Title:
Ventilator assembly and method of installing same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a ventilator assembly and method for removing kitchen exhaust fumes entrained in a moving air stream from an area surrounding a cooking unit. A roof-top blower moves the air stream from the cooking area through an air duct to the atmosphere. An overhanging hood defines a ventilation opening located above the cooking unit. One or more air vents are formed in a top wall of the hood and communicate with the air duct. The hood back panel has upper and lower longitudinal flanges, the lower flanges of which nests in a wall-mounted underlying first bracket securely earlier mounted on the kitchen side wall, while the hood upper flange is overlapped and retained by a second bracket holding the hood in an upright functional position.



Inventors:
Musico, James M. (Tremont, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/885391
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
07/07/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24C15/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUERETH, SARAH ELIZABETH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Arthur R. Eglington (601 Stoney Run Road, R.D. #5, Pottsville,, PA, 17901, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A hood-like, ventilator assembly adapted for mounting on a vertical support wall for removing kitchen exhaust fumes entrained in a moving airstream from an area surrounding a cooking unit, including a rooftop blower for moving the airstream through an air duct to the atmosphere, said ventilator assembly comprising: (a) an overhanging hood defining a ventilation opening located above said cooking unit, said hood including a back panel, an outwardly extending top panel, a front panel, and spaced apart side panels; (b) one or more air vents formed in the top panel of said hood and in communication with the said air duct; (c) the back panel being provided along the lower and upper substantially linear edges with first and second flanges, respectively, which are integral therewith; (d) an underlying elongate first bracket member, having an open channel configuration when viewed in vertical cross section, and being fixedly mounted on the vertical support wall, while supporting the lower first flange of the venting hood; (e) an overlying elongate second bracket member having a wall offset configuration when seen in vertical cross section, with a first longitudinal segment thereof adapted to engage and retain the upper second flange of the back panel in abutment to the support wall, and further having an integral second longitudinal segment thereof being fixedly mounted to the support wall for the ventilation assembly; and, (f) a fumes filter element positioned transversely within the venting hood and adapted for the removing fumes from the moving air stream during the course of venting hood utilization.

2. The venting hood of claim 1 wherein the first bracket member is adapted to nest interruptibly the lower first flanged member and is also having a vertical cross section in a shape of a letter ā€œUā€ presenting an open channel.

3. The venting hood of claim 1 wherein the second bracket member has a cross-configuration adapted to overlap and retain the second upper flange member of the hood upright along a lower first longitudinal segment thereof, and also to fixedly engage the support wall along an upper second longitudinal segment of the second channel member.

4. The venting hood of claim 1 wherein both of the first and second bracket members are fabricated from stainless steel.

5. The venting hood of claim 1 wherein each of the flange members is secured to the support wall by a number of spaced-apart fasteners which engage vertical studs behind said support wall.

6. The venting hood of claim 1 wherein the first flange of the hood is provided with a U-shaped channel which is sized to seat firmly in the trough of the first bracket member.

7. The venting hood of claim 1 wherein the first flange is further provide with an outwardly projecting, leading edge which is adapted to contact and retain in place one lowermost longitudinal edge of the filter element.

8. A method of removing kitchen exhaust fumes entrained in a moving air stream from an area surrounding a cooking unit, comprising the steps of: (a) mounting a blower outside of the cooking area and in communication with the atmosphere for moving air from the cooking area to the atmosphere; (b) mounting an elongate first linear bracket on a sidewall selected to support an overhanging hood located to just above the cooking area, said first bracket being provided with an open channel adapted to receive an elongate lower flange which is integral with the overlying hood; (c) mounting the hood adjacent the sidewall along its lower flange which lower flange engages an open channel, first bracket as the initial hood position; (d) rotating the linearly supported hood into its normal upright second position adjacent the support wall while retaining same by manual means in that second position; (e) mounting an elongate second linear bracket on the sidewall so as to overlap an upper flange which is integral with the upright hood; (f) securing the second bracket to the sidewall with conventional fastening means; and, (g) then removing the manual means initially used to retain the hood upright.

9. The hood assembly installation method of claim 8 wherein the second bracket means has a partial wall offset configuration along a first longitudinal segment thereof adapted to engage and retain the upper second flange adjacent to the sidewall.

10. The hood assembly installation method of claim 8 wherein the first bracket means presents a vertical cross-section in the shape of the letter ā€œUā€ presenting an open channel.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO OTHER APPLICATIONS

None.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a ventilator assembly, and a method for removing exhaust fumes from an area surrounding a cooking unit, particularly such as are used in restaurants and other commercial food preparation areas. Such assemblies are known in the art, and typically include a ventilation hood located above the cooking unit and attached to a bearing and/or overhead wall of the kitchen. A typical prior art assembly includes a roof-top or outside blower in communication with the hood to pull air from the cooking area to the outside. Kitchen exhaust fumes generated by the cooking unit and entrained in the air stream are pulled upwardly through the ventilation opening. One or more filters are generally located in the hood for filtering the exhaust fumes from the surrounding air stream as the air stream is passed through the ventilation opening of the hood to the atmosphere.

A ventilator assembly of the present invention is particularly suited for use in a fast food restaurant where food is prepared in large quantities on an open fryer or grill surface or in a deep fryer. This method of cooking produces grease-contaminated, exhaust fumes which must be moved upwardly away from the cooking area. Once removed from the cooking area, the fumes are captured, and the filtered air stream is dispersed into the atmosphere outside of the restaurant.

Prior art ventilator assemblies are subject to several disadvantages and struggle to meet safety standards. The well-recognized, and followed, NFPA Code 96, directed to kitchen exhaust hoods, does not allow for needed wall fasteners to penetrate hood panels without taking added steps to ensure there are no fumes or grease leakage from the hood interior. Such fastener preclusion avoids the resort to panel welding and polishing. Towards this end, hood makers resort to top-mounted brackets to hold up the hood securely. If such prior art special brackets/rods are not used, it is difficult to meet the NFPA Code 96 installation constraints.

To conform to their needs, the prior art hoods are suspended from kitchen ceiling using externally mounted brackets with connecting depending rods. Less complex, but still effective means of meeting NFPA codes are desirable and are addressed by the present invention. Presently taught exhaust hoods are adapted to the reduced effort in installation and do so: (1) Make the use of costly hanging rods unnecessary; (2) ease hood positioning to conform to Code demands; (3) and preclude resort to added welding to fire-proof external panel penetrations by fasteners through the hood panels themselves.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide a ventilator assembly located above a cooking unit which is handily installed and still effectively draws away kitchen exhaust fumes from an area surrounding the cooking unit.

Another object of the invention is to provide an exhaust hood assembly and installation method therefore that allows for easy installation of an off-the-shelf exhaust hood structure by service persons in the field.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a method for more precisely positioning off-the-shelf exhaust hoods on the support back wall, without need of excessive adjusting and measuring, such as swinging or height adjustments to compensate for the standard top-mounted hoods.

It is still another object to provide on top-mounted hoods that conform to an NFPA Code 96, but which require no penetration of the internal panels of the hoods by fasteners, precluding the resort of welding of hood to support brackets.

A yet further object is the preclusion to resort of specially configured, mounting brackets, which usually serve to effect hood mounting in order to maintain NFPA code requirements that exhaust hoods must necessarily be conformed to.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, there is now provided a hood-like ventilation assembly for removing kitchen exhaust fumes, in which the stove-overhanging, hood component defines the ventilation means to be located over the kitchen stove, with the hood having a top panel with one or more air vents in the top panel; a front panel, spaced-apart, side panels, and a specially-configured, vertical back panel; the back panel having along each of its lower and upper horizontal edges, a substantially linear, projecting an upper first and lower second rigid flanges that maintain the hood box-like configuration, and which back panel flanges serve as the mating and anchoring elements of the hood, adapted for the mounting thereof solely upon the back support wall for the entire ventilation assembly.

There is further provided an underlying elongate first bracket member, having an open, channel-like configuration when viewed in vertical cross section, with the first member being fixedly mounted on a vertical back support wall while nesting therein of the lower first rigid flange of the hood. An overlying, elongate second bracket member is provided with a configuration when seen in vertical cross section, which is adapted to engage and maintain the upper second rigid flange of the back panel in close abutment with the back support wall, and a fumes and grease filter element positioned transversely within the venting hood and adapted for removing the fumes from the moving airstream during the course of ventilation hood utilization.

In a preferred embodiment, the lower first bracket member, with its channel-like vertical configuration, engages the flange-like depending protrusion of the lower horizontal edge of the hood, with the first bracket member being sized to secure the depending protrusion in close contact. Also in a preferred embodiment, the depending protrusion of the back panel lower edge is provided with an outwardly slanted leading edge, adapted to contact and retain the lowermost edge of the hood filter element. Also in a preferred embodiment, the upper second bracket member is provided with a first longitudinal segment adapted to engage and retain the upper second flange of the back panel in abutment to the support wall, while an integral second longitudinal segment of the second bracket is fixedly mounted to the support wall for the vent assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view in vertical section of a building venting system, including a conventional prior art exhaust duct assembly for a kitchen depicting the off wall location of the hood venting means;

FIG. 2 is a schematic, side elevational view of how a venting hood assembly of the venting system of FIG. 1 that was erected using prior art installation components and procedures;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an odor venting hood mounted upon a paneled bearing wall, also depicting the exhaust duct cutout in the hood (duct omitted for clarity of view), such hood having been installed according to use of the components of present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective and exploded view of the operative components of the hood assembly of FIG. 3, seen in the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view in the vent hood mounting procedure, depicting the initial step of placing the underlying hood elongate support bracket now being as seen mounted on the pre-paneled bearing wall of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged end elevational view in vertical section of the installed venting hood of FIGS. 3 and 4, better depicting in juxtaposition all the assembled components of the already installed venting system.

FIG. 7 is another enlarged and elevational view, in vertical section, better showing how the planar filter element is functionally positioned and how the hood assembly is mounted securely upon the bearing wall;

FIG. 8U and 8L are broken-out, enlarged views in vertical sections of the lower and upper support means for the hood depicting in greater detail the dual means of hood securement; and

FIGS. 9U and 9L are a broken out, enlarged view in vertical section, also of the upper and lower secured bracket support means for the hood, seen in greater detail, depicting the dual means of hood assembly for secure wall mounting.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A conventional exhaust duct assembly 10 enclosed by a vertical conduit is shown schematically in the prior art arrangement of FIG. 1. It typically included a vertically-aligned exhaust fan duct 12 that penetrates one or more building floorings 16 and 24, and has ensconced at the upper longitudinal end, a powered outward exhaust fan 18, with an associated grease trap (not seen). The exhaust is mounted outside the roof 20 on the building. Proximal to the lower longitudinal end 12L of duct assembly 10 is a bearing side wall 22, with a thereon mounted exhaust hood, generally 24, being substantially offset above the base floor 14, and mounted overlying a cooking device 26, such as a commercial, multi-burner cook stove. Such an exhaust hood 24 is an essential feature of all commercial kitchens, which must conform to building code requirements, including use of non-combustible materials for constructions and particularly proper modes of arranging and securing the operative components.

In the schematic side elevational view of FIG. 2, there is depicted a typical set up for ceiling mounting and wall securing of the venting hood in the kitchen area above a stove, in the manner of the prior art installations. Hood 24A is suspended by a pair of cables 28L and 28R, which, in turn, are anchored to overhead ceiling fixtures, 30L and 30L, at the upper cable ends; and below to mounting fixtures, 32L/R, each affixed to the upper horizontal panel 34 of the prior art venting hood 24A. Also several elongate bolts, like 34U/L, connect the hood pack panel 34B to the support side wall 36, which wall abuts the hood, and which also overlies the stove 26A itself. The complexity and workmanship needed to safely and durably install such a kitchen exhaust hood is manifestly significant when looking at the prior art configuration of FIG. 2.

In the present case, a similarly configured exhaust hood 38, but having been wall mounted according to the present invention, is depicted in the perspective view of FIG. 3. A bearing side wall 40, perhaps of stacked bricks as depicted, provides a solid facade for supporting a variable number of planar metallic modules, 42A/B, and the associated module-mounted, exhaust hood 38 of the present configuration. The sidewall-fastened planar modules, 42, serves as the mounting surface for the hood, while there provide a firmer support manes against the brick wall for the use of conventional fasteners (not seen).

Note that the present hood is solely wall-mounted, which precludes the need for the use of ceiling-depending support rods, 28L/R of FIG. 2. The upper panel 44 of hood 38 is also provided with a rectangle shaped, cutout 46, which will be operably joined at installation time with a venting duct (not shown), but arranged to look like the exhaust fan duct 12L of FIG. 1. Air vents are formed in the top wall of hood 38, that are in communication with the air exhaust duct 12 of FIG. 1. An underlying kitchen stove (not seen) is usually positioned under exhaust hood 38, as depicted in FIGS. 1 & 2. The upper edges of conjoined modules 42 are secured to a back wall 40 (FIG. 2) by rigid channel member 48 with plural fasteners, like metal screws, 49A-F.

In the exploded view of FIG. 4, the key installation components of mountable exhaust hood 38, to be configured and conjoined according to the present invention, are conveniently depicted. Such includes underlying, an elongate rigid support bracket 50, which present an upwardly oriented, open channel 52 , which trough is sized to nest easily the first lower rigid flange 54 of the back panel 56 of the hood 38. Seen in vertical cross-section of FIG. 6, bracket 50 presents a U-shaped, elongate trough 52. This lower support bracket 50 also applies plural fastener elements, 58A-D, which will affix this elongate bracket to rigid back wall modules 42A/B.

Also seen is a standard particulate filter 60 normally positioned wholly within the hood 38, as depicted in FIG. 1, being in an inwardly/downwardly oriented juxtaposition. The filter element itself presents a serrated/recessed surface, such as seen in corrugated containers for products. Such filters are available from Component Hardware Group of Lakewood, N.J. However, the filter does not comprise a part of the present invention, but is a standard component of stove-exhaust hood assemblies. Note the single squared opening 46 in upper stove panel to hood panel 44, to which an exhaust duct assembly (not seen) will be operably connected.

Hood 38 is seen as oriented ready to be nested along its lower flange 54, in the to be side wall mounted, horizontal, support bracket 50.

In the elevational view of FIG. 5, is shown the first step of achieving a side wall mounted exhaust hood by securing an first elongate, rigid support bracket 50 to side wall 42, at a height of up to four feet above the surface of a cooking stove (not seen). Underlying bracket 50 is wall mounted fixedly with conventional fasteners, 58A/D, at spaced-apart locations, perhaps coincident with any vertical studs (not seen) to which the support wall module 42 is abutting.

Also seen above hood 38 is a horizontally-aligned, elongate rigid bracket 62, which functions as a retaining and flange-pinning means upon engaging the uppermost rigid flange 64 of hood 38 (FIG. 4). An overlying bracket 62 has two elongate segments, 62U and 62L. The lower segment 62L is offset from the conjoined integral upper segment 62U, so as to be adapted to overlap upper flange 62 of hood 38. After the hood low flange 54 is nested in the underlying bracket 50, the hood is rotated to the upright position depicted, being temporarily, and manually held there. With hood 38 now flush against support wall 42, the upper bracket 62 is positioned overlying flange 64, then is affixed to the support wall 42 along the uppermost segment, 62U, which flange is in flush contact with the support wall 42.

The final result is depicted in FIG. 3, where the engagement of upper bracket 62 and flange 64 is evident.

Similarly, a plurality of mounting fasteners, 66A-66D (bolts or screws) are employed to anchor offset upper bracket 62 to the support wall, along its upper segment 62U. The vertical cross sectional configuration of the upper bracket 62 is first depicted in FIG. 8U and 9U.

In sum, first installing the lower bracket 50 (FIG. 5) fixedly to the support wall; then hood 38 is nested along its lower flange 54, in trough 52 of underlying support bracket 50; the hood is rotated to the upright position until upper flange 64 is in contact with back wall 42 and is held thereto. Upper bracket 62 is arrayed overlapping hood upper flange 64, then fastened to the back wall. After both well-mounted brackets are fixedly set, then the transient manual support for the mounted hood is ended with the end result depicted in FIG. 3.

In the side elevational view of FIG. 6, a means of positioning and retaining a filter element 60 is depicted. Depending from upper hood panel 44 is a clamp-like, bracket 70 which engages the upper outward edge 72U of filter 60. The lower horizontal edge 72L of the filter contacts hood back panel 56 and also abuts an inclined leading edge 74 of lower flange 54 of panel 56 support.

The enlarged vertical sectional view of FIG. 7 shows the details of the dual opposing, horizontal brackets supporting hood assembly 38, and associated filter 60. The lowermost flange 54 of hood 38 present a U-shaped, depending projection 54P, which projection is sized to nest snugly in the complemental U-shaped channel 52 of lower support bracket 50. Projection 54P is further provided with an outwardly slanted leading edge 74, which contacts the outer surface of the filter lower edge 72L, and holds the inner surface resting against back panel 56, until the latter is manually dislodged for servicing or replacement. This facilitates the channel of protrusion 54P serving as a grease trap.

FIGS. 8U and 8L are broken out, enlarged views of the major support brackets. Better seen is the trough-like configuration of lower bracket 50, and the offset, dual segmented, configuration of upper bracket 62. Similarly, FIGS. 9U and 9L depict, in finer detail, the mating of the hood support components. Flange-like protrusion 54P nests within bracket trough 52, while the hood protrusion also contacts filter lower edge 72L; hood upper flange 64 contacts abutting support module 42; and wall-anchored modules 42 abut with overlapping upper bracket 62, which retains upper flange 64.