Title:
REMOVABLE CASING FLANGE/INSULATION RETAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A removable flange that is repositionable between an externally projecting flange and an internally projecting flange in a furnace housing environment. The flange is secured to the furnace housing with a suitable fastener and additionally acts as an insulation retainer. The flange prevents any insulation in the furnace housing from coming loose and obstructing a flow path in the furnace. This flange also provides means of fastening supply/return duct and/or coil cabinet to the furnace.



Inventors:
Khan, Tabraiz Ali (Wichita, KS, US)
Cabrera, Robert (Wichita, KS, US)
Reaser, Gregory Kenneth (Wichita, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/971551
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/09/2008
Assignee:
JOHNSON CONTROLS TECHNOLOGY COMPANY (Holland, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F23M5/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SAVANI, AVINASH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCNEES WALLACE & NURICK LLC (HARRISBURG, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A furnace system comprising: a furnace housing enclosing the furnace system, the furnace housing having a plurality of sides; insulation being disposed along the plurality of sides of the furnace housing; and at least one flange disposed along an edge of the plurality of sides of the furnace housing, the at least one flange having at least one aperture for receiving at least one fastener, the at least one flange being repositionable between an externally projecting flange and an internally projecting flange and the at least one flange being a retainer for the insulation in the furnace housing.

2. The furnace system of claim 1 wherein the furnace housing has a top portion, an opposed bottom portion and a plurality of walls, each wall extending between the top side and the bottom side and substantially perpendicular in relationship to the to the adjacent wall to form a rectangular enclosure.

3. The furnace system of claim 2 wherein the at least one flange extends along a portion of the length of one wall of the furnace housing.

4. The furnace system of claim 3 wherein the at least one flange extends substantially along the length of one wall of the furnace housing.

5. The furnace system of claim 4 wherein a plurality of flanges are disposed end to end along one wall of the furnace housing to extend substantially the entire length of one wall of the furnace housing.

6. The furnace housing of claim 2 wherein the at least one flange is a unitary piece that extends along the entire perimeter of all of the wall of the furnace housing.

7. The furnace housing of claim 1 wherein the at least one fastener is a screw.

8. The furnace housing of claim 1 wherein the at least one flange, and insulation piece, and furnace housing are secured to the furnace housing with the at least one fastener.

9. An insulation retainer arrangement comprising: a flange having at least one aperture for receiving at least one fastener, the at least one fastener being configured to attach the flange to the furnace housing the flange being repositionable between an externally projecting flange and an internally projecting flange and the at least one flange being a retainer for insulation in a furnace housing.

10. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 9 wherein the furnace housing has a top portion, an opposed bottom portion and a plurality of walls, each wall extending between the top side and the bottom side and substantially perpendicular in relationship to the to the adjacent wall to form a rectangular enclosure.

11. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 10 wherein the at least one flange extends along a portion of the length of one wall of the furnace housing.

12. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 10 wherein the at least one flange does not extend substantially along the length of one wall of the furnace housing.

13. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 12 wherein a plurality of flanges are disposed end to end along one wall of the furnace housing to extend substantially the entire length of one wall of the furnace housing.

14. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 10 wherein the at least one flange is a unitary piece that extends along the entire perimeter of all of the walls of the furnace housing.

15. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 9 wherein the at least one fastener is a screw.

16. The insulation retainer arrangement of claim 9 wherein the at least one flange, and insulation piece are secured to the furnace housing with the at least one fastener.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/884,261, filed Jan. 10, 2007.

BACKGROUND

The present application relates generally to a flange for a furnace system. More specifically, the present application relates to a removable casing flange and insulation retainer.

The basic components of a furnace or HVAC system are: a burner, a heat exchanger, an air distribution system, and a vent pipe. In the burner, gas (natural or propane) or oil is delivered and combusted to generate heat. The heat exchanger transfers the heat from the combustion gas to the air distribution system. The air distribution system, which includes a blower and ductwork, delivers the heated air throughout the home and returns cooler air to the furnace to be heated. Finally, the vent pipe or flue exhausts byproducts of combustion (such as water vapor and carbon dioxide) outside of the home. In addition, the furnace system may also include a cooling element, such as an A-coil, that operates in conjunction with an air conditioning unit (typically located outside of the home) to provide cooled air to the home instead of heated air.

Typically, furnace systems in residential applications are located in the basement or a small closet in the user's home, which areas have limited space for an installed furnace system. Furthermore, efficiency standards have recently changed, thereby requiring the size of the A-coil to be increased to meet these new standards. Thus, when a newer furnace system is needed to replace an older system, often, the newer furnace can not fit into the space where the old furnace was installed because the size of the furnace unit and the newer, taller A-coil that is required is greater than the available installation space. Thus, a shorter, furnace is needed to accommodate the taller A-coil in order to be able to install a new furnace system in the same space as the old furnace system.

Most furnace systems are multi poised, meaning that they can operate in a variety of positions, including up flow, down flow, and horizontal (both left and right). In addition, furnace systems may also be a single configuration, at any height. Depending upon the position, the casing flanges within the furnace may need to be removed or modified during repositioning to facilitate the installation. Often the insulation within the casing is pulled loose and obstructs airflow. As shown in FIG. 1, the flange 80 protrudes from the casing 82 and becomes a hindrance during repositioning of the furnace 84, requiring the flange 80 to be removed entirely. The flanges 80 are provided on the top of the furnace system 84 by bending portions of the furnace housing 86 and casing 82. There are several drawbacks to this type of flange 80 including the inability to relocate the flange 80. Therefore, what is needed is a casing flange that serves as an insulation retainer and that does not have to be completely removed during repositioning of the furnace.

Intended advantages of the disclosed systems and/or methods satisfy one or more of these needs or provides other advantageous features. Other features and advantages will be made apparent from the present specification. The teachings disclosed extend to those embodiments that fall within the scope of the claims, regardless of whether they accomplish one or more of the aforementioned needs.

SUMMARY

A furnace system having a furnace housing with a plurality of sides to enclose the furnace system and insulation being disposed along the plurality of sides of the furnace housing is set forth herein. The system also has at least one flange disposed along an edge of the plurality of sides of the furnace housing. The at least one flange has at least one aperture for receiving at least one fastener and the at least one flange is repositionable between an externally projecting flange and an internally projecting flange. The at least one flange acts as a retainer for the insulation in the furnace housing.

Another embodiment of this furnace system is directed to a flange having at least one aperture for receiving at least one fastener. The flange is repositionable between an externally projecting flange and an internally projecting flange, and the at least one flange acts as a retainer for the insulation in the furnace housing.

One advantage of this arrangement is that the flange can be repositioned when desired. It can either protrude or be contained within the casing, if so desired. In both conditions, it would act as an insulation retainer.

Another advantage of this arrangement is that the flange can be repositioned so the flange is contained within the housing and not protruding.

Yet another advantage of this arrangement is that the flange serves as an insulation retainer, preventing the insulation from coming loose or obstructing airflow.

Other features and advantages will be apparent from the following more detailed description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the application.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a prior art flange.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an exemplary HVAC system disposed in a residential setting.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary HVAC system according to an exemplary embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of a HVAC system according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of the flange as disposed in a furnace.

FIG. 6 is a more detailed illustration of the flange as disposed in a furnace.

FIG. 7 is a further illustration of the flange.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the flange.

FIG. 9 is an alternate embodiment of the flange.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged illustration of the flange of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged illustration of the flange of FIG. 9 in an alternate position.

Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary HVAC or furnace system 100 in a typical residential setting R. The furnace system 100 has a top portion, an opposing bottom portion and a plurality of walls that are disposed substantially perpendicular to the adjacent wall, forming a rectangular enclosure. In addition, the furnace system has a door panel 198 and a lid panel 195 which allow access to the internal portions of the furnace system. FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary HVAC or furnace system 100 having insulation (not shown) lining the furnace housing 86. The insulation prevents unwanted heat transfer outside of the furnace housing 86.

FIG. 4 shows a schematic arrangement of a furnace system 100, and the internal portion of the furnace system 100. During operation, a burner 101 combusts fuel within combustion air 102 and provides combustion products and heated air to a first heat exchanger 103, where heat is transferred to a supply air 104. Supply air 104 is air that is to be heated, such as interior air for a building HVAC system. Combustion air 102 is then directed into a second heat exchanger 105, where heat is further exchanged with supply air 104. Supply air 104 is directed over first heat exchanger 103 and second heat exchanger 105 by use of a blower 107 or similar air-moving device. Combustion air 102 is then exhausted from the system by use of an exhaust blower 109 or other air-moving device. Exhaust 111 includes air, water vapor and other combustion products. Furnace system 100 provides heat to supply air 104 by use of first heat exchanger 103 and second heat exchanger 105. Supply air 104 is then provided to a space for heating.

FIGS. 5-11 illustrate different views of one embodiment of a flange 200 used to hold the insulation 216 that lines the furnace housing 86 and position the ductwork of the furnace system. The flange 200 of the current application is repositionable from the internally facing position (FIG. 5) where it secures and retains the insulation 216 in place. The flange is then reconfigured to the externally facing position (FIG. 11) where it acts as an insulation retainer and a mounting means for the duct work of the furnace system.

The flange 200 has one or more apertures 202 (shown in FIG. 7) to receive fastening devices 204, e.g. screws, which permit the flange 200 to be removed from its current position and relocated to a desired position by the simple disengagement and reengagement of the fastening devices 204. This feature of the flange 200 is beneficial for furnace systems that are designed to be multi-poised, i.e., the furnace system can be configured for operation in all four positions (up-flow, down-flow, horizontal-left and horizontal-right). The flange 200 is repositionable to a position necessary depending on the particular configuration of the multi-poised furnace system 210. For example, the flange 200 may be positioned in a retracted or internally facing position (as shown in FIG. 5) and extend within the furnace system 210. Alternatively, the flange 200 may be positioned to extend externally (as shown in FIG. 11) from the furnace system 210 by simply flipping the flange 200 and reattaching it with the flange 200 extending upward.

The flange 200 is a single unitary piece used on one side of the furnace housing 214, with additional flanges 200 being used if needed for other sides of the furnace housing 86. Alternatively, multiple flanges 200 can be used for a single side of the furnace housing 86. The multiple flanges 200 may be connectable together to form a larger flange 200 or the multiple flanges 200 may be individually mounted on the furnace side at desired locations as shown in FIG. 9. In addition, the flange 200 can be a single unitary piece that extends along the perimeter of the sides of the furnace housing. The flange 200 may be cast as one piece, or each of the four pieces that extend along each side of the housing may be fastened together by a weld connection or other suitable connection. Referring specifically to FIG. 8, an exemplary embodiment of the flange 200 is arranged in a step shape, having a base section 220 with a first flange protrusion 222 extending upward from one side of the base section 220 and a second flange protrusion 224 extending downward from the opposite side of the base section 220. However, the flange 200 may be configured in any suitable shape.

Finally, regardless of whether the flange 200 is in a retracted position or an extended position as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, respectively, the flange 200 also operates as an insulation retainer. The flange 200 is used to capture or secure insulation 216 to prevent the insulation 216 from coming loose and causing problems such as obstructing the airflow through the furnace system 210. Further, the flange 200 is also used for securing the supply/return duct and/or coil cabinet to the furnace. The flange 200 is repositionable to accommodate supply duct or return duct variation from installation to installation.

While the systems and/or methods of the application have been described with reference to several embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the application. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the application without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the application not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out the systems and/or methods of the application, but that the application will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.