Volume 35, Number 6, June 2000

Glass Houses


Welcome to Glass Houses, a great place to find news and
information about the glass products in your home. People in glass houses … have some
of the most attractive, energy-efficient houses around.


• Safety Glass Update - How to protect you and your family from injury.

• Mirror, Mirror on the Wall and in the Halls - Discover all the versatility mirrors have to offer.

 • What’s New in Glass - Upcoming technological developments mean new uses for glass.

 • Buying New Windows? - How to Choose

Arm yourself with information before purchasing those new windows.


Squeaky Clean

How to Keep the Glass in Your Home Looking New

Want to keep the glass products in your home glowing? When cleaning glass there are a few important tips to keep in mind.

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Shower Enclosures. When cleaning your shower enclosure, do not use cleaners that might scratch your glass or do damage to the metal finish. Cleaners you should not use include vinegar or vinegar-based cleaners, abrasive powders and steel or teflon pads. The Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association (BEMA) tested some of the most popular cleaners and found Comet Nonabrasive Bathroom Cleaner to be the most effective while still being gentle on the glass and metal surfaces of an enclosure.

Mirrors. When cleaning mirrors it is very important that mirror is never cleaned with an ammonia product. Mirror is prone to failure when its silver backing along the edges reacts with the ammonia, which results in the nasty phenomena of black-edge mirror. Also, do not use any acid or alkali cleaners for mirror cleanup after installation.

When cleaning mirrors never spray any cleaner directly on the glass. Instead, apply the cleaner to a soft cloth then wipe the mirror. The best and safest cleaner for a mirror is clean, warm water, but be careful not to allow the edges of the mirror to get or remain wet over a period of time.

When more than simple cleaning is needed remove surface marks or dirt with 0000 oil-free steel wool, not solvents.

So, what about when cleaning that glass tabletop or new windows? Windex, or the products available at your quality glass shop work just fine. But, remember to avoid products such as 409 and Fantastic as these leave a film on the glass.

Buying New Windows?

How to Choose the Best Ones...

wpeE.jpg (15624 bytes)The first step is to do your research. An abundance of data is available on the Internet. One particularly helpful site is maintained by the Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC), an organization that provides unbiased information on window products. The site, www.efficientwindows.org, includes a variety of helpful information on windows such as differences between glazing, frame and operating types. Also featured is a frequently asked questions section answering everything from “where do I buy windows?” to “will my new windows stop the draft?”

The site also allows visitors to log on to the sites of window manufacturers so they may perform further research. The EWC links to many of these companies directly from its webpage.

Once you start delving into your research, one thing you’ll hear a lot about is ENERGY STAR® Windows, a program designed to help consumers identify efficient windows, doors and skylights. The program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and manufacturers of windows, doors and skylights. According to the DOE, by choosing ENERGY STAR windows you can cut down your heating and cooling costs, while making your home more comfortable. Additionally, ENERGY STAR windows are twice as efficient as the average window produced just ten years ago. (To learn more about ENERGY STAR go to www.energystar.gov).

So, when browsing the websites of window manufacturers, make sure they participate in ENERGY STAR. In addition, you may want to look for manufacturers who participate in the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), or Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) certification and labeling process. According to the EWC, membership in all of these organizations is an indication that you are dealing with a manufacturer who cares about the quality of its product and the window’s energy efficiency capabilities.

Other things to keep in mind when researching window manufacturers is to choose a company with a reputation for service and stability and who provides a warranty on the unit.

The type of window you choose also depends on the climate you live in. For example, climates where heating is very important have different product recommendations than climates where cooling is important. (The EWC website provides helpful information on choosing a window based on your geographic region).

So, follow the above steps and pave your way to a more energy-efficient environment.


Did you Know?

 • An average household spends more than 40 percent of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs. You could reduce those bills by up to 15 percent with ENERGY STAR windows.

• If all residential windows in the U.S. were replaced with ENERGY STAR qualifying models, we’d save $7 billion in energy costs over the next 15 years. The energy savings would be enough to light every home in the New York City metropolitan area.

• ENERGY STAR windows are good for the environment because they reduce the amount of energy needed to heat our homes. Most energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, which causes air pollution, smog and global warming.

Source: Department of Energy


Mirror, Mirror Everywhere

... On the Walls and in the Halls

Mirror is a very versatile material and one of the best “space stretchers” around. Using mirror can bring light into a room, make a small space appear bigger and avoid that closed-in feeling. Mirror is great for just about every room of the house, from bedrooms and baths to living rooms and dining rooms. Consider these great places for mirror:

• A mirrored wall in the dining room adds light, space and elegance;

• Mirrored baths and bedrooms make a small space look bigger and provide for the important floor-to-ceiling reflection;

• Even the smallest kitchen can be made to look larger through the use of mirrored back splashes;

• Mirror around your exercise area so you can check form while working out.

You can choose from a tremendous array of mirrored products, from colored and patterned mirrors to the sleekest gray mirror. Framed mirrors, too, make great additions to living areas and can be changed and updated with the latest styles.


What’s New In Glass?

 Did you know that someday you’ll be able to change the color of your windshield to match your outfit or your mood? Or that you’ll be able to lighten and darken your home’s windows according to the weather outside? No longer just a scene from The Jetsons, this new technology is in development and expected to be available within the next three to five years. Some of the technology you’ve started to see used (in eyeglasses for example) is being adapted for auto and residential glass.

While it may be novel to let everyone know you’re feeling blue by the color of your windshield, this new technology has important energy considerations as well. It will help reduce air conditioning and heating loads, saving energy for all of us.


Thirsty for More Info?

Log on to www.glass.com™: Your Source for Glass Information

Glass.com includes the Consumer Information Center, which has all the
answers to your glass questions. The site has a frequently asked question
section covering everything from proper glass cleaning techniques to the
benefits of safety glass. And, if your concern isn’t answered, you can post
a question and receive a reply within 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The glass in my door broke and the glass shop won’t sell me a piece of plate glass to replace it.
The manager says I need to buy “safety glass.” Is he trying to cheat me?

No, but he may be saving your life—or keeping you out of legal trouble. You may not know that glass is one of the few building materials actually regulated by the Federal government and that usage of glass in and near doors falls under strict Consumer Product Safety Commission rules. Quality glass shops know that all glass in doors must meet the requirements of CPSC 16 CFR 1201 safety glazing—which generally means that either tempered or laminated glass or plastic must be used.

When a glass shop won’t sell you a certain type of glass for a particular application, it is usually with your safety in mind. In this case, it would be illegal for either the glass shop or the homeowner to install non-safety glass in that door. This becomes an issue when the door is old and was manufactured before the safety glazing laws took place.

While the CPSC regulates safety glass usage in and near doors, building codes regulate what types of glass can be used in other hazardous locations. Many codes require safety glass below a certain height, in areas with a lot of water and potential for slippage such as hot tub enclosures, on stairwells or in other hazardous locations.
Safety glass is more expensive than “plate glass,” but the benefits you’ll receive in terms of that safety and peace of mind will be well-worth the expense.

Interested in Increasing Sales and Expanding
Your Market Presence?


If you like what you’ve seen on the previous four pages and are ready to see sales soar, please contact us at 540/720-5584 or fax a request to 540/720-5687.

Take advantage of these special pre-publication prices for orders placed by August 10. (Orders may be placed after August 10, but rates will go up).



o 1,000        $517.20

o 2,000     $,627.84

o 3,000     $745.15

o 5,000     $997.08

o 10,000     $1,635.60

 Call for higher quantities. Shipping will be billed at cost.


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