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Shut the Sash Video

Keeping the fume hood sash at its proper height is important both for safety and for saving energy. To help people remember the right thing to do, a group of college students from the Emerging Professoinals Summer Internship Program at UMass Chan produced this video. Have a look:

The video was done by Santoshi Nadimpalli, UMass Amherst, who interned with the Growing Green team; Alice Chappell, Boston University, who interned in the Office of Communications; and Aidan Naravane, Clark University, and Jimmy Dwobeng, Worcester State University, both of whom interned with the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Nadimpalli, Naravane and Dwobeng appear in the video, while Chappell recorded and edited the clip.

“They did a really nice job,” said Jo-Ann Ranslow, chemical and lab safety manager at EH&S.  “We always encourage people to keep the sash low for safety, in case something unexpected happens.”

The position of the fume hood sash also impacts energy use in the Albert Sherman Center, and on the 8th and 9th floors of the Lazare Research Building, because the lab fume hoods there vary the volume of air exhausted though the hood based on the sash position. The higher the sash is raised, the greater the volume of air exhausted. “For variable air volume fume hoods, the energy savings can be significant,” said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy manager at UMass Chan.

Air for the laboratories is drawn in fresh from the outside, not partially recycled from within the building. Fresh air is filtered, humidified, heated or cooled as needed, then delivered to the labs and ultimately exhausted outside. This single-use approach is important for research laboratories, but it utilizes more energy than a standard commercial system. So, keeping the sashes low when in use, or closed when the fume hood is not being used, reduces the airflow, thereby saving electricity.

Photo above: from left, interns Aidan Naravane, Jimmy Dwobeng, Santoshi Nadimpalli.