Title:
Ventilation register system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to ventilation register system, the invention comprises a frame and a grate. The frame defines an opening and the grate is sized and shaped for complementary releasable engagement within the opening.



Inventors:
Popowitz, Jeffrey P. (Duluth, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/333898
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
01/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F13/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OREILLY, PATRICK F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISH & RICHARDSON P.C. (AT) (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ventilation register system, comprising: a frame comprising an interior sidewall, the frame defining an opening; a grate comprising a circumferential edge, wherein the grate is sized and shaped for complementary seating within the opening of the frame such that a portion of the circumferential edge overlies at least a portion of the interior sidewall of the frame, the grate further comprising at least one depression therein the circumferential edge; and a plurality of engagement members positioned within at least a portion of the interior sidewall, wherein a distal portion of each of the engagement members is movable from a first position in which the distal portion of the engagement member protrudes therefrom the interior sidewall and is engageable with a portion of the at least one depression complimentarily positioned in the circumferential edge of the grate, and a second position in which the distal portion is substantially coplanar with the interior sidewall.

2. The ventilation register system of claim 1, wherein each engagement member comprises; a body member defining an interior cavity, the body member having an opening therein a wall at a first end of the body member, wherein the opening is substantially coplanar with the interior sidewall; a piston member at least partially disposed within the interior cavity, wherein the piston member forms the distal portion of the engagement member; and a bias element within the interior cavity supported by a second end of the body member, wherein the bias element engages the piston member to move the piston member between a first position whereby an engagement end of the piston member protrudes therefrom the opening, and a second position in which the engagement end of the piston member is substantially coplanar with the opening.

3. The ventilation register system of claim 2, wherein the bias element is a spring.

4. The ventilation register system of claim 2, wherein the piston member is substantially spherical.

5. The ventilation register system of claim 2, wherein the body of the engagement member is substantially cylindrical.

6. A ventilation register system, comprising: a frame comprising at least one interior sidewall defining an opening, the frame further comprising at least one depression therein the interior sidewall; a grate comprising a circumferential edge, wherein the grate is positionable within the opening of the frame; and a plurality of engagement members positioned within at least a portion of the circumferential edge, wherein a distal portion of each of the engagement members is movable from a first position in which the distal portion of the engagement member protrudes therefrom the circumferential edge and is engageable with a portion of the at least one depression complimentarily positioned in the interior wall of the frame, and a second position in which the distal portion is substantially coplanar with the circumferential edge.

7. The ventilation register system of claim 6, wherein each engagement member comprises; a body member defining an interior cavity, the body member having an opening therein a wall at a first end of the body member, wherein the opening is substantially coplanar with the circumferential edge; a piston member at least partially disposed within the interior cavity, wherein the piston member forms the distal portion of the engagement member; and a bias element within the interior cavity supported by a second end of the body member, wherein the bias element engages the piston member to move the piston member between a first position whereby an engagement end of the piston member protrudes therefrom the opening, and a second position in which the engagement end of the piston member is substantially coplanar with the opening.

8. The ventilation register system of claim 7, wherein the bias element is a spring.

9. The ventilation register system of claim 7, wherein the piston member is substantially spherical.

10. The ventilation register system of claim 7, wherein the body of the engagement member is substantially cylindrical.

11. A ventilation register system, comprising: a frame comprising at least one interior sidewall defining an opening; a grate comprising a circumferential edge, wherein the grate is positionable within the opening of the frame; and a means for engaging at least a portion of the circumferential edge with at least a portion of the interior sidewall of the frame.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a ventilation register system. More specifically, the invention is a register system for HVAC applications having interchangeable decorative frame inserts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) industry, registers are commonly covered by decorative faceplates. Depending upon the application, the faceplates are commonly made of brass, aluminum, wood, or steel. In order to change the appearance of the faceplate, a complete replacement must be purchased, which is expensive.

Changing the appearance of the faceplate can be aesthetically pleasing, which allows a homeowner to change the look in a room and match the faceplate to the décor. Therefore, what is needed is a decorative faceplate that is easy and inexpensive to replace.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to ventilation register system, the invention comprises a frame and a grate. The frame defines an opening and the grate is sized and shaped for complementary engagement within the opening.

In one aspect of the invention, the invention further comprises a plurality of engagement members. The engagement members enable complimentary engagement of the circumferential edge of the grate with the interior sidewall of the opening of the frame.

In one aspect of the invention, each engagement member comprises a body member, a piston member, and a bias element. In this aspect, the body member defines an interior cavity and has an opening in one end of the body member. In this aspect, the piston member is disposed within the interior cavity of the body member and forms the distal portion of the engagement member. The bias element is disposed within the interior cavity and is supported by the second, opposed end of the body member. In use, the bias element engages the piston member to move the piston member between a first position and a second position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features of the preferred embodiments of the present invention will become more apparent in the detailed description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the ventilation register system of the present invention showing an assembled view of the frame and grate assembly.

FIG. 2 is a partially exploded perspective view of the ventilation register system of FIG. 1, showing the frame, the grate, and a plurality of engagement members.

FIG. 3 is front cut-away view of the ventilation register system of FIG. 1, cut along the line 3-3.

FIG. 4 is a partial cut-away perspective view of an engagement member of one aspect of the ventilation register system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is more particularly described in the following exemplary embodiments that are intended as illustrative only since numerous modifications and variations therein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. As used herein, “a,” “an,” or “the” can mean one or more, depending upon the context in which it is used. The preferred embodiments are now described with reference to the figures, in which like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several views.

Ranges may be expressed herein as from “about” one particular value, and/or to “about” another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by use of the antecedent “about,” it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment.

In one aspect of the present invention for a ventilation register system 10, the invention comprises a frame 20 and a grate 40. The frame 20 defines an opening 22 and can comprise almost any substantially rigid material. The frame can comprise, for example, aluminum, steel, wood, plastic, and the like. The frame may comprise a variety of colors and shapes. In one aspect, the frame is rectangular.

The grate 40 is configured for complementary engagement within the opening 22 of the frame and may be vented to enable air to pass therethrough. The grate 40 may also comprise any substantially rigid material, such as, but not limited to, aluminum, brass, steel, iron, copper and the like.

In one aspect, where the interior sidewall of the frame is metallic, at least a portion of the circumferential edge 42 of the frame 20 comprises a magnetic material with which to releasably engage the interior sidewall 24. Similarly, where the circumferential edge of the frame comprises a metallic material, at least a portion of the interior sidewall may comprise a magnetic material with which to releasably engage the circumferential edge.

In another aspect, the grate 40 is substantially weighted such that gravity alone is enough to releasably engage at least a portion of the interior sidewall 24 with the circumferential edge 42 of the grate. In yet another aspect, the circumferential edge of the grate comprises at least one tab (not shown). In this aspect, the interior sidewall comprises a complimentary receptacle (not shown) with which to engage the at least one tab of the grate.

In still another aspect, the present invention also comprises and a plurality of engagement members 60. The engagement members 60 enable complimentary and selectively releasable engagement of the circumferential edge 42 of the grate 40 with the interior sidewall 24 of the opening 22 of the frame. In one aspect, the engagement members 60 are positioned within at least a portion of the interior sidewall. A distal portion 62 of each of the engagement members is moveable from a first position in which the distal portion of the engagement member protrudes outwardly therefrom the interior sidewall 24, to a second position in which the distal portion of the engagement member is substantially coplanar with the interior sidewall. When the distal portion 62 of the engagement member 60 is in the first position, it is engageable with a portion of one of a plurality of complimentarily positioned cavities 44 defined within the circumferential edge 42 of the grate 40.

In another aspect, the engagement members 60 are disposed within at least a portion the circumferential edge 42 of the grate 40 instead of the interior sidewall 24 of the frame 20. In this aspect, the cavities are complimentarily positioned within the interior sidewall of the frame. As such, the distal portion of each of the engagement members is moveable from a first position in which the distal portion of the engagement member protrudes outwardly therefrom the circumferential edge of the grate, to a second position in which the distal portion is substantially coplanar with the circumferential edge.

In one aspect of the invention, each engagement member 60 comprises a body member 64, a piston member 68, and a bias element 70. In this aspect, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the body member 64 defines an interior cavity 65 and has an opening 66 in one of end of the body member which is substantially coplanar with either the interior sidewall 24, or the circumferential edge 42, depending upon whether the engagement member is located in the interior sidewall of the frame or the circumferential edge of the grate. In this aspect, the piston member 68 is disposed within the interior cavity 65 of the body member 64 and forms the distal portion 62 of the engagement member. The bias element 70 is disposed within the interior cavity 65 and is supported by the second, opposed end 61 of the body member. In use, the bias element 70 engages the piston member 68 to move the piston member between a first position and a second position. In the first position, an engagement end 63 of the piston member 68 protrudes from the opening 66. In the second position, the engagement end 63 of the piston member is substantially coplanar with the opening 66. The bias element 70 may be, for example, a spring.

In another aspect, the piston member 68 is substantially spherical. It may be, for example, a ball bearing. In yet another aspect, the body member 64 may be substantially cylindrical, although many other shapes are contemplated.

Although several embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in the foregoing specification, it is understood by those skilled in the art that many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to which the invention pertains, having the benefit of the teaching presented in the foregoing description and associated drawings. It is thus understood that the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments disclosed herein above, and that many modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, although specific terms are employed herein, as well as in the claims which follow, they are used only in a generic and descriptive sense, and not for the purposes of limiting the described invention, nor the claims which follow.