What Is a Trickle Vent & How Do They Work?

Learn all about trickle vents and how they work with Dale Joinery.

Buildings must have appropriate ventilation in order to comply with UK Building Regulations. A trickle vent is a device that allows fresh air to circulate naturally through space while allowing polluting air to escape. They are manually opened and closed depending on the ventilation requirements.

There are several types of trickle vents available. Depending on the product, installation, or structure, two main types of trickle vents are available for windows and doors:

**1)**Fitted into the window frame or the opening sash located on a separate frame linked to the window’s top.

**2)**Over-frame design: this is applied when the trickle vent cannot fit through the frame. The window’s head or frame is covered by venting.

Why are trickle vents significant?

Houses are not naturally ventilated as effectively as they used to be due to better-sealed windows and well-insulated homes. This becomes a concern for residents since a variety of contaminants accumulate within the residence that, if not eliminated, may cause harm. 

Condensation can also accumulate in poorly ventilated rooms, which can lead to mould growth. Trickle vents are extremely useful in this situation. Improving airflow in a home decreases condensation and hazardous particles, resulting in a cleaner home environment.

When are they needed?

Trickle vents are needed for windows and doors in new build homes, newly built extensions or replacement windows and doors.

When it comes to replacing ageing windows and doors

If you’re replacing old windows without trickle vents, the new ones must have trickle vents of equal or higher quality.

Do trickle vents actually work?

They do, indeed. When left open, they allow continuous and discrete fresh air into the rooms at all times. 

They work especially well in infrequently utilised areas, such as spare bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and toilets benefit as well.

In reality, the winter months cause our houses to be less ventilated; we spend more time in them and frequently dry our clothing inside. These simple and discreet windows and door upgrades bring substantial benefits by allowing regulated ventilation and fresh air into the areas we use every day as well as those we don’t.

Trickle vents enable regulated ventilation and fresh air to enter inhabited spaces, hence refreshing stale air. Keep your trickle vents open to assist decrease dampness - they truly work. Our recommendation is to keep them fully open at all times.

Trickle vents open or closed in winter?

Trickle vents prevent mould and condensation build up by allowing a controlled amount of air to escape the window, so we do recommend keeping them open throughout winter. The calling of the internal temperature in winter from a trickle vent is quite marginal.

Window trickle vent myths and comments

Some installers and glazing professionals don’t understand the value of trickle vents. This article explains why trickle vents are used and the benefits of installing them in your new windows and doors. But first, let’s address some of the criticisms levelled about these critical components.

Trickle vents are unappealing.

Some installers are unaware of how tiny, and simple contemporary trickle vents are. We recommend comparing the types of trickle vents available by manufacturers as some are more hidden and well designed than others. In addition, some vents will be plastic vents stuck to the frame or sash and can be unsightly. Dale Joinery’s trickle vents are flush, timber veneered and colour matched to the frames.

A good window installer is aware of this and obtains their products from better manufacturers and suppliers, ensuring that their products are up to date and suit today’s aesthetic criteria. Trickle vents are no different.

Window thermal performance has been compromised.

Building regulations for energy efficiency and ventilation vary and they are put in place as a guideline. The key to providing a product that can achieve both standards is to ensure building regulations complinace, particularly with regards to new build properties.

The reality is that they are required in new construction projects as well as when replacing old glass that has already been installed with ventilators. In our professional opinion, the benefits of good air quality in the room are vital for overall health, especially considering how airtight our homes have become.

Does heat escape through window vents?

Not a significant amount. People tend to sense a draught and close the vent, or believe the room is losing heat. In actual fact, Trickle vents are designed to provide a steady flow of fresh air. In the winter, any cooling provided by a trickle vent is minor. 

Could you not simply open a window?

Yes, if the weather permits and it is not a security risk on ground floor windows.

Trickle vents offer steady ‘background’ airflow while keeping windows safe and secure. Open windows offer ‘purge’ ventilation, which is only as efficient as the length of time the window is left open. If you leave your home to go on holiday, trickle vents will help keep the house fresh for your return.

Learn More About Trickle Vents With Dale Joinery

Trickle vents can be installed on various window materials, including timber, UPVC and aluminium. The team at Dale Joinery will always recommend installing trickle vents to allow the moist air to escape and for fresh air to replace it. Alternatively, you should open your windows for a few minutes each day, even in the winter! Get in touch with one of our friendly experts or read more on Dale Joinery’s veneered trickle vents for more advice and information.