Title:
Vent cover plates
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vent cover plate system for the register of a ventilation system that securely and snugly fits over the register thereby blocking the flow of air from that register. The vent cover plate is releasably attached to the register by hook and loop fastening material, magnetic material and mixtures thereof, and can include a rectangular strip of rubber tubing insulation to provide an air tight seal. The vent cover plate system allows for the localized and selective control of airflow in a room or building. Therefore, the specific ventilation requirements of a room or building can be readily achieved.



Inventors:
Dhallan, Narender (Germantown, MD, US)
Application Number:
09/733086
Publication Date:
06/13/2002
Filing Date:
12/11/2000
Assignee:
DHALLAN NARENDER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/302.7, 454/276, 454/284, 454/367, 52/202
International Classes:
F24F13/08; F24F13/20; F24F13/14; (IPC1-7): F24F13/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CALLO, LAURA ANTOINETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A vent cover plate system to regulate the exhaust and intake of air through the register of a ventilation system comprising: a cover plate configured to conform to the shape of a ventilation system register in order to block the flow of air through the register; and an attachment means for attaching said cover plate to the register.

2. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, further comprising a peripheral insulating strip of rubber attached to said cover plate for forming an airtight seal between said cover plate and a register.

3. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said attachment means is selected from the group consisting of hook and loop material, magnetic material and a combination of hook and loop fastening material and magnetic strips.

4. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises a first peripheral strip of hook and loop fastening material fixedly attached to said cover plate, said first strip being adapted for releasable attachment to a corresponding second peripheral strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to the register.

5. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises: a first peripheral strip of hook and loop fastening material fixedly attached to said cover plate; and a second peripheral strip of hook and loop fastening material adapted for attachment to the register.

6. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said cover plate is metal.

7. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said cover plate is rubber.

8. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said cover plate is plastic.

9. A vent cover plate system according to claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprises: a first peripheral strip of hook and loop fastening material fixedly attached to said cover plate; and a second peripheral strip of hook and loop fastening material attached to a backing material, the second peripheral strip being adapted for being clamped under a register's flange, said second peripheral strip extending beyond the register's flange for releasable attachment to said first peripheral strip.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/173,515, filed Dec. 29, 1999.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to cover plates and more particularly, to ventilation cover plates that fit over the registers of a ventilation system. By placing the ventilation cover plates of the present invention over selected registers of a ventilation system, the airflow in an area can be selectively controlled.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] The related art of interest describes various covers for ventilation registers, but none discloses the present invention. There is a need for efficient flow of air throughout a building resulting in a more comfortable and cost efficient indoor environment. The proper distribution of air to the various rooms of a home or office building makes for much more pleasant living or working conditions. Energy conservation is also achieved when the airflow throughout a building is made more efficient. The related art is discussed in the order of perceived relevance to the present invention.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,716,271, issued on Feb. 10, 1998, to Richard L. Paidosh describes a magnetic latch for an exhaust vent. The latch is designed for use with an exhaust vent for clothes dryers and the like. The vent includes a fixed face plate on one side of which is an inlet for admitting air expelled from a blower. On an opposite side is an air exhaust outlet for discharging the air into an outside atmosphere. A valve is provided for controlling the passage of air through the vent. A magnet is bonded to one plate and a striker plate is affixed to the other plate. The magnetic latch is distinguishable for its requirement for a valve to control the passage of air.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,622, issued on Nov. 3, 1998, to Joseph A. Neuman, describes a cover for an electric panel box. The cover is rectangular in shape with nonconducting magnetic strips applied adjacent to the longer edges of the rectangular cover. The length and width of the cover are made slightly larger than the standard length and width of an electrical panel box.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 2,739,521 issued on Mar. 27, 1956, to Walter A. Spear describes a magnetic damper holder to seal the discharge opening of a ventilator during periods when the fan is not in operation. The horseshoe magnet is placed within the duct to attract the steel damper plate and close the opening. The device is distinguishable for its position within the duct.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 4,359,934 issued on Nov. 23, 1982, to John Musacchia describes an emergency air vent comprising a dome cover mounted on a spring-loaded plunger and released by a solenoid upon detection of poisonous gases, smoke, heat, or lack of oxygen. The air vent cover is distinguishable for requiring solenoid means.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,623,801 issued on Apr. 29, 1997, for Otto Drumbl describes magnetic closures positioned in the corners of a rectangular tile or plate for covering an opening in masonry. The magnetic closing system is distinguishable for requiring an apertured diagonal brace for holding the magnets in place.

[0011] Japan Patent Application No. 60-16124 published on Aug. 22, 1985, for Eiji Sasaki describes a device for regulating cabin pressure when an outside door is closed. A pair of magnets is provided on both inside and outside bottom edges of the shutter for preventing the roll up of an outside shutter. The device is distinguishable for its use of two attracting magnets.

[0012] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a vent cover plate that securely and snugly fits over the register of a ventilation system.

[0014] It is another object of the invention to provide a vent cover plate that is easily applied and removed from the register of a ventilation system.

[0015] It is a further object of the invention to provide a vent cover plate that allows for the selective control of airflow in a room or building.

[0016] Still another object of the invention is to provide a vent cover assembly that securely and snugly fits into the terminal portion of a ventilation system conduit.

[0017] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a vent cover plate for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0018] To meet the above objects, the present invention provides a vent cover plate that fits over the register of a ventilation system. The vent cover plate of the present invention comprises a configured cover plate, an attachment means, and an insulating means. The configured cover plate is configured to fit the shape of a register. For example, the cover can have a raised area to accommodate the handle of a register or vent. The attachment means can be strips of hook and loop fasteners, magnetic strips, a combination of hook and loop fastening material and magnetic fasteners, or screws. The insulating means are strips of rubber tubing which form a tight seal over the register preventing the seepage of air. In a preferred embodiment, the cover plate is made of flexible plastic.

[0019] In an alternate embodiment, a vent cover assembly is disposed beneath a register. The register is removed and the vent cover assembly is placed into the terminal portion of the ventilation duct. The register is then returned in place. The vent cover assembly comprises a rectangular rim of attachment material, such as hook and loop material, magnetic material or a combination thereof, that fits snugly into a ventilation duct, a rectangular plate having an attachment means, such as hook and loop material, magnetic material, or a combination thereof, and an insulating means, such as rubber tubing, that fits over or next to the rectangular rim of attachment material. The hook or loop fastening strip of the rectangular plate forms the mating surface of the rectangular rim of loop or hook fastening strip and together they form a tight and secure bond. Alternatively, magnetic strips alone can be utilized, or magnetic strips in combination with the hook and loop fastening material. Also, magnetic particles can be embedded in the vent cover.

[0020] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] FIG. 1A is a side elevational view of a first embodiment of a vent cover plate according to the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 1B is a top plan view of the FIG. 1A vent cover plate showing the indentation designed to accommodate the handle of the ventilation register.

[0023] FIG. 1C is a bottom plan view of the FIG. 1A vent cover plate showing the arrangements of the adhesive portion and the insulating portion.

[0024] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the component parts of the FIG. 1A vent cover plate.

[0025] FIG. 3 is an exploded view of a two-piece register of a second embodiment that has an intervening piece of fastening material between the two pieces of the register.

[0026] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the periphery of a one-piece register covered by a vent cover assembly as a third embodiment.

[0027] FIG. 5 is an environmental, elevational view of a fourth embodiment wherein the top cover is displaced.

[0028] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the FIG. 5 embodiment.

[0029] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] The present invention, as depicted in FIGS. 1A-C, is a vent cover plate system 100 for covering a ventilation register having a raised area 108 to cover an air flow control handle to prevent the seepage of air from the register. The vent cover plate system 100 comprises a planar rectangular metal, plastic or rubber cover plate 102, an edge attachment means such as magnetic strips and/or hook and loop fastening material (such as Velcro®) strips 104, for securing the cover plate 102 to the register, and a rectangular insulating cover strip such as rubber strip 106 for forming an airtight bubble seal to prevent the seepage of air from the register.

[0031] FIG. 1A is a side view of a vent cover plate 100 showing an raised area 108 designed to accommodate a ventilation register handle (not shown), the attachment means 104, and the insulating portion 106. FIG. 1B is a top view of a vent cover plate 100 showing the relative location of the raised area 108.

[0032] FIG. 1C is a bottom view of the vent cover plate system 100 showing the arrangement of the hook and loop strips 104 and the insulating portion 106. The fastener strips 104 are arranged around the border of the cover plate in such a manner as to provide a secure attachment to the register. The rectangular arrangement of hook and loop fastening material 104 shown in FIG. 1C is an example of one possible arrangement. The fastening material 104 can be arranged in any appropriate manner that provides a good attachment to the register. The insulating portion 106 is arranged in such a manner as to provide a tight seal around the periphery of the register. The rectangular insulating portion 106 arrangement shown in FIG. 1C is an example of one possible arrangement. The insulating portion 106 can be arranged in any appropriate manner that provides an airtight seal for vent cover configurations such as circular, oval, square, and the like.

[0033] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a vent cover plate 100 showing the cover plate 102, the hook and loop fastener and/or magnetic strip 104, and the rubber insulation strip 106.

[0034] A vent cover plate system 120 for a register without a protruding lever is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, respectively, because not all ventilation registers 122 have a flow control lever.

[0035] The embodiment of FIG. 3 illustrates a two-piece ventilator housing system comprising a register panel 122 which interfits a coextensive base unit 123. A rectangular edging strip of hook and loop fastening and/or magnetic material 104 is disposed between the metal, plastic or rubber vent cover plate 103 (the vent cover plate is referred to as 103 in FIGS. 3 and 4, differing from the cover plate 102 in that the plate 103 is flat, without the raised area 108) and the register 122. The corresponding rectangular mating surface of hook and loop fastening and/or magnetic material 112 is applied directly to the exterior edge surface 109 of the register 122 using an adhesive. Other suitable means such as screws or clips for attaching layer 104 to the cover plate 103 can be used. The rubber insulating portion 106 of the rectangular cover plate 120 is made thick to ensure a tight seal. When the vent cover plate 103 is applied to the register 122, the thick rubber insulating portion 106 is compressed and ensures an airtight seal between the vent cover plate 120 and the register 122. The register 122 fits into the peripheral groove 125 of the second piece or the register base unit 123.

[0036] In a second embodiment, depicted in FIG. 4, the rectangular mating surface is disposed between the register 122 and the ventilation duct 124. FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the periphery of a one-piece register 122 covered by a vent cover assembly 103 and 112. In this embodiment, the one-piece register 122 fits directly into the ventilation duct 124. However, before the register 122 is placed into the duct 124, a separate piece of rectangular fastening material 112 is placed onto the duct 124 and extends around the periphery of the duct 124. When the one-piece register 122 is placed into the duct 124, the fastening material 112 extends around the edges of the register 124 as depicted in FIG. 4, and provides a mating surface for the fastening material 104 of the vent cover plate 103, thereby forming a tight and secure adhesive bond. As noted above, the fastening material can be hook and loop material, magnetic material, a combination of hook and loop material strips and magnetic strips, or rubber strips having magnetic particles embedded therein.

[0037] In FIGS. 5 and 6, a vent cover plate system 126 is shown comprising a rectangular plastic (which may be a flexible plastic, such as vinyl) cover 128 having a rectangular hook and loop fastening strip 130 along the edge of the cover 128. The register 132 fits within the confines of the hook and loop fastening strip 130 and locks with the hook and loop fastening strip 134 positioned underneath the flanges 136 of the register 132. The hook and loop fastening strip 134 may be adhesively attached to a vinyl plastic backing having a rectangular cutout defined therein having a perimeter slightly larger than the register shaft but smaller than the flanges 136 of the register 132 so that the register shaft extends through the cutout while the backing is clamped between the register flanges 136 and the wall or floor. This embodiment is a simpler version omitting a rubber insulator.

[0038] Thus, it has been shown that the vent cover plate systems of the present invention provide an economical and cost efficient way of regulating airflow within a building by covering ventilation registers that are not needed. In fact, a vent cover plate can replace a register. Vent cover plates can be placed in rooms that are not frequently used to decrease the circulation of air in certain areas of a building during certain seasons. The vent cover plate is lightweight and easy to install and remove. The cover plate can be made of plastic, rubber, metal, or any other suitable material and can be made in different colors.

[0039] The preferred embodiments of the present invention disclosed herein are intended to be illustrative only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. It should be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications and adaptations of the present invention as well as alternative embodiments of the present invention may be contemplated. It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.