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Comparing LEV Design Solutions: Pros and Cons


Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems are crucial for managing and reducing airborne contaminants in a variety of industrial settings. As you explore options for installing or upgrading an LEV system, you'll encounter different LEV design solutions. Each design has its distinct advantages and limitations, and it’s imperative to understand these to make an informed decision that aligns with your specific requirements. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the comparative landscape of LEV design solutions, helping you weigh the pros and cons.

Selecting the Right LEV Design

Choosing the appropriate LEV design begins with a clear assessment of your workplace's specific needs. Factors such as the type of contaminants, their source, and the required extraction efficiency play a pivotal role in this decision-making process. Let’s delve into the most common LEV design solutions and dissect their advantages and drawbacks.

Enclosed Hoods

Enclosed hoods are designed to completely encase the source of contaminants, thereby offering maximum containment. The prime benefit of this design is its effectiveness in capturing harmful substances before they escape into the workplace atmosphere.

Canopy Hoods

Canopy hoods are suspended over the source of emission, funneling pollutants upward. They are commonly used in scenarios where enclosing the process is not feasible.

On-tool Extraction

On-tool extraction systems are integrated directly into the hand-held or stationary equipment that generates pollutants, capturing contaminants at the source and immediately removing them from the operator's breathing zone.

Assessing LEV System Performance

Once you've implemented an LEV system, it’s essential to conduct regular LEV testing to ensure it continues to perform optimally. This testing can identify any deviations from expected performance levels, allowing for timely interventions and adjustments.

Factors Affecting LEV Performance

Several factors can impact the performance of your LEV system, including:

Changes in the production process that generate more or different types of contaminants

Wear and tear on LEV components such as ductwork, fans, and filters

Incorrect use or adjustments made by workers unfamiliar with the system's design parameters

By conducting regular LEV testing, you can ensure that any issues are identified and rectified promptly, maintaining the health and safety standards in your workplace.


Understanding the pros and cons of various LEV design solutions is crucial to protecting your workforce from hazardous airborne contaminants. Enclosed hoods offer superior containment but may be less accessible, canopy hoods provide ease of use at the cost of efficiency, and on-tool extraction systems offer excellent control directly at the source. Balancing these factors with your operational needs will help you select the most suitable LEV system.

Remember, the effectiveness of your LEV system is not solely determined at the design stage. Ongoing maintenance and regular LEV testing are critical to its long-term performance. At WBT Services Ltd, we pride ourselves on providing top-tier LEV design and testing services, ensuring that your systems remain compliant and effective. By choosing the right LEV solution and committing to its maintenance, you can create a safer, healthier work environment for everyone.


What factors should be considered when choosing an LEV design?

When selecting an LEV design, it's important to consider the type of contaminants, their source, the required extraction efficiency, and how the system design may interact with workplace processes. The choice between enclosed hoods, canopy hoods, and on-tool extraction systems should be based on maximum containment effectiveness, energy savings, cost, and the potential impact on worker tasks.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of canopy hoods compared to enclosed hoods?

Canopy hoods offer easier access for workers and are generally less expensive than enclosed hoods. They are particularly useful for capturing heat and contaminants from processes where enclosing is not feasible. However, they are less effective at contaminant capture, requiring higher airflow rates, which increases energy consumption compared to enclosed hoods.

How important is regular LEV testing and what factors can affect LEV system performance?

Regular LEV testing is critical to ensure that an LEV system continues to perform optimally. Factors that can affect LEV performance include changes in production processes, wear and tear on components, and incorrect use or adjustments by workers. Identifying and addressing these issues promptly through LEV testing helps maintain a safe work environment and compliance with health and safety standards.

Key Takeaways

Understanding the strengths and limitations of various Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) designs is essential for effective airborne contaminant management in industrial settings. The key takeaways from the blog post comparing LEV design solutions are:

Assessment of Needs: Selecting the right LEV design requires evaluating workplace-specific needs, considering factors like the type of contaminants, their source, and how the design may affect worker tasks. Enclosed hoods offer high capture efficiency but may limit accessibility, canopy hoods facilitate easier worker access but may be less efficient, and on-tool extraction systems provide excellent containment but could be more cumbersome for tool operation.

Design Pros and Cons: Each LEV design comes with trade-offs. Enclosed hoods ensure better containment and lower energy consumption but can be costly and interfere with work processes. Canopy hoods are less effective and energy-efficient but cost less and provide easy access. On-tool extraction excels at containment and energy efficiency but may add bulk to tools and increase initial costs.

Maintenance and Testing: Regular LEV testing is critical to ensure the continued optimal performance of the LEV system. Factors such as production changes, component wear and tear, and incorrect system use can impact LEV effectiveness. Through diligent maintenance and testing, one can identify and rectify issues promptly, maintaining a safe working environment.

Ultimately, the goal is to balance containment effectiveness, operational needs, and the health and safety of the workforce to select the most suitable LEV solution for a given setting.

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