Calibration is an important aspect of maintaining CO2 incubator performance. So, how often should you calibrate? If you are properly maintaining the incubator, then you should only need to calibrate a few times per year. However, if this is not the case, then we recommend CO2 calibration once per month.
There are many types of CO2 incubators in many types of labs in New York. Regardless of the model or usage, there are a few important things to know in order to keep your incubator working smoothly. With CO2 incubators providing the precise environment for delicate cells, simple calibration can make all the difference.
Why it’s Important to Calibrate a CO2 Incubator
- Humidity levels need to be accurate
Cultures contained in your CO2 incubator need the right amount of humidity to remain viable. Humidity will slow the evaporation of water in the cultures. Without calibration, you will not be aware of level fluctuations, which can damage or kill your growth media.
- Temperature readings need to be reliable
The sensors in your CO2 incubator will become inaccurate over time. Inaccurate temperature readings from lack of calibration will result in culture death or slow media growth.
- CO2 and O2 readings need to be accurate
Like the previous two, these sensors can become inaccurate over time. CO2 and O2 levels need to be in perfect balance, in order to mimic the conditions of the human body.
Other CO2 Incubator Maintenance
While your CO2 incubators are vital to your lab operations, maintaining them is fairly simple. In fact, a lot of incubator issues stem from the door not being closed correctly. At the end of the day, you could have a top-of-the-line CO2 incubator but it will fail due to lack of simple maintenance.
Disinfecting and Cleaning
Regular cleaning is necessary to protect your growth media from contamination. All labs will contain some amount of contaminants. Thus, maintaining your lab and incubator will limit the chances of impacting your cultures.
Change the Water Tray (and Fill with the Correct Water)
In order to maintain the humidity, your unit will need water in the tray at the bottom of the incubator. This water should be changed regularly. In addition, the type of water used in the CO2 incubator will matter greatly. The right water is sterile, distilled water. Using tap water, deionized or ultrapure type 1 water will not contribute positively to your cultures.
HEPA Filter Replacement
Depending on the type of CO2 incubator unit, the amount of contaminants, and your quality/frequency of maintenance, your HEPA filter should be replaced every 6 months to a year. The lifespan of your HEPA filter will depend greatly on the number of people using it, the cleanliness of your lab, and the quality of your unit. Therefore, maintaining the overall integrity of your CO2 incubator and lab can affect the frequency of HEPA filter replacement.
Choosing the right CO2 incubator for your lab is the first step in successful research. However, regardless of your CO2 incubator model, proper calibration and maintenance will extend the life of your unit and maintain the quality of your research and development.
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