An industry pet hate is the use of trickle vents. As sad as it may be, I’ve been having a look through the proposed changes to Part F in 2010. The big worry is that trickle vents are going to become mandatory, and we all know how much of a pain it is trying to sell trickle vents to customers. After looking at the wording of the proposed changes, it may not be as bad as we thought.

“1.51 Approved Document F 2006 states that it would be good practice to fit trickle ventilators (or equivalent) in all replacement windows. This is due to the concern that replacing an older window with a newer window with better seals will make the property more airtight and may result in under-ventilation. For 2010 we are minded to remove this statement and make the fitting of trickle ventilators in replacement windows (or equivalent) the recommended approach. If the ongoing cost-benefit analysis does not support this proposed change, fitting trickle ventilators would remain as good practice.”

We may still be able to get away without having to fit trickle vents, and the key to that is where it states: “make the fitting of trickle ventilators in replacement windows (or equivalent) the recommended approach”. The keyword there is ‘recommend’, it doesn’t say it will become mandatory or anything similar. It then goes on to explain that if the cost implications do not support the change then it will be shelved to the original wording from 2006. I think the cost argument and the energy efficiency argument is something the double glazing industry will be able to put forward very well.

Update: 5/5/21:

There is a review underway at Government level called the Future Building Standards which is considering changes to Building Regulations, including ventilation in homes. You can read about the view itself here.

Since this article was published over a decade ago much has changed, but the pace of change towards trickle vents hasn’t. Much of the progress has been made in the area of energy efficiency. As of now, trickle vents are mandatory in the following areas:

  • new-build homes
  • newly built extensions
  • on replacement windows where the existing windows currently have trickle vents

During the pandemic, we have learned, or re-learned the importance of ventilation to homes and buildings. Whilst there has been a big move to conserve heat loss in homes via energy-efficient windows, less has been made of the important of ventilation in homes. We are now far more aware of how important ventilation is to health and homes because of the information that has been available during the pandemic. The current consultations on ventilation in the Future Buildings Standards or deliberating on how much more ventilation is needed in homes, and how best to facilitate that.

There is a position where trickle vents are made mandatory to all new windows, not just new buildings, to improve ventilation. There is a counter-argument where the amount of ventilation via a trickle vent isn’t as much as alternative methods, so to make it mandatory wouldn’t be all the fruitful. Understandably there are differing opinions on this.

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You can find out more about trickle vents here: