Why Go Ductless?

AC4000 Polypropylene Ductless Fume Hood

AirClean® Systems, the largest North American manufacturer of ductless hoods, workstations and enclosures, understands that not all applications are appropriate for use in a ductless hood, workstation or enclosure. As chemistry technology advances, the number of applications that a ductless hood, workstation or enclosure can be used for will increase. Thorough application validation is critical to ensure product capability and operator safety. A ductless system, where low volumes of known chemical reactions are present, is practical and can provide a safe working environment by meeting and exceeding your laboratory fume hood standards.

  • Economical & Low Maintenance
  • Portable
  • Safe
  • Minimal Installation Cost
  • Environmentally Friendly

Advantages of a Ductless Fume Cabinet

Economical & Low Maintenance:
The operation and installation cost of a ductless fume hood (also referred to as a "HVAC-free fume hood") is substantially lower than that of a conventional fume hood. Once a ductless fume hood is installed, the only annual cost to the customer is the filter(s). This price ranges from $350.00 to $ 2000.00 per year. A ductless fume hood does not affect the cost of heating and cooling like that of a conventional fume hood. With a conventional fume cabinet, heated and cooled air is pumped out of the room and into the environment. The exhausted air is then replaced by outside air that needs to be heated or cooled and cleaned.

A ductless hoods has no external connections beyond the power cord to be moved. Conventional hoods require a third party to move exhaust duct work and other connections before the hood may be relocated. HVAC-free fume hoods can be moved and operational in minutes where conventional hoods may be out of service for weeks. AirClean® Systems ductless fume hoods, when placed on a cart, are easily moved from room to room.

AirClean® Systems ductless fume hoods have an advanced monitoring system. The AirSafe™ automatic controller monitors airflow and filter condition constantly to ensure operator safety. Each hood has a solid state gas detector to monitor the carbon filter bed for saturation. The alarms are audible and visible to alert user of filter saturation. Alarms are set per current ACGIH standards for TLV of known chemicals. State-of-the-art airflow sensor takes a constant reading of face velocity and provides this information in LFM (linear feet per minute) to the user on the LCD monitor. Combining real time airflow and filter monitoring makes AirClean® Systems ductless fume hoods the only choice!

Minimal Installation Cost:
AirClean® Systems HVAC-free fume containment hoods require no installation because they are shipped ready to use. They are simply removed from their shipping container and placed into service. Each ductless hood has been calibrated and certified for operation. Conventional hoods require installation of blower, ductwork and assembly of the fume hood. All of this takes time and money.

Environmentally Friendly:
Ductless fume hoods recycle existing room air while cleaning the chemical mixture. No harmful fumes or vapors are released into the environment. The bonded carbon filter can be safely disposed of in a landfill once saturated. No air is removed from the laboratory!

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Why Do AirClean Systems Ductless Fume Hoods Work?

ductless fume hood

AirClean® Systems ductless fume hoods provide excellent protection for the operator and other employees from toxic fumes and vapors that are generated during experiments in laboratories. In fact, in most circumstances ductless hoods exceed laboratory fume hood standards.

A fume hood, per OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1450, is a device that is enclosed on five sides with the sixth side being accessible for operator and entrance of air.

As diagrammed at right:

Room air is pulled into the hood through the adjustable front sash and allowed to mix with the experiment. The air (as depicted in the diagram) is pulled up into the bonded carbon and/or HEPA filter bed where either adsorption of fumes and vapors or collection of particulate occurs. (The bonded carbon filter is only for adsorption of fumes and vapors and the HEPA filter is only for collection of particulate). Clean air is then exhausted back into the room through the rear or the top of the fume hood.

Real time gas sensor technology ensures protection of the operator and other personnel from exposure to toxic chemical fumes and vapors.

AirSafe™ takes the guesswork out of it!

The AirSafe™ automatic controller provides constant monitoring of airflow and filter condition.

AirSafe Controller The AirSafe™ automatic controller provides the user with a multitude of safety features through a user friendly keypad. AirSafe™ is constantly monitoring airflow at the face of the workstation and automatically changing blower speed, depending on the condition of the laboratory. Visible display of airflow is given on the liquid crystal display in linear feet per minute (LFM). OSHA requires that all ductless fume hoods maintain a face velocity of between 60-100 LFM to properly protect the operator.

The AirSafe™ automatic controller utilizes solid state gas sensor technology that monitors the carbon filter bed constantly. The sensor is located post-filter and takes real time samples of exhaust air to ensure proper adsorb of target chemicals below current threshold limit values (level that is safe for the user to breathe without causing adverse health effects. The values are set each year by ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) and adopted by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).


AirSafe™, not your nose, alerts you for filter saturation!

At the heart of any ductless fume hood or workstation is the filtration bed. AirClean® Systems utilizes technology not found in any other ductless fume hood or workstation today. By cross-linking the carbon pellets a predictable mass is provided. This eliminates potential dead zones found in granular filters and allows for better calculation of filter life. In granular filters, carbon can shift around to create gaps and uneven places within the filter. These gaps and uneven places cause the life of a carbon filter to reduce drastically. AirClean® Systems bonded carbon filters are either 3 inches or 4 inches thick and have even distribution of carbon throughout the entire filter.

Granular carbon filters can be dangerous because they have a potential of releasing carbon dust and any impregnate through the exhaust, and into the room. This dust is then inhaled and trapped in the lungs of the user. Many times the impregnate in the filter is more hazardous than the chemical being contained.

Types of chemicals and their volumes play a large role in the efficiency of a ductless fume hood or workstation. AirClean® Systems has a wide variety of filter media to handle numerous chemicals. The general-purpose filter will adsorb a percentage of almost every chemical. For those chemicals that are not adsorbed well, we use a chemical impregnate to alter the target chemical. For example, Glutaraldehyde requires an impregnated filter. This filter chemically converts Glutaraldehyde into aldehyde salts, CO 2 and H 2 O. AirClean® Systems utilizes coconut shell carbon pellets that have a higher adsorption capacity than standard coal base carbon.

In general, AirClean® Systems filters last longer than the competitors!

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Why Buy an AirClean Systems Ductless Hood, Workstation or Enclosure?

Laboratory Ducltess Fume Hood

Ductless hoods, workstations and enclosures are not a total replacement for every exhaust system. However, ductless systems can be used for a variety of common applications being done in today's laboratory environment. A ductless system should never be used when chemistry produces unknown results or if known chemical volumes of evaporation is excessively high. With the advancement in chemistry technology, most reactions are completed at micro or nano levels. A ductless system, where low volumes of known chemical reactions are present, is practical and can provide a safe working environment.

As chemistry technology advances, so must the engineering and design for safer ductless systems. AirClean® Systems ductless products are engineered with microprocessor controls that provide constant airflow and filter saturation monitoring. Previous and some current ductless systems use either a two speed control switch or provide no way of increasing face velocity as filter, workstation or room conditions change. AirClean® Systems ductless products utilize a microprocessor that incorporates a reliable airflow measurement device. AirSafe™, AirClean® Systems proprietary microprocessor safety controller, constantly collects airflow data and displays actual face velocity on the alphanumeric display. AirSafe™ allows the operator to set the desired face velocity relevant to state, local, providential or federal guidelines for the application. As the ductless systems' filter or environment in which it is being operated changes, the AirSafe™ safety controller automatically adjusts blower speed based on the preset user parameters.


Deep carbon filter bed monitoring is essential where toxic chemical fumes and vapors are being used. Current standards provide for an acceptable means of carbon saturation monitoring. One option is the use of a colorimetric sensing device that requires operator interaction with the filter bed and a sampling device. Due to this tedious and cumbersome method, AirClean® Systems integrated a reliable broadband hydrocarbon detector into the AirSafe™ automatic safety controller package. The standard hydrocarbon detector, used for volatile chemicals, can be changed if the validated application has a more prominent chemical to be contained. Once AirClean® Systems filter and application specialist reviews and validates the specific application, a proper filter and gas detector is chosen. The current ANSI Z9.5-2003 standard requires the following for deep carbon filter bed monitoring; "a reliable and adequate sensitive monitoring system shall be utilized to indicate adsorbent breakthrough" (Section 9.3.2).

AirClean® Systems ductless hoods, workstations and enclosures offer a safe and effective alternative to traditional exhaust systems. AirClean® Systems ductless products are acceptable containment solutions for a variety of common laboratory applications. AirClean® Systems products are tested in house to meet or exceed applicable safety standards and regulations. Stringent QA/QC procedures during all phases of production guarantee the highest quality and reliability of each ductless hood, workstation and enclosure.

AirClean® Systems, as the largest North American manufacturer of ductless hoods, workstations and enclosures maintain an extensive application database from many years of field experience in the containment of toxic chemicals and particulate. Customers that purchase AirClean® Systems product are not only purchasing rigorously field-tested hoods, workstations and enclosures but are also accessing many years of application experience.

Take a minute to complete our application worksheet to see if AirClean® Systems ductless hoods, workstations or enclosures are right for your laboratory.

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Features of a SAFE Ductless Fume Hood

A ductless hood should be factory-tested and shipped fully assembled to ensure proper performance to the intended customer.

Features of a SAFE Ductless Fume Hood

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