Aside from making them look nicer, installing double or triple glazing in our homes brings three main benefits:

  • improved security
  • noise reduction
  • thermal efficiency 

However there’s another thing which, whilst less important, is an important consideration when buying double glazing: ventilation.

Ventilating our homes means providing outside air into an enclosed space and removing stale air from it. 

There are several reasons why we need to consider ventilation in order to keep our indoor environment healthier.

  • Cleaning products, flooring and furnishings can all create emissions which are potentially harmful to us via airborne pollutants.
  • Condensation doesn’t just look bad but the mould that this creates can cause huge problems for those who suffer from allergies such as asthma.
  • On a practical level, condensation can also damage the decor in your home.
  • Naturally, water vapour from cooking, washing and bathing needs an outlet.  
  • Ventilating rooms is also necessary to remove unwanted odours.

For our windows and doors to work efficiently it is paramount that there are no gaps or leakages; that the frames are fitted perfectly to the walls and the glass units are sealed accurately into the frames.

Not wanting to compromise these key benefits of fitting replacement windows and doors, we still need to ensure that our dwellings have good ventilation, especially in certain buildings.

Many homeowners that have previously benefitted from the installation of double glazing, may begin to experience problems with condensation once they have had a log burner installed.

So, how can we ensure our homes are ventilated, yet maintain thermal efficiency?

Ventilation locks

One option is to have ventilation locks on your windows.  

Windows that have secondary locking points enable you to open the window a little to allow for ventilation.  

A sliding sash window can also be fitted with an additional lockable sash stop to allow a 10 cm ventilation gap.  

Ventilation locks are useful during hot weather when you wish to have some air flow during the night, for instance if you are not comfortable about sleeping near an open window.

These locked window positions are useful for ventilation only and it is not recommended they are left in this position when the property is empty as the chances of intruders gaining access will be increased.

It should be mentioned that night ventilation locks do not conform to SBD (Secured by Design) standards. This is the recognised, accredited initiative by UK police to improve the security of our homes.

You will need to ask your glazing professional about ventilation locking handles on their products if this is an important feature for you.

Trickle Vents

Trickle vents are frequently added to casement windows and patio doors. They are fitted at the top of the frame or can be fitted to the sash.

They are fairly unnoticeable as they will blend in with the style of your product.  

Trickle vents are made up of a grill on the outside and a vent that closes on the inside.

Another, less common form of this type of window ventilation is when used within the area of glass.  A glazed unit is installed into a frame with a gap left at the top.  This gap is filled with a vent thereby sitting within the window

Trickle vents can be added to increase room ventilation and prevent condensation in rooms that are likely to suffer with this.

It is worthwhile remembering that any new addition to our homes that produces cold or heat may well have an impact on our window performance. 

For example, the current trends of installing log burners in our homes or replacing bathrooms for wet-rooms will alter the home environment and attention to changes in ventilation needs will be necessary.

Current Building Regulations only require trickle vents as ‘mandatory’ if the window that is being replaced already uses one.  Otherwise, it is up to the customer to make their own choice.

It looks likely that BR may change in the future, enforcing the need for the installation of these small additions to combat problems that arise from poor air remaining in our homes.

The downside to this form of ventilation is that, once in an open position, the room is no longer airtight and therefore prone to heat loss.  Indeed when smoke tests are carried out on buildings, the trickle vent has to be sealed in order to gain a true reading.  

The very reason some of us choose double glazing is to reduce our increasing heating bills.  

To open window vents, thereby losing warmth in a room, no matter how slight, will doubtlessly be of disappointment to the discerning homeowner.

The type of ventilation we choose for our home will be dependant on the use and size of room. 

Rooms where steam will be produced, for example, such as kitchens and bathrooms will require higher levels of ventilation.  Other rooms may simply require appropriate window openings or trickle vents.

Rapid ventilation is easily achievable by us all. 

Simply opening your windows regularly for short periods of time can sometimes be enough to ensure our living spaces have adequate ventilation, keeping us healthy and happy in our upgraded homes.

Matt James
Matt James

Hi, Matt here! I started out almost 20 years ago as a teenager working in the family business fitting doors, windows and conservatories. I now run this website to share the best tips and advice for anyone looking to get a good deal on double glazing.