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Do you need trickle vents?

The pictures here show trickle vents that have been deconstructed for painting to match the colour of a clients windows.

Have you heard about the new regulation referred to as F1?

As detailed on the government’s website:

“The aim of requirement F1(1) is to protect the health of occupants of the building by providing adequate ventilation. Without adequate ventilation, mould and internal air pollution might become hazardous to health.”

Part F is a new regulation that has just come into force, it relates to any new build property and home improvements like replacement windows and doors.

You may remember the old Everest Double Glazing ads with Ted Moult dropping a feather and how wonderfully draft free they were.

Turns out that draft free, sealed homes is a bad thing, a recent survey by “My Health, My Home” showed that 58% of homes experienced condensation. Condensation leads to damp spots and damp spots lead to mould which release spores which are trapped in the house.

Preventing condensation stops this problem and the best way to do this is to ensure that your home is properly ventilated. This is where requirement F comes into play. All new properties must have a clearly defined level of air flow through the property, this has meant architects and developers have had to revise all their plans.

The ventilation allows fresh air into the property the air flow carries out stale air, meaning that spores and air borne viruses are removed in the air exchange. The air coming in provides fresh air for breathing and helps reduce odours – so there are many benefits.

What does this mean for homeowners that are looking to replace windows and doors?

Not a lot changes, except for the “trickle vent”. Trickle vents are not new, they look like little bars across the top of windows that can open and close – they are designed to allow a steady stream of air through the vent.

For many years, when we replaced windows that have vents, we ensured the new double glazing windows had vents. Now, every window that we sell will have trickle vents.

What are the negatives? Noise and drafts – to work, the trickle vents are fitted either side of a cavity in the window frame. This means that what once was a perfect seal against noise pollution and drafts is no longer the solid barrier.

The benefits however are far greater – so much so that I fitted trickle vents to windows that didn’t originally have them. Not a job for the feint hearted or keen DIYer – without knowing the internal structure and strengthening design you may damage the integrity of the frame – and of course drilling close to glass has its risks!.

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