and maintenance of just $2100 per year. That’s an annual savings of $6400, or 75% per hood! So while the initial cost of the Filtered Fume Hood may be higher than that of some traditional hoods, the Echo completely pays for itself in energy savings in less than 3 years.

Comparing the Cost Over Time

When you’re looking for your next fume hood, don’t forget to include maintenance and operating costs—you may be surprised by the results. Use the following “Cost Comparison” chart to support your request for a fully-featured fume hood with no ducting required:

How much does a fume hood cost? Here's chemical fume hood cost for ducted and ductless fume hoods.

  1. Figures do no include potential savings due to reduced chiller capacity resulting in a lower chilled water load.
  2. Cost comparison is based on new construction and includes estimated 2015 costs per 6' fume hood with a vertical-rising sash configuration and utility connections including compressed air, lab vacuum, natural gas, electrical power and data. Costs for the CV, VAV and VAV HP include the remote blower. Cost for the Filtered Hood includes the first set of filters.
  3. National Grid and other local and national utility companies provide a first time equipment cost rebate of up to 70% of the difference in cost between a conventional constant volume by-pass hood and filtered fume hood. Energy rebate savings are not included in the figures above.
  4. Estimated building infrastructure cost (M-E-P Data) per fume hood based on new building construction with approximately 100 fume hoods.
  5. Estimated electrical energy costs per year per fume hood. Assumes fans operate 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, 8760 hours/year at $0.12kWh. Fan specified is 1 HP, 2" static pressure. Equivalent electrical load per NEC Article 430/full load current at 460 volts/3 phase/2.1 amps = 1.3 kWh.
  6. Estimated mechanical energy cost per year per fume hood: 6' CV (1,200 CFM x $8.00/CFM/year=$9,600), 6' VAV (800 CFM x $8.00/CFM/year=$6,400), 6' VAV HP (624 CFM x $8.00/CFM/ year=$4,992.
  7. Maintenance costs for CV, VAV and VAV HP includes yearly certifications. Costs for Filtered Hood includes filter replacement.

Select the right filtered fume hood for your lab

Cost comparison data prepared by Ellensweig Architects in collaboration with BR+A Consulting Engineers, R.W. Sullivan Engineering and Vanderweil Engineers. Cost data was updated in 2015. The cost savings illustrated above do not take into account possible additional savings associated with a reduced floor to floor height related to possible reduced HVAC ductwork.

* 6’ Protector Premier® with remote blower running at 735 cfm, 100 fpm with sash at 18” --> 735x$8=$5880/year

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