Eco-friendly incubators are designed to help you saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint without any compromise in cell security. Keep in mind, reliable 37°C incubation conditions require energy based on physical law. Smaller heating systems require less energy but at some level of scale reduction, these smaller systems become non-dynamic. This means, the 37°C within the incubator are rarely met anymore and the recovery rates after door openings can expand to several hours. As a result, the high value cells within the incubator may suffer from inadequate temperature conditions. A well-balanced temperature recovery in combination with efficient heating is required. Power consumption shall be measured in steady state of the instrument.
Often underrated, CO2 consumption can be a significant cost factor and easily exceed the CO2 incubator purchase price over its lifetime. Every time you open the door of the CO2 incubator the atmosphere inside gets disturbed. Temperature, gas level and humidity need to equilibrate again to keep the cells in optimal conditions. This problem gets more pronounced, the more often and the longer the door is opened during the day. A smart regulated gas control, tight sealings, and precise production and fit of all door parts (clearance) are key factors to ensure low gas consumption and keep the atmosphere inside the CO2 incubator stable.
Healthy working conditions become more and more important in the lab. Whereas the direct interaction with a CO2 incubator is limited to comfortable and easy opening and closing of the door, the noise level during the 24/7 running times is crucial when you have to work besides the incubator. In addition, weekly cleaning and re-filling the water tray, as well as additional regular cleaning should be as easy as possible.
The longer the life of an incubator, the more favorable for you as an user and for our environment. The price often plays a decisive role when purchasing a new CO2 incubator. Keep in mind the potential life time of the instrument. What about the cost-of-ownership over the years? Extend the life of your incubator by regular cleaning and inspection, regular maintenance, and repair and exchange of spare parts. Check if you really need an incubator with HEPA filter as this filter needs to be replaced regulary and creates a lot of special waste over the lifetime of the incubator.
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