Parker et al. (1993) explain that fume hood use profiles can reveal a wealth of information:
The opportunity for cost reduction seems attractive in labs due to the high ventilation loads that are a result of the safety requirements. The ventilation loads are mainly driven by the operation of the local exhaust equipment, i.e., fume hoods. The profile of fume hood use essentially dictates both the part-load and the system diversity. Additionally, the profiles can be used to determine other important characteristics of a lab. An on-line determination of fume hood diversity provides a simple yet effective indication of the lab's load pattern. In addition, by knowing how the fume hood is being used (open or closed), the safety features of the fume hood may be assumed. Conversely, the fume hood open area also indicates how actively they are being used. In essence, by monitoring both the fume hood open area and exhaust flow rate, significant insight may be gained regarding characteristics of the fume hood's activity, safety, and use.