A trickle vent is an often misunderstood element in a door or a window. You may already have these in your home. If so, do you use them and do you know what they’re there for? Alternatively, are you presently looking at new windows and doors for your extension? Are you aware whether you will have these in your home?
A trickle vent actually plays an important role in the home and in some instances is also a requirement under Building Regulations In this article, we give you some information about trickle vents and what you should know about them.
What is a trickle vent?
A trickle vent provides a method of permanent air flow into a room. It is normally to be found at the head of a window or a door. It is either fitted directly to the frame and sometimes in the opening sash on the window. Some window frames are already designed to accept trickle vents, others accept them by adding a frame extension to the top of the window.
There are two types of window trickle vents available. One is the type that cannot be opened and closed and provides permanent ventilation. The other is the type that can be manually opened and closed. In some properties having older windows you’ll also find trickle vents that sit on top of the glass unit, although these are more often used in social housing.
A trickle vent basically masks machined holes in the window frame that let air through the window.
Why do homes need trickle vents?
Aside from trickle vents being a required component as explained below, they also provide health and environmental benefits. The Glass and Glazing Federation has an official publication about trickle vents and how lack of them affects the fabric of a building and affects our health. It’s important to know that over the years we’ve all strived to improve our homes to make them more energy efficient. A byproduct of this energy efficiency is that our homes are better sealed than ever before. Lack of cavity walls and loft insulation, single glazed draughty windows and other factors meant there was plenty of air flow in the home which is more of a problem today with energy efficient products such as windows and doors. The simple fact is our homes are energy efficient today and quite air tight.
The result is an environment in the home that can be moist, damp and humid. Central heating, cooking smells and steam, cigarette smoke and a general lack of clean air is now known to be unhealthy and bad for buildings.
Where trickle vents are a legal requirement.
Trickle vents should be provided to all new build extensions and new constructions. They are part of the current building regulations. If you’re simply changing your old windows for new are you aware of where trickle vents may be required? It’s actually very simple to know.
If your existing windows (those needing replacement) are already fitted with trickle vents, then the new windows you are having must also be fitted with triple vents.
What are the advantages of trickle vents?
Trickle vents provide constant and permanent ventilation. Some people feeling air coming through the window will close them but trickle vents should always be left open. They play a vital role in keeping air fresh in a home. In addition they provide a level of security in keeping ventilation coming into a room without having to have a window open or partially open.
At SGK Window Services, we can advise you all all aspect of the Building Regulations for windows and doors including trickle vents and general home improvements. Contact us for free and friendly advice.