A Guide to Window Ventilation in 2012 - January 2012

This article appeared in Glass News, January 2012

2012 is here and we all know what that means - the world’s biggest and best sporting event is coming to Britain for the first time in over 60 years. As a sports fan, I’m sure the Olympics will be a fantastic spectacle – writes Tyson Anderson, Sales and Marketing Director, Titon. It will showcase the country’s many talents, as well as being a welcome boost to the UK economy. But Glass News readers aren’t thinking about track and field, velodromes or beach volleyball (well, maybe beach volleyball). What they really want to know is what’s in store for the ventilation industry this year.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t at the top of the Christmas list, but for fabricators and installers who are looking for an insight, there are a few industry issues that we saw in 2011 that are likely to continue into the year of the 30th Olympiad.

Out of the starting blocks - know your legislation.

We’ve been working under the Approved Document F (Part F) 2010 for over a year now, and there are no expected changes for another 18 months. Although the issue that most concerned the industry when Part F was released was more airtight dwellings and the use of whole house ventilation, fabricators and installers are now increasingly aware of the need for ventilation in the retrofitting market - especially with replacement windows. The first regulations requiring background ventilation appeared 20 years ago and therefore many windows being replaced now will have ventilators fitted to them - in all types of homes. Building Regulations now dictate that the vents originally installed with the windows will need to be replaced as well. The good news is that Titon already has a suitable product that has been specifically developed for the latest revisions and are up to 60% more efficient than previous models designed to suit earlier regulations – the Trimvent Select Xtra.

Now for those of you who may be somewhat reluctant to recommend trickle vents, consider the revenue benefits for a split second. As a result of the changes to the Building Regulations brought in under Part F, a large proportion of windows coming off the production line already have vents on the frames, or at least slots ready for fitting on-site. So using them in more applications shouldn’t be an issue or in most cases, an additional cost. Furthermore, it’s important to bear in mind that when it comes to the homeowner, there is a lack of knowledge on how to ventilate properties correctly. It’s here that fabricators and installers should be taking the lead as it’s a perfect opportunity to advise customers on the most effective way of reducing the risk of condensation, air staleness and black mould. In addition, it will add value to the sale by providing ventilation without risk to the security of a dwelling, unlike the fitting of a night vent position on windows.

Staying competitive

With the house building industry now operating in an era governed by a reduced public sector and an even greater emphasis on energy efficiency, window companies are going to have to become very nimble in dealing with the challenges thrown at them. Fabricators and installers will need to look for the best ‘value’ deal, whilst maintaining durability, quality and after sales service. We’re very fortunate that Titon has a wide range of products - as well as an immense amount of technical knowledge and expertise - which allows us to work with customers on any type of window from domestic through to commercial. For fabricators and installers, keeping up to date with the latest ventilation products available might prove important if they are to stay ahead of the competition throughout the year.

Through the finishing line

This year’s events might pave the way to a much needed economic boost, but whether new build or not, highlighting the importance of ventilation to end users should be a priority, especially as householders are often ignorant of the benefits. Fabricators and installers are not only in an ideal position to explain the advantages; they can also offer the most suitable products, which could help generate more revenue. Trickle vents are a low cost, effective and durable option that might give your business an extra boost and take gold this year.

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