“Dear Mr Tyson Anderson:
I work for a double glazing installations company in West Yorkshire, and was particularly interested in your article about trickle vents in response to Paul Jervis’ in the last issue.
Some of the points you mentioned in your article I failed to agree with. One of the major issues installations companies have with trickle vents is that when we have tried so hard to produce and install the best energy efficient windows possible, we find it completely contradictory to install trickle vents which badly affect the efficiency performance of the window. Once the windows with trickle vents are installed, the feedback from our customers is that they don’t use them. They find them ugly, unsightly, unnecessary, and that if they wanted ventilation, they would open a window. This is the second major issue, customers despise them. In your article you mention that we should be up-selling the benefits of trickle vents to customers. The problem here is that to a customer there is no obvious benefit.
In the middle of your article you go on to say that many of the social housing organisations have chosen to fit trickle vents on all their replacement windows as standard over the past twenty years. I agree with you that this perhaps was a sensible option, possible because they could see the restrictive new ventilation laws on the horizon. But this is an easy option for them because they have the power to install windows to their own specifications. On the residential/homeowner end of the market, the task of trying to sell trickle vents is much harder. To reinforce that point, out of the three and a half years I have worked in sales, I have had only ONE customer ask for trickle vents to be put back into the new windows.
There is then also the cost issue. We sell trickle vents at a price of £15 per vent (inc VAT 15%). Now imagine a larger size installation that may require 20 of them. That’s an extra £300 for ‘flimsy, unsightly’ trickle vents. You must agree that from a customer point of view that is a very large pill to swallow for what they are and for how little they will be used.
Perhaps we are wrong, perhaps the installation end of the industry is missing out on some major selling points and benefits. But this is why I have sent this e-mail.”
It will be interesting to see if I get a reply!