For several years, there have been big improvements in the way of draught-exclusion. The latest designed windows are all airtight, which is ideal to keep out the cold and draughts.

However, as much as we don’t want draughts, an air-tight window also means there will be moisture in the air. With moisture comes condensation, therefore potential damp and mould.

It was due to this that window manufactures started to build air vents into the frames.  The trickle vents allow just a small amount of air to pass through providing sufficient ventilation.

Do I have to have trickle vents installed?   

This depends on a few factors! Trickle vents were, in fact, a requirement under building regulations some years back. It stipulated that if you were replacing a window with a trickle vent, the new window would also have to include the vent.  

In 2006, the Department for Communities and Local Government decided that all windows installed should include trickle vents. This was challenged by the fenestration industry. After lengthy discussions, the rules changed once again. The result of this is that windows are no longer required to have trickle vents, but it is usually advised. 

Homeowner’s now have far more options and can make their own decisions on the type of windows they want to be installed in their property.

Are there alternatives to trickle vents?

The only alternative to trickle vents is the simple solution of opening the windows.  Although not ideal in the colder months, you should still allow a certain amount of ventilation into your property.  Even if it is a few minutes a day.  By doing this you are allowing the moist air to leave the house replacing it with dry air. Bathrooms are especially important, even if you have an extractor fan. The constant use of hot water will cause a build-up of moist air, leaving you with more than just wet towels!

Can trickle vents be installed in my existing windows?

Yes, it is possible to install a trickle vent into your existing window if you find condensation to be a problem.  The procedure would take a fair amount of time, skill and money.  You may decide on just replacing the window.

What size trickle vents do I need?

During the consultation, your glazier will be able to advise what size trickle vents you need.  If you are replacing windows that already have trickle vents, it is important they are no smaller than the existing vents.

How to assess a property for replacement windows

Although your glazier will give you all the advice you need, you may also consider the following when replacing your windows:

  • Unless your existing windows have trickle ventilators, they are not mandatory. However, you will likely be advised to consider them as an option.
  • Your replacement ventilators can be no smaller than the existing vents.
  • By installing trickle ventilators, you will be providing your property with a good supply of air quality. This will prevent condensation from building up, that can lead to further issues in the future.
  • You may consider two-stage locking handles. These will provide a suitable amount of ventilation and your property will still be secure.
  • If your property has an existing problem with condensation or damp, you should seriously consider opting for trickle vents. If left, over time the problem will get worse.

If you are still unsure if you need trickle vents on your new or existing windows, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your requirements in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

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