>I want to apologise to Tyson Anderson for not publishing his reply any quicker than now. That is down to my lack of checking my e-mails as regularly as I should, and the busy Xmas period I have had. But this is what he had to say in reply to the e-mail I sent him:
Dear Jason/Double Glazing Blogger
Apologies for the delay in replying.
Thanks for your interest in the article and your response.
What my article was designed to do was demonstrate that the argument for or against the fitting of trickle vents shouldn’t one way traffic. Paul Jervis has some valid points but makes these in such a way that attempts to persuade fabricators there is absolutely no need for them. Moreover the focus of my article was on the need for secure background ventilation, as there’s no doubt regular air changes are needed in dwellings. However, when ventilation is required, the energy efficiency of the building has to be compromised in some way or form.
In situations where replacement windows are sealing up a property – thanks to more energy efficient product – to tighter levels than it achieved with its old leaky windows, the provision for this ventilation is important. As the window is the part of the building fabric being altered, it makes sense to be the point where background ventilation is incorporated. However not everyone opens windows frequently enough to ensure acceptable air change rates are achieved. Unfortunately, relying on window night vent positions does not enable someone to live in or leave a property secure, and can in fact be a magnet for burglars. There is a way to resolve this; the fitting of trickle vents.
The typical householder view of trickle vents being un-necessary or un-wanted is down to ignorance. I’m not at any point saying I don’t believe they come back with this response, we – even as vent manufacturers – know they do. They don’t understand the benefit because their supplier doesn’t try to sell it, I think this education should come from a much higher and more academic level, the Government for instance. It takes all our industry vested interests out of the equation. Additionally, when ventilators are perceived as ‘ugly’ or ‘unsightly’ it is down to acceptance of purpose, not subjectivity. A window without a handle would be aesthetically improved but everyone accepts it because they know why it is there and necessary.
From a cost aspect, yes vents and machining slots costs more than not doing so. Surely fitting them as standard through all window production eventually brings economies of scale? Most fabricators are shying away from it because they understandably don’t want to be quoting higher prices than their competition. The quoting procedure followed by most could allow for the cost to be absorbed within the whole quote, particularly with some of the ridiculous price drops that often occur from first quote to the final base price that the consumer uses to make their decision. Some window companies must have taken this step when upgrading to more secure windows a few years ago.
There may not be a straightforward way to break this vicious circle, and it could be those for and against will always be at loggerheads. What is crucial is the need for the industry – and then the window buying public – to understand the differences between a badly ventilated house and a ventilated one, and then again a ventilated house and a securely ventilated one. Anything that deflects from that, for example the angle of Paul Jervis’s article, doesn’t help the cause.
I hope the above helps justify our point of view, impartial though it may seem commercially. Please let me know if you require any further feedback.
Sales and Marketing Director
Thank you for the reply. I agree with the point made about the situation being a vicious circle. And I completely understand your views, as I know you appreciate our view point too. We as window installers want to sell windows to customers which match their exact requirements, which almost all of the time do not include trickle vents. And you can understand our frustration, when we are selling energy efficient windows, trickle vent holes in the frames do not help that cause. As customer frequently point out to us.
With weather as we are experiencing now, the last thing customers want is ventilation. In the summer months yes householders will want ventilation, but for that they will just open a window. I can understand your view that we should be educating customers more on background ventilation, but when we try, it falls on deaf ear. Trickle vents have such a bad reputation with customers. If education is needed, then it has to be direct from the government. The double glazing industry has a bad reputation already. Customers are already sceptical of what we tell them in the first place. The likelihood of consumers believing what they are being told by the double glazing industry about the benefits of trickle vents is small. Intervention of the government, by way of education via literature of TV may be the most effective way to get the background ventilation message across.
But then there is still the problem of getting window installers and manufacturers to warm to the idea. Or just make trickle vents mandatory and this whole debate goes away immediately!
Thank you for your response, please feel free to leave any comments you have on this blog. Happy New Year.