Dirty Autoclave Sales Secret: That Low-Price Autoclave Can Be Expensive!
By: Priorclave North America
Category: Lab Design
Autoclave sales tend to focus on the “sticker price”—as do autoclave buyers. But that’s a bill you only pay once. You’ll be paying for utilities and maintenance for years to come. In general, up to 50 percent of a lab’s funding is sucked up by utility and maintenance costs (according to My Green Lab executive director Allison Paradise). Your autoclave is usually a major contributor to that. Consider electricity:
A single autoclave on a college campus uses about as much electricity as 115 computer monitors. And remember: the average college research autoclave is only used about 5 times per week, and computer monitors are often left on 24/7.
Improper Autoclave Selection Drives Up Costs
In many cases, the maintenance and operating costs associated with an autoclave run high because labs inadvertently buy less-efficient medical-grade autoclaves. These are engineered to meet FDA medical-device standards that generally run counter to efficient operation in a lab setting. For example, most medical-grade sterilizers use always-on cold-water bleeder valves to cool outflows, and rely on pressure chambers and steam-generation systems that only make sense in a medical setting. A 2016 study by the University of California (Riverside) found that replacing just one of their existing medical-grade lab autoclaves with a comparable research-grade model reduced energy consumption by 83%, and water consumption by 97%
Autoclave Sales: Choosing the Right Lab Autoclave
Don’t assume that every non-medical autoclave is a good fit for every research task. Even among lab autoclaves, there’s wide variance in efficiency. The two factors that most contribute to this: steam source and chamber shape.
If reducing lab costs is important to you, a good rule is this: Get an autoclave with an in-chamber heater. External steam generators drive up the initial cost of your autoclave, and are more expensive to maintain over time. They’re also significantly less efficient. Side-by-side comparisons consistently show external steam generators using at least 45% more energy than in-chamber heaters.
Priorclave offers the only fully custom autoclave sales process in North America. Every autoclave we ship is customized and built for the lab that bought it–and built from the ground up for longevity, efficiency, and ease-of-maintenance. Give us a call today and explore the best autoclave for your lab.