Title:
BLOCK WALL VENT AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vent is rigidly mounted in a block wall as a substitute for a block to provide venting through the attendant wall. A lintel extends across the top of the vent and is supported by adjacent blocks. Louvered panels are attached about the exterior and interior openings of the vent. The exterior louvered panel accommodates either a flat finish or a stucco finish. The interior louvered panel can accommodate either a flat finish of the wall or a wall finished with sheet rock.



Inventors:
Achen, John J. (Yuma, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/380882
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
04/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F7/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KOSANOVIC, HELENA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BYCER LAW, PLC (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A combustion air vent for use in a block wall, said vent comprising in combination: a) a front louvered panel, top, bottom and side panels defining exterior dimensions generally corresponding with a conventional block used to build the block wall, said top, bottom and side panels including interior edges, b) a top flange extending from and along said top edge a sufficient distance to overlie mortar to be placed between said vent and a lintel block; c) a bottom flange extending from and along said bottom edge a sufficient distance to overlie mortar to be placed upon an underlying block and between said vent and the underlying block; d) a pair of split flanges extending from and partly along one of said side edges a sufficient distance to overlie mortar to be placed intermediate an adjacent block and said side panel; e) a further pair of split flanges extending from and along the other of said side edges a sufficient distance to overlie mortar to be placed intermediate further adjacent block and the other of said side panels; f) a first flange disposed between said pair of split flanges and extending in a direction opposite to that of said pair of split flanges; g) a second flange disposed between said further pair of split flanges and extending in a direction opposite to that of said pair of further split flanges; h) a rear louvered panel attachable to said vent to cover the opening in said vent defined by said interior edges; and I) a lintel positionable upon said top panel and extending past said side panels of said vent.

2. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, including at least one side flange extending outwardly from each of said side panels.

3. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, including at least one bottom flange extending outwardly from said bottom panel.

4. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 3, including at least one side flange extending outwardly from each of said side panels.

5. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, including a pair of bottom flanges extending outwardly from said bottom panel.

6. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, including attachment means for attaching said rear louvered panel to said first and second flanges.

7. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, including an insect screen and securing means for securing said insect screen to the interior surface of said front louvered panel.

8. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, wherein said rear louvered panel includes a lip extending from its perimeter for enclosing therewithin said top flange, said bottom flange, said pair of split flanges and said pair of further split flanges.

9. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, wherein said rear louvered panel includes a first and a second pair of apertures, said second pair of apertures being located laterally outwardly from said first pair of apertures and attachment means extending through said first pair of apertures for engagement with said first and second flanges.

10. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, wherein said rear louvered panel includes a first and a second pair of apertures, said second pair of apertures being located laterally outwardly of said first pair of apertures, furring strips disposed on the block wall for supporting drywall and attachment means extending through said second pair of apertures for engagement with the underlying furring strips.

11. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 1, including knock-outs disposed in said bottom panel.

12. A method for placing a vent in a block wall, said method comprising the steps of: a) placing the vent upon mortar supported on one or more underlying blocks; b) imbedding a flange extending from the vent into the mortar during exercise of said step of placing; c) further imbedding a further flange extending from one side of the vent into mortar between the one side and an adjacent block; d) yet further imbedding a yet further flange extending from the other side of the vent into mortar between the other side and an adjacent block; and e) locating a lintel across the top of the vent to receive support from blocks on opposite sides of the vent.

13. The method as set forth in claim 12, including the step of essentially covering the mortar about the sides, top and bottom of the vent with flanges extending from the interior edges of the vent.

14. The method as set forth in claim 12, including the step of attaching a rear louvered panel to flanges extending from the sides of the vent.

15. The method as set forth in claim 12, including the step of attaching a rear louvered panel to cover the interior edges of the vent to furring strips mounted on the block wall.

16. The method as set forth in claim 12, including the step of removing knock-outs disposed in the bottom of the vent.

17. A combustion air vent for use in a block wall, said vent comprising in combination: a) a front louvered panel, top, bottom and side panels defining exterior dimensions generally corresponding with a conventional block used to build the block wall, said side panels including rear edges; b) a pair of flanges, one flange of said pair of flanges extending from one of said side edges and another flange of said pair of flanges extending from the other of said side edges; c) a rear louvered panel; d) attachment means for attaching said rear louvered panel to said pair of flanges; e) at least one side flange extending outwardly from each of said side panels; and f) at least one bottom flange extending outwardly from said bottom panel.

18. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 17, including a lintel extending across said top panel.

19. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 17, including an insect screen and means for securing said insect screen adjacent the interior surface of said front louvered panel.

20. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 17, including a pair of bottom flanges extending from said bottom panel.

21. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 17, wherein said rear louvered panel includes a lip extending about its perimeter for bearing against the block wall.

22. The combustion air vent as set forth in claim 17, including knock-outs disposed in said bottom panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to wall vents and, more particularly, combustion air wall vents adapted for use with exterior block walls having a flat or a stucco type finish.

2. Description of Related Prior Art

During the summertime in the southwest United States and in climatologically similar areas, the temperature in an unvented enclosed garage increases to well over 100° F. Such a high temperature may cause damage or deterioration to temperature sensitive items stored or otherwise disposed within such a garage. Moreover, the high temperatures render it very uncomfortable for a person working within the garage. To alleviate this problem, it is not uncommon to install vents in one or more exterior walls of a garage to permit airflow into and out of the garage.

The simplest of such vents is a louvered panel of relatively light weight material nailed or screwed to the exterior surface of a wall in juxtaposed relationship with a corresponding aperture. Such light weight louvered panels are easily removed by a person intending to commit mischief within the garage. Other more robust vents have been used in conventional walls which are designed to preclude removal from outside the wall.

In the southwest, stucco type walls are a common treatment to exterior walls. Existing vents for use with such walls generally fail to accommodate the unique properties attendant the construction of stucco wall surfaces and cause the vent and surrounding stucco to be unsightly and generally unacceptably from an aesthetic viewpoint. Additionally, sealing the junction between conventional vents and the stucco is of questionable merit and water readily flows therebetween as a result of rain or other wetting of the exterior wall.

Many residential garages have gas fired water heaters located therein. These heaters require make-up air to provide a continuing source of oxygen to maintain complete combustion and reduce the emission of deadly carbon monoxide. Many municipalities are redrafting or adopting building codes that require vents in an exterior wall enclosing a gas fired water heater. Generally, such vents must be within 12 inches of the ceiling and of the floor to insure an adequate source of make-up air through convection or otherwise. As mentioned above, many presently available vents for this purpose are either inadequate as security devices to preclude entry into the garage, are unsightly or compromise the integrity of the exterior wall against intrusion of elements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A vent is substituted for a block in a block wall to provide ventilation through exterior and interior located louvered panels. Flanges extend from the sides and bottom of the vent for imbedding in the adjacent mortar to retain the vent in place. The exterior louvered panel extends laterally a sufficient distance past the vent to cover the adjacent sections of mortar. Flanges extending from the interior edges of the vent essentially cover the mortar about the interior edge of the vent. The interior louvered panel extends past these flanges and includes a circumscribing lip covering the edges of these flanges. A lintel extends across the top of the vent and is supported by opposed blocks and covered by lintel blocks to prevent crushing of the vent. An inset screen adjacent the interior of the exterior louvered panel prevents intrusion of insects through the vent.

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a labor saving easy to install combustion air vent for use with an exterior block wall having either a flat or a stucco finish.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a combustion air vent for an exterior block wall which is impossible to remove without major damage to the exterior wall.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a vent for a block wall having an insect screen retained adjacent the interior surface of an exterior louvered panel.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a combustion air vent for a block wall which precludes unwanted intrusion therethrough.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a combustion air vent in sealed engagement with a surrounding stucco wall finish.

A yet further object of the present invention is to provide an easily installable combustion air vent for a block wall.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a method for installing a combustion air vent in a block wall.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be described with greater specificity and clarity with reference to the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view illustrating the environment of the invention and its various parts;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the vent in place within a block wall;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3-3, as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates the vent itself with the interior louvered panel displaced therefrom;

FIG. 5 illustrates a cross section of the vent useable in conjunction with a flat finish of the interior surface of the block wall;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along line 6-6, as shown in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a detailed cross sectional view illustrating the vent used in conjunction with a stucco finish on the exterior surface of a block wall.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated in exploded view a vent 10 for installation in a conventional block wall 12. The length and height of vent 10 is commensurate with the equivalent standard dimensions of a block 14. Accordingly, vent 10 is laid in the block wall in the same manner as a conventional block 14. Because vent 10 does not have the compressive strength of a conventional block 14, a lintel 16 extends across the top of the vent and receives support from the blocks on either side of the vent. For example, end 18 of lintel 16 rests upon block 20 and end 22 of the lintel would rest upon a block adjacent the other end of the vent. As illustrated, a lintel block 24 is used to overlie the lintel in order to accommodate the height of the lintel by the groove or slot 26 extending along essentially the center of block 24. It is to be understood that the lintel may be attached to the vent by bolts/screws, rivets, welds, etc.

As particularly shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, vertical and horizontal flanges, such as the right angle flanges illustrated, extend from vent 10 for engagement with the mortar separating the vent from the adjacent side and bottom blocks. One or more right angle flanges 30, 32 are attached to and extend from sides 34, 36 of vent 10. Similarly, one or more right angle flanges 38, 40, extends from bottom 42 of vent 10. As particularly shown in FIG. 2, right angle flanges 30, 32 are imbedded in mortar 44, 46, respectively. Thereby, vent 10 becomes mechanically locked with block wall 12 at its ends. Right angle flanges 38, 40 extend from the bottom of the vent and are imbedded in mortar disposed upon block 14. Bottom 42 of the vent is thereby mechanically locked in place. It is to be appreciated that the right angle flanges on the sides and bottom provide additional robustness to vent 10.

As particularly shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 6, an exterior louvered panel 50 provides fluid communication with the atmosphere. To prevent intrusion of insects and the like, a screen 52 is located adjacent the interior surface of the louvered panel. There are many mechanisms, including adhesives, that may be incorporated to retain the screen in place. As shown, a pair of right angle flanges, of which flange 54 disposed on the right side is illustrated, may be used to bear against the insect screen to retain it in place. This flange is secured to side 56 of vent 10 and retained in place by rivets 58, screws, welds or the like. The flanges are positioned to bear against screen 52 to retain it adjacent the interior surface of louvered panel 50. As particularly shown in FIG. 6, a flange 60 is secured to left side 62 of vent 10 and serves the same purpose as flange 54.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4 and 5, the edge of vent 10, generally corresponding with the interior surface of block wall 12, includes a plurality of laterally extending flanges. Flange 70 extends from the upper edge of the vent a sufficient distance to cover mortar 72 between vent 10 and lintel block 24. Similarly, flange 74, extending downwardly from the bottom edge of the vent, extends for a sufficient distance to cover mortar 48 between the vent and block 14. A pair of split flanges 76, 78 extend from the left side of vent 10 a distance sufficient to cover mortar 44 (see FIG. 6). A similar pair of split flanges 80, 82 extend from the right side of the vent a distance sufficient to cover mortar 46. Intermediate flanges 76, 78, a further flange 84 extends in the opposite direction and includes an aperture 86. Similarly, a flange 88 extends inwardly intermediate flanges 80, 82 and includes an aperture 90.

At some installations, it may be beneficial to have a source of light mounted within the vent. Electrical power to the vent may be via an EMT or PVC pipe extending through the hollow in the blocks beneath the vent and into the vent. FIG. 6 illustrates “Knock-outs” 64,66 located in bottom 42 of vent 10. Such knock-outs are removed by striking them to fracture the bands retaining the center disc. Thereafter, the end of a conduit (EMT, PVC) for the electrical conductors is penetrably inserted and secured in the conventional manner to bottom 42. One or more light fixtures may be mounted in the vent and connected to the electrical conductors.

As particularly shown in FIG. 4, sheet metal screws 92, 94 extend through apertures 96, 98 in interior louvered panel 100 for threaded engagement with apertures 86, 90, respectively, to secure the louvered panel to vent 10. By having flanges 84, 86 extend inwardly, rather than outwardly from the corresponding sides of the vent, screws 92, 94 will not interfere with the mortar adjacent the corresponding sides of the vent.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, adaptation of the present invention for use with a sheet rock covered interior wall will be described. Furring strips, of which bottom and side strips 110, 112 and 114, respectively, are shown encircle the interior opening of vent 10. As is conventional, further furring strips, of which strip 116 is shown, are secured to the interior surface of the block wall. Sheet rock 120, including an aperture 122 formed therein to accommodate the opening of vent 10, is secured in the conventional manner to the furring strips. Louvered panel 100 is secured by wood screws 124, 126 or the like extending through apertures 128, 130 in the louvered panel, which apertures are laterally outwardly displaced from apertures 96, 98. These screws threadedly engage furring strips 112, 114, as depicted by holes 132, 134. As the screws will not penetrate these furring strips, interference with the mortar at the sides of vent 10 is precluded.

FIG. 7 illustrates a block wall 140 having an exterior stucco finish 142 and incorporating vent 10. Conventional block walls have industry standard sized blocks. Vent 10, described above with respect to FIGS. 1-6 have a depth commensurate with the standard sized blocks. To accommodate the depth of stucco 142 on the exterior surface of block wall 140, the depth of vent 10 is enlarged commensurate with the thickness of the stucco, as illustrated in FIG. 7. Thereby, louvered panel 50 is essentially in the same plane as exterior surface 144 of stucco 142. Block 146 of the block wall is adjacent side 34 of vent 10 and mortar 44 is placed therebetween, as described above. Right angle flange 30 is imbedded in the mortar and thereby secures the vent in place. Similarly, right angle flanges 38, 40 extend downwardly into the mortar between the vent and the supporting blocks (see FIG. 5). Attachment of interior louvered panel 100 is by screws engaging inwardly extending flanges 84, 88 of which only flange 84 is shown. Outwardly extending flange 38 extends past mortar 44. Lip 102, as depicted in various of the remaining drawings, extends about the exterior edge of louvered panel 100 and covers the flanges extending laterally from four sides of vent 10, as particularly depicted in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7.