More than nine out of ten installers object to mandatory trickle vents

The proposed introduction of mandatory trickle vents has brought widespread condemnation from window installers, who claim they will lose them business, a new survey has found.

Fensa-approved installers were asked for their views on the revised Building Regulations due for publication later this year.

Installers were be quizzed on Approved Document F (Ventilation) and Approved Document L (Conservation of Fuel & Power), which deal specifically with the performance of windows and doors in domestic dwellings for new-build and refurbishment.

Proposed amendments to the regulations include making trickle vents mandatory, lowering U-values, and increasing WER/DSER bandings for windows and doors.

The short survey from Fensa also asks installers what they believe their homeowner customers think about trickle vents, including the potential impact on their decisions to buy new windows.

Just under half of those responding said they were not aware that Approved Documents L and F are currently available for consultation.

While just half of installers supported the lowering of U-values and increasing the WER bandings, almost 92% of respondents said they did not support the introduction of mandatory trickle vents, arguing that homeowners would object.

Almost 80% or installers argued that making trickle vents mandatory will ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ lose them business.

The revised Building Regulations, being referred to as The Future Homes Standard, are being presented by the government as plans to “radically improve the energy performance of new homes, with all homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025”.

New homes will be expected to produce 31% lower emissions from 2021, while existing homes will also be subject to higher standards, with a focus on extensions and the replacement of windows as well as other services.

For replacement windows this means a reduction in the U-values from a minimum of 1.6W/m2K to 1.4W/m2K.

Fensa’s managing director Anda Gregory said: “Overall the proposed improvements in the performance of windows and doors in the Building Regulations are good news for Fensa-approved installers, as homeowners seek to improve the performance of their homes. But it is important that installers make their feelings known, especially on subjects such as trickle vents.”

She continued: “It is emphatically clear from the survey that installers continue to be against the mandatory fitting of trickle vents and we hope that the government takes these responses into consideration in the consultation process.”