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"Shut the Sash" Initiative

The facilities office along with the Sustainability Task Force, is working on an energy reduction plan to reduce the Institution’s costs for operating our fume hoods. Because a fume hood has a high demand for outside air, they can incur high costs to operate. The energy required for fume hoods alone is nearly 20% of our entire utility budget. With current utility rates, that cost can be $2,000 - $4,000 per year for each fume hood! The Institution has over 200 fume hoods running 24/7.

Many of our hoods are already highly energy efficient due to their design. Others have additional controls installed that will help conserve energy when the sash is closed, and many others could benefit from enhanced controls.  The Facilities Department is currently working through our utility rebate programs to help us fund the installation of additional controls and safety features. This is a complicated, lengthy process which must take into account the needs of individual labs.

In the meantime, one of the best ways for you to help us lower energy costs is to Shut the Sash on your fume hoods when not in use. The Sustainability Task Force has developed a label as a gentle reminder (see attached).  Over the next few weeks Facilities staff will be coming around to place the label on your fume hoods. We recommend the 3”x5” label be placed in one of the lower corners of the sash so it is our of your way.  Please let the label installer know if you would like the label placed in a different location.

Facilities also understands that there are some hoods that are an integral part of air flow balance in a lab, or that may be used for proper heat removal in certain cases.  These hoods will be addressed individually at a later time.