Author Archives: Gene Graham

Argon Gas – Why Do We Use It in Double Glazed Units

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Argon glass has recently began to get notice as an energy efficient tool anyone can take advantage of for their home. Argon is a colorless and odorless gas. Its symbol is Ar on the periodic table. It also makes up about one percent of the atmosphere. It has long been used in other home products, such as fluorescent tubes and electric bulbs. The Australian government has a ratings system that assigns a grade for energy efficiency to windows. Those double glazed windows that are made with argon gas have been getting some of the highest ratings for energy efficiency.

A double glazed window is a window that is created with a set of two glass window panes. The window panes are placed separately in the window frame space and there is air in the space between the two panes. The space between the two panes is known as the cavity. Normally, air is vacuumed sealed in the cavity. This helps for both insulation and reducing noise from outside. In recent years, some double glazed windows have been made with different inert glasses. Argon is the most popular and widely used. It is perfectly safe using argon gas as a substitute for air in the double glazed window pane.

Normal air is mainly nitrogen and oxygen. However, argon is already present in the air naturally. This new idea of filling the cavity of double glazed windows with argon gas may be slightly higher price wise than traditional air filled double glazed windows. However, when argon glass is used then energy efficiency savings come into play! Savings of up to 30% can be achieved on household energy bills when going with argon gas in a double glazed window. This means even if a little more cash is shelled out when the windows are placed in the home the savings will continue year after year. This also means that the home will retain heat in the winter and a/c in the summer better than other windows.

Another important factor to note in choosing argon gas in double glazed windows is that the gas will not leak. Also, unlike plasma televisions that need plasma refills every few years double glazed windows filled with argon gas do not need to be refilled for the life of the window. Low maintenance is always a plus when choosing any product for a home!

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Sound Proofing Your Home – Which Glass Should I Use to Decrease Noise in the Home.

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Soundproofing is important in a home for a myriad of reasons. First you want to keep the noise out! When you close your windows you expect them to soundproof your home. Your neighbor’s kid learning the trumpet? Need soundproofed glass windows! Traffic noise getting to be too loud? Then you need your glass windows to be soundproofed

What type of glass is best for soundproofing? The thicker the better!

Double glazed windows are best for soundproofing your home. A double glazed window pane is a much better soundproof tool then a single paned glass window. With the correct glass types these units can help soundproof your home by reducing the noise in your house by up to 25%!

Some common tips for reducing noise through your windows

Consider laminated glass within the double glazed units. Laminated glass has a plastic interlayer that helps eliminate a wide frequency of sound waves.

Consider specialty laminates (sound stop) These products have been specifically designed for reducing noise and the correct installation method, sealants and adhesives you will hear a clear reduction in unwanted noise.

Consider using two different glass thicknesses when installing double glazed units. This is scientifically proven to eliminate a wider range of sound waves.

Before spending any money on soundproofing by buying new windows then you can try a few do it yourself tricks.

Check gaps in the window frame and patch them to reduce noise instantly.

Fabric curtains are a great soundproofing tool although they only work when pulled.

Insulation – ensure your home is adequately insulated within walls, floors and ceilings

Plants also absorb sound so next time you are out pick up a pretty potted plant!

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Pet doors

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Are you tired of letting the dog in and out all day long?

Have you considered putting in a doggie door but decided against it because your door is glass? You are in luck!

Economy Glass can supply and install a catdoor in your home with no problems at all.

First, what type of glass do you have that needs cut?

If it is tempered glass then you cannot cut it. Tempered glass is a type of safety glass and it will shatter if you try to cut it. If you do have tempered glass then you have to buy new glass for your door if you want to go down that route.

If you do not have tempered glass then our glaziers can easily cut the opening for your pet door.

Using a specialist glass circle cutter and refined techniques our glaziers can attend your home and cut the hole in your desired location all in under an hour or so

Call us today for all of your pet door requirements

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Starfire Glass – What Is It and Why Do We Use It for Splashbacks

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When remodelling a kitchen or building a kitchen from the ground up multiple decisions will need to be made every step of the way. One of those decisions will involve putting in a splashback. A splashback or backsplash is a panel placed behind the sink to protect the wall. It literally prevents water or cooking materials to splashback on the wall. Generally you will find a splash back behind the sink and stove. It can be made of several materials and glass is one of the most popular. Glass can be used as a splashback in home bars, kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. Glass is so easy to clean and will shine up to a sparkle every time.

Not only is Starfire glass extremely easy to clean it can easily be matched to your décor in any room. One of the most important things to consider when choosing glass for the splashback is colour. If colour is an important factor in your home decorating plans then Starfire glass is the best choice. Starfire glass is low iron and lead free. The low iron removes the greenish tint that most other glass has. This ensures that if you choose a blue glass you get a true blue and if you choose a red glass it is real red. Starfire glass is the perfect choice for your splashback to ensure that the vision you choose comes to life exactly as you imagined.

With Starfire glass you can accurately match items you already plan to use with the color of the splashback. This means if you love the green towels in your bathroom you can make a paint sample to match the green of the towel and when the glass is made it will be exactly that same colour that you love. If your kitchen has gorgeous blue tile then the same principle applies you can take a tile sample to the paint store and have a sample created to have the glass made in the exact same blue of the tile. Colour uniformity is a classic tool to pull a kitchen together and make it stand out!

Starfire glass for use in a splashback is now in your arsenal of home improvement tools! The starfire glass will bring out your home’s personality and make the splashback an area that your friends and family will comment on time and time again.

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About Thermal Breakage

If you have recently purchased a glass product only to have it shatter due to a thermal break this can be a frustrating thing. Although thermal breakage is not a common occurrence, it does happen on occasion. When a thermal break does happen it is not typically the result of faulty glass. Here are a few reasons why thermal breakage happens and how to prevent it.

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A thermal break in the glass will occur when there is uneven heating. What happens is that only part of the glass is able to expand causing stress within the glass and when the stress exceeds the strength of the glass then a thermal break will happen. In a high temperature climate glass may be more at risk for a thermal break since temperatures are higher for longer periods hence putting the glass more at risk.

Other Factors in Thermal Breakage

Although heat is the number one cause of thermal breakage, other factors may also play a part in causing a window to receive the damage. Such as if heavy drapes or blinds are put over the window this can cause the heat to be reflected upon the glass more intensely which can cause the thermal heating to start. If part of a window is kept cooler then another part of the window this can in turn cause uneven heating in the glass which may eventually cause breakage as well.

Keep in mind different types of glass are more prone to thermal breakage more so then others. A strong tempered glass is more likely to be more tolerant of thermal heat stress more so then a thin laminated glass.

Preventing Thermal Breakage

As thermal breakage is not covered by most glass manufacturers warranties it is best to know what to do to prevent a thermal breakage.

Be sure to check your window frames for any leakage that may cause water to get into the frame and cause damage to the glass.

Try to avoid covering the glass with any heavy types of material that may hold in heat.

Try to avoid damaging the glass, any damage done to the surface of the glass or outer edges may increase the risk for the glass to weaken and be more likely to succumb to heat stress.

Do not paint directly onto a glass surface

Avoid black backings behind a pane of glass.

Although thermal breakage is rare, it is an unfortunate thing that does happen sometimes, however by remembering these tips to prevent thermal breakage it is less likely to occur.

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Low Emissivity Coated Glass

Glass is quickly becoming one of the most popular building materials used in today’s market. Although glass has been used as a building material for centuries glass itself has changed since the time we first started using it.

Today the market is filled with all different kinds of glass of all different shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is hard to know what type of glass to buy that will best work with the project you intend to use it for. There is also a new high demand for glass that is energy efficient. Energy efficient glass is made for the purpose of helping to reduce the use of energy consumption which in turn saves the home owner money.

alpha glass

Glass alone is not at all energy efficient because of how glass works. Glass is an active conducter for heat. The glass will attract heat and then the heat will pass through the glass, which can be quite troublesome when trying to keep your home well heated in cold weather temperatures.

Making Glass Energy Efficient

You might ask yourself what can help make glass energy efficient. The answer is low emissivity (LOW-E) coating.

Low-e coating is designed to minimize ultraviolet and infrared light that gets passed through the glass without effecting the visual aspect. Low-e coating acts as a barrier on the glass so that the glass does not absorb as much of the climate which works well to keep buildings stay at a comfortable temperature.

The low-e coating is very thin and transparent so when put onto the glass it is entirely invisible. When a glass gets coated with low-e it is much more energy efficient because the glass is not able to transmit heat either from interior or exterior. This works because the low-e coating will essentially reflect the heat from the window instead of letting it pass through the glass.

Different Types of LOW-E Coating

LOW-E coating comes in two different types. There is a passive low-e coating and a solar low-e coating. Passive low-e coatings are made by using a pyrolytic process. In this process the low-e coating is applied to a glass ribbon as it is being made which causes the coating to fuse with the hot glass thus creating a strong bond with the glass making it more durable. Solar low-e are made using a MSVD process in which the coating is applied to the glass after the glass has been made. The coating is put onto the glass in a vacuum chamber in which the coating is laminated on.

Although passive low-e coating is better for colder weather climates, solar low-e also is a good choice for glass protection. Either way the glass is still much more energy efficient then glass that does not have any type of low-e coating.

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The Benefits of Double Glazing

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If you are on the market for new windows or upgrading your old windows chances are you will hear the words “double glazing”.  When a person first hears the term “double glazing” they may attempt to interpret this into something different then what it actually means.

What are double glazed windows?

The phrase double glaze simply refers to two panes of glass with a very small space in between them. The space is tightly sealed to ensure no moisture or air movement can get between the two panes.

How do double glazed windows work?

Double glazing is when two panes of windows are brought together in a unit and then sealed through a special process. The space between the two panes of windows is very small and traps still air which creates insulation for the windows.

How effective is double glazing?

Glass is known to be a good heat conductor it often attracts the heat within a room and transfers it through the glass, which is a good thing for warmer weather but in weather much colder this could lead to a lot of heat loss. However, with a double glazed window heat gets attracted to the window but will not be transferred out of it because of the layer of protection added by the space of air in-between the two window panes. This is also beneficial in holding colder air in for rooms that have air conditioning. Double glazing isn’t only beneficial for cold weather!

Why Double Glazing is Worth the Extra Cost

Double glazed windows may end up exceeding your initial intended window budget, but the extra cost of double glazed windows is well worth it. Houses in which have double glazed windows installed are 50% more energy efficient then homes with single pane windows. The home will create less draft and stay at a much more comfortable temperature with minimal fluctuation. Other added benefits include noise reduction as well as UV and fading reduction. Homeowners who switched to double glazed windows often notice a huge difference in their electric or gas bills almost immediately as it takes much less energy to heat your home in winter or cool your home in summer.

Although it is entirely up to the buyer on what type of windows they go with, it is now highly recommended for homeowners to be upgrading their houses to be more energy efficient.

There are now great products on the market such as Thermawood which means you no longer have to replace the frames. This system enables you to now fit your existing windows with retrofit double glazing which is great to ensure you don’t compromise the appearance or the character of the home.

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Tips to Using Mirrors in Small Spaces

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When you rent or own a small space you may be left wondering what you can do to enhance the rooms décor without creating too much clutter or crowding. With smaller rooms you must be careful to add the right impact in amounts that will make the room stand out even though it is small in size.

Mirrors are an excellent choice when choosing to decorate any interior as they can add a lot of benefits to the room whilst providing subtle impact.  When a large mirror gets added to a small area it creates the illusion that the room has more depth and size. Mirrors can also help reflect light, and light by itself brings a new dimension to a room. When installing a mirror into a small room it is wise to put it either across from a good piece of artwork so that the artwork is better reflected in the room or across form a window so you can help bounce light into the room.

Putting a mirror behind a light source is also another good tip. It is amazing how different a room can look and feel just by adding a few small mirrors with candles in front. This can create a surreal feel as well as make the room more inviting.

Although mirror walls are often frowned upon and seem dated, if done properly a mirror wall can give a small space a brilliant appearance.

Although mirrors are very beneficial, here are a few things to not do when adding a mirror to the room.

Never place a mirror on the ceiling, a mirror on the ceiling is often perceived as tacky.

Do not place mirrors in any random location, always be careful and be aware of the surroundings of where you are placing your mirror. Always try to keep things symmetrical and inline to avoid visual disturbance.

There is no end to the benefits your room will receive when a mirror is added in the correct spot. Just one mirror alone can break up the feeling of clutter and amplify the rooms light. It is always best to experiment with your mirrors and find out which mirrors will work well for you or alternatively…

Ask the professionals, we install mirrors of various sizes and shapes every day.. In fact we install thousands of mirrors every year so if in doubt don’t hesitate to contact us for the very best advice and service. Economy Glass your mirror specialists.

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Safety glass – What is it and why do we use it?

Windows and skylights bring light and fresh air into our homes as well as offering views to the outside world. The common perception of glass as a dangerous material is not unfounded. Standard annealed glass breaks relatively easily and fractures into potentially lethal shards or splinters. With safety being of paramount importance, it is perhaps not surprising that there are standards and regulations which govern when glass is used in safety critical locations.

Areas of a home that are prone to accidents are required to be fitted with a Grade A safety glass. The use of safety glass reduces the risk of injury as it is significantly harder to break and is designed so it won’t fracture into dangerous shards if broken. The building code in australia and New Zealand (AS1288) determines where safety glass is required to be installed.

Examples of areas where safety glass is required :

  • Glass doors
  • Door side panels
  • Bathrooms (for all areas up to 2 metres high)
  • Around stairs
  • Areas that can be mistaken for openings (e.g. floor to ceiling glass)
  • Low level glass (if larger than 1.2 m2)
  • Schools, child care and retirement homes

Types of safety glass

There are two main options of safety glass to be considered – toughened safety glass and laminated safety glass. While laminated safety glass and Toughened safety glass can both be used to meet Australian building regulations, each glass types has different properties that are worth when deciding which glass type is appropriate to meet your needs

Laminated glass

Laminated glass is made from two or more sheets of glass bonded together with a flexible polyvinyl butyral(PVB) interlayer. The unique design of laminated glass prevents it from shattering into large shards when broken. In the event of an impact or breakage, the glass is held together by the interlayer. This prevents the glass from breaking into shards which can provide significant damage. The interlayer does not impact the transparency of the glass and is not visible to the naked eye once installed.

Laminated glass is usually the best option to provide increased security for your home. If the glass breaks it will generally stay in place and not fall out. The glass is difficult to penetrate completely through making it harder to gain access through breaking a window.

Advantages
●    Provides greater security than toughened glass
●    The interlayer in the glass reduces fading from UV significantly
●    subject to thermal stresses

Toughened glass

Toughened glass is four to five times stronger than ordinary glass of the same thickness. Toughened glass is processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering or toughening creates balanced internal stresses which causes the glass sheet, when broken, to crumble into small blunt granular chunks of similar size and shape instead of splintering into random, jagged shards. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.Toughened glass does not provide the same security as laminated glass as once broken the glass explodes leaving a hole in the building.

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Glass Splashbacks in Melbourne VIC

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A glass kitchen splashback is ideal for helping transform your kitchen and home with a great combination of both elegance and beauty.

Glass splashbacks and panels are available in almost any colour you could desire and are cut specifically to suit the needs of each customer.

Painted Glass Splashbacks require very little maintenance and out lasts most other architectural features. Due to its non-porous nature, glass does not stain, is easy to clean and does not harbor germs or bacteria – as many other materials do.

Glass splashbacks are an incredibly versatile product and can be used as a feature on any interior walls , especially in kitchens or as an alternative to the traditional tile option in bathrooms. Most commonly being produced using 6mm toughened safety glass, this ensures the glass is extremely robust and safe, resisting impact breakages and thermal stresses caused by high heat.

Splashbacks give a beautiful and easily customised look to the space. There are many options that can help you standout with a wide range of colours, textures and even graphically printed images. Each panel of glass is fabricated to the finest tolerances using highly accurate CNC machinery and painted using automated paint booths. This ensures the highest quality finish every time.

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