My most read post of ALL TIME on this website is a little post I wrote all the way back in 2009 and was an open letter for the attention of Tyson Anderson about trickle vents. Apparently they’re not that boring after all. It’s also probably partly due to some decent SEO results for that post. Regardless, since it was published six years ago it has attracted 26 comments. I can’t say that they’re all that positive.
“Squeezing Silicone Gunge”
Check out the latest comment to be left on that original post by Hannah Reynolds:
It’s been very enlightening to read all these posts about trickle vents, as 6 months ago I had to have new windows and trickle vents after replacing my 28year old windows that the seals on the glass were broken. I live on a busy road which lorries and buses use all the time. Had my installer out to see what I have to put up with, even had the MD of the company up to see my noise and wind problem. I have been robbed off with: “well why did you ask for them?” When I told him it’s was his salesman extolling the virtues of trickle vents I thought that after 28yrs these must be an improvement. So here I am with the problems all previous posters have written and have added myself to the list. I told my window fitter and his boss that For winter I WILL BE SQUEEZING SILICONE GUNGE INTO THE 5 vents in the front of my house and in Spring they will be removed completely and faced with a uPVC strip to cover both inside and out. Glad I read these posts as I felt It was just me.
If you read the rest of the original post, plenty of the comments left by home owners are along the same lines as this one. The one thing I can gather from these comments is that above all else, the problem lies with noise and wind.
The very nature and design of trickle vents mean that air will ventilate through them, something that many home owners do not want, when you consider that many change their windows to keep as much heat inside as possible.
For those involved in the production and sales of them, and those involved with building control, they will say that they’re a good thing for background ventilation. The building is better ventilated and there is an obvious benefit for people’s health. Home owners will reply and say that if they want ventilation they will open a window and get it that way. No noise. No drafts. The energy efficient window doing it’s job and no heat being let out unnecessarily.
Where they’re required
There are of course circumstances where trickle vents are required by law:
- on new windows where the existing windows being removed currently have them
- on windows being installed into an extension
- on windows being installed into a new-build home
These are probably the three best known scenarios where trickle vents are absolutely needed. No ifs, no buts. And when these are explained to home owners, in my experience almost all are prepared to accept that, although many times I’m told they will stay shut!
Could the requirement for trickle vents be expanded? Well, it’s been attempted before on previous building regulation updates, but was met with strong resistance. The previous plan was to have all replacement windows fitted with them, regardless of whether the old windows had them or not. This never came to pass, and in reality, may not happen for quite a few years to come.
Home owners are unequivocal, they do not like them. I can’t see that attitude changing any time soon, no matter what argument