Over recent years, huge Improvements have been developed for draught proofing and anti condensation technology. Modern windows are designed to be airtight, to achieve greater energy efficiency and heat retention, this is fantastic for draught prevention, keeping homes toasty warm.
An entirely sealed property can cause moisture build up and reduce air quality. Maintaining a healthy and comfortable interior environment requires your home to be well ventilated. This is the reason window manufacturers (usually) fit trickle vents to window installations. Let’s take a look at some of the best air tight vents for windows, to help stave off unwanted condensation and damp build up.
What are trickle vents
Installing or fitting trickle vents in your doors and windows is an easy and safe way of dealing with condensation problems. The hot air gathers inside your home and gravitates towards the cooler surfaces. These are often windows and doors. The windows and doors are usually in a recesses so the warm air is trapped. It rises to the head of the window or door where (if there is an open trickle vent) it can escape.
Do trickle vents help stop condensation?
Although double or triple glazing hugely reduces condensation by insulating rooms from the cold outside, it can occasionally be part of the problem. That’s why the the most effective way to combat condensation is to ventilate any affected rooms by partially opening the window or opening up the trickle vents in the top of your window frame, if you have them. (It may feel like you’re letting all the heat escape but actually, you’re replacing warm, moist air with cool, dry air that’s cheaper to heat in the long run.)
If that doesn’t get rid of the problem, there are other steps you can take, depending on what kind of condensation you have and what’s causing it. Use our easy checklist to assess the nature of your condensation problem and the best way to tackle it.
What are trickle vent building regulations?
The Building Regulations in England and Wales require ‘that there shall be adequate means for ventilation provided for people in the building. It however now differentiates between windows for residential installation in either a Replacement or New build application.
If the window being removed has trickle vents fitted, then the replacement window should also have them – to the same level of performance.
The ventilators fitted to the replacement window should therefore offer at least the same capacity as the ventilators fitted to the removed window.
Best alternative to trickle vents?
There’s a very simple alternative to Trickle Vents – opening a window. It’s a good idea to open all the windows in the house for a few minutes every day (yes – even in winter!) to allow moist air to escape, and dry air to replace it. This is especially important in the bathroom and kitchen.
You could also consider air bricks, but require professional fitting.
There are different types of air brick. The traditional type is the clay air brick, heritage air bricks tended to be cast iron – which are sometimes very ornate – and the modern air bricks are plastic. In our opinion, the clay air brick is more in keeping with the look of most properties and consequently is the one we tend to use, although this is a little more expensive than the plastic type.
They are situated in the outside wall, above ground level, but at a height so they are underneath the internal timber floor. They should never be partially submerged in the ground.
The holes in the brick allow air to flow through into the underside of your floor reducing the humidity, clearing the stagnant air and keeping the area cool.
How to fit trickle vents
Adding a trickle vent is as simple as drilling a new ventilation hole through the frame. You will need a drill bit that’s designed for uPVC, as you will be drilling through layers of plastic and metal at the same time.
Measure and mark where the vent will go, and do the same for the opening you need to create. Drill the new vent hole from outside inwards, then repeat the drilling from the inside out, keeping the drill absolutely straight for a perfect vent opening.
Once the horizontal vent holes have been drilled, you will need to fix the actual trickle vent over the top. The vent may have a grille to prevent flies and insects from getting through; make sure the grille is always on the outside. Simply screw the vent in place over the hole you created.
It’s very difficult to fix a window frame if a DIY job goes wrong, so proceed with caution and take your time. In particular, take care to get the vent absolutely central. If it’s off to one side, it’ll look strange and could ruin the whole appearance of your home.
Trickle vent installation cost?
It’s a simple enough job to retro fit trickle vents to window heads,
window manufacturers will stock them in colour to suit. Basically drilling holes in head of frame couple of screws to fix is all that’s needed, but if you require a handy man to do the job it wouldn’t cost much as long as you’ve already purchased a trickle vent from a shop like amazon, wickes, screwfix or eBay.
How to open trickle vents?
This fantastic video explains how to install a trickle vent and also shows you how to open and close them.
Although we want to keep our homes warm and avoid draughts, we actually need a certain level of ventilation. In order to provide a healthy and comfortable internal environment. So before when we had draughty old windows that would let in a breeze, we didn’t need to have trickle vents. Now that we have new windows with better seals against the elements, we need to find a way to allow a change of air within our homes and trickle vents are perfect for the job.