Trickle Vents: All You Need to Know

Homes are now better sealed than ever before as we look to keep heat in, reducing the need for turning up the thermostat. However, while this keeps us warmer, it can also increase the number of pollutants in the home, which is why trickle vents are becoming more important. In this article, Bridgewater Glass will explain what trickle vents are and why you should consider them for your home. 

What are trickle vents?

A trickle vent is a small slot usually situated just above a window or a door. 

what are trickle vents

What do trickle vents do?

Trickle vents allow for a small amount of ventilation even when the window or door is closed. These vents are designed to help prevent or minimise problems associated with poor ventilation, such as condensation. Additionally, they help remove stale air from the property, which is very helpful if there are any odours lingering in your home. 

There’s also a security benefit to trickle vents – if you’d like to ventilate your home whilst you’re out and about, you can use the trickle vents to let air into your property without leaving windows open or unlocked. 

Do I have to have trickle vents?

Trickle vents are compulsory if your existing windows have them. This also means that if you’re replacing a window that has a trickle vent, the new window should also include them. The Building Regulations state that they are required for all new properties, and they’re also mandatory for windows being installed in an extension.

window condensation without trickle vents

Do trickle vents work?

Trickle vents are a very useful way of minimising condensation and keeping the air in your home fresh. Due to the relatively small size of trickle vents, they don’t provide comprehensive ventilation – they’re termed as ‘background ventilation’ – so if you want quicker cooling, there are better options. 

What are the alternatives to trickle vents?

The simple alternative to fitting windows with trickle vents is just to open the window. Opening windows is the best way to ventilate your home, and it is recommended that you do so for a few minutes every day. This is especially important in wetter areas such as the bathroom and kitchen; opening the windows allows moist air to escape and dry air to enter.

However, while opening windows is useful, it may not be the most comfortable — especially in the winter months. Trickle vents are great because they work constantly in the background without making the home uncomfortably cold or requiring any manual input.

Are there any drawbacks to trickle vents?

installing windows with trickle vents

Some people may find that trickle vents hinder the aesthetics of a property as they sit directly at the top of the window frame. Secondly, they don’t excel at noise-reduction, so you may find that you can hear the elements during days of extreme wind, for example. 

Trickle vents help to keep the air in our homes fresh and clean, as well as keeping condensation out and lowering humidity in a room. While they may not be the most comprehensive ventilation solution, they can be used in conjunction with other systems to ensure excellent air quality throughout your property. 


If you would like trickle vents in your property, or if you are required to install them in your home in accordance with The Building Regulations, then contact the experts at Bridgewater Glass today. With over 70 years of experience in the glazing industry, we’re a trusted provider of first-rate glazing services for customers throughout Hertfordshire.

For more information, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.