Checklist for laboratory ventilation problems

Are there unpleasant smells in your workplace?

A good working method requires storing chemicals in air-conditioned cabinets and using them only in fume cupboards. If you leave chemicals on worktops, they can spread unwanted odors and pollutants into the room air.

Are there unpleasant smells in the offices or corridors?

The reason may be the air conditioning system, which transports air from laboratory rooms to other rooms due to incorrect pressure ratios.

If there is oxidation or rust on metal surfaces in the room, such as water fixtures, electrical fixtures, or other metal objects, corrosive gases may leak into the environment from fume cupboards or air-conditioned cabinets. These gases are often harmful to humans.

Are some of the fume cupboards turned off?

In the exhaust duct of disconnected fume cupboards, the air flow may turn from the fume cupboard towards the room. This can happen if there are other fume cupboards, hoods or air conditioning cupboards in operation at the same time.

Have the sashes of the fume cupboards been left open for no reason?

The openable front sash of the fume cupboard enables temporary access to the fume cupboard, for example for equipment installation, and enables working with hands. In terms of safety, the front sash must be kept as low as possible so that the air flow from the room to the fume cupboard and the exhaust duct is as efficient as possible.

Do you feel the suction when you open the doors to the lab rooms?

Often, the reason is that the room’s exhaust air volume is too large in relation to the supply air volume. A strong negative pressure in the room can make it difficult to open doors, absorb pollutants from other rooms and increase air conditioning operating costs.

If you found problems in the above-mentioned matters, the ventilation of the laboratory should be checked by an expert. Maintenance, renovation or training are usually solutions to problem situations.