Trickle vent double glazing
If you have ever come across the term Trickle Vent Double Glazing you might be thinking
that this is some form of modern innovation which has been introduced to further
increase the thermal efficiency of Double Glazing. You would of course be mistaken.
In fact the Trickle Vent referred to is a very small opening on the window to allow
small amounts of ventilation into rooms that are intended to be ventilated naturally
rather than by some mechanical means.
Double glazing is a very effective means of controlling the heat losses from within
a building. The effectiveness of a double glazed installation will stop any draughts
that may have been present previously. Whilst draughts are the unwanted ingress
of air from the outside, in stopping the draughts the double glazing also limits
the change of air within the room that draughts would otherwise have contributed
to. Draughts are uncontrollable what is required is a controlled form of ventilation.
The quality of the air in a building is an important consideration for a number
of reasons. The optimum water balance is vital in order to avoid musty smells, moisture,
moulding and allergies. Modern building and the highly effective double glazing
systems minimise heat loss through the double glazed windows and doors. However,
a certain level of cold air ingress into a room is still required for several reasons.
The fabric of the building is at risk without some level of fresh air movement through
the double glazed window system. The occupants’ health is also affected by the consequences
of a lack of ventilation.
Taking these factors into account modern double glazed window systems can have a
trickle vent built into the double glazed frame. This will enable a light trickle
of cold, fresh air to enter the room via the double glazing. Most will have a facility
for you to control the level of air flow through the trickle vent. Controlled natural
ventilation is a healthy option to air conditioning. It is also a more sustainable
choice as it requires to uses no energy and has no running or maintenance costs.
The fitting of these vents will avoid any damage to the fabric of the building by
reducing any levels of condensation. In a property containing 4 people, each will
contribute approximately 4 pints of moisture per day through showers, baths, boiling
kettles, cooking etc. This adds up to well over 100 pints of water vapour per week
- a huge volume of moisture, which must go somewhere. Add the other airborne contaminants
which exist in a typical home - dust, tobacco products, exhaust gases and it not
difficult to understand the scale of the problem.
To solve the problem Trickle Vents can be fitted to new or existing windows. These
can be fitted in the top of the frame or if there is no room in the frame a glazed-in
vent can be fitted on top of a glass unit. The added cost of fitting these vents
is minimal when set against the total cost of the double glazing.
You may ask why go to the trouble of fitting these Trickle Vents when all that is
necessary is to open the window. Trickle venting as the name suggests allows a very
small amount of air into the building without disturbing the effectiveness of the
Double Glazing. They can remain open for as long as thought necessary and closed
to suit. Opening a window will not only allow too much cold air into the building
but may be a security risk particularly if you were to leave the building having
inadvertently left it open.
In summary buildings need to be well insulated in order to reduce energy consumption
and improve the comfort of the internal environment but adequate ventilation is
also necessary. In modern buildings constructed to meet present day building standards
some form of ventilation is also necessary. Trickle ventilation will satisfy that