Title:
Vent system insert apparatus and method for installation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In one form, a vent system is provided that can be mounted to a structure to provide for air flow either into or out of the structure. The vent system comprising one or more covers and at least one bottom flange in which the bottom flange defines a hole or opening. The cover is positioned over the opening and further defines the space between the cover and the flange to provide for air to travel either into or out of the opening. One or more inserts may be positioned within the opening or within other spaces defined by the cover and bottom flange to assist in minimizing the amount of moisture, snow or other foreign objects from entering the vent system.



Inventors:
Duke, Raymond William (Spring Grove, IL, US)
Mathia, Gary (Richmond, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/075571
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
03/12/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
454/367
International Classes:
F24F7/02; F24F13/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PROBST, SAMANTHA A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard J. Gurak (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A vent system that can be mounted to a structure and provide for air flow either into or out of the structure comprising: at least one cover; at least one bottom flange, wherein the bottom flange defines a hole; a ring attached to the bottom flange and encircling the hole, and whereby the cover is positioned over the hole and defines a space between the cover and the flange to provide for air to travel either into or out of the hole; and one or more inserts positioned within the hole.

2. The vent system of claim 1 wherein the insert is comprised of a mesh material and the insert is round.

3. The vent system of claim 1 wherein the insert is rectangular shaped.

4. The vent system of claim 1 wherein the insert snuggly fits within the ring to prevent movement of the insert when positioned in the vent system.

5. The vent system of claim 1 wherein additional sealant is provided around the circumference of the insert to provide for greater filtering capabilities.

6. The vent system of claim 1 wherein the cover is attached at various points to the ring and the insert is positioned snuggly in position whereby the ring communicates with the insert and the insert is positioned within the hole formed by the ring.

7. A method for minimizing the amount of moisture, snow or objects that can enter into an air-intake vent defining an opening that allows air to pass into and out of the structure comprising: positioning an insert in the vent opening whereby the insert fits snuggly within the opening; and attaching the vent system to the building structure.

8. The method of claim 7 further comprising the step of providing sealant around the circumference of the insert whereby the sealant enhances the filtering capabilities and maintains the insert in a fixed position within the vent system.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein the insert is comprised of a mesh material.

10. The method of claim 7 wherein the insert is substantially a round shape.

11. The method of claim 7 wherein the insert is substantially a rectangular shape.

12. The method of claim 7 further comprising the step of providing an insert and cutting the insert to fit the shape of the opening.

13. The method of claim 7 further comprising positioning a second insert in the vent opening adjacent the first insert.

14. A vent system that can be mounted to a structure and provide for air flow either into or out of the structure comprising: at least one cover; at least one bottom flange, wherein the bottom flange defines a hole; a ring attached to the bottom flange and encircling the hole, and whereby the cover is positioned over the hole and defines a space between the cover and the flange to provide for air to travel either into or out of the hole; the cover having side walls extending downward toward the flange and whereby the side walls form one or more spaces between the side walls and the ring; and one or more inserts positioned within the space formed between the side walls and the ring.

15. The vent system of claim 14 wherein the one or more inserts are comprised of a mesh material.

16. The vent system of claim 14 wherein the insert snuggly fits within the space formed by the side walls and the ring to prevent movement of the insert when positioned in the vent system.

17. The vent system of claim 14 wherein additional sealant is provided around the perimeter of the one or more inserts to provide for greater filtering capabilities.

18. The vent system of claim 14 wherein the cover is attached at various points to the ring and the insert is positioned snuggly in position whereby the ring communicates with the insert and the insert is positioned adjacent to the bottom flange.

19. A vent system that can be mounted to a structure and provide for air flow either into or out of the structure comprising: at least one cover; at least one bottom flange, wherein the bottom flange defines a recess and hole within the recess; the cover is positioned over the hole and defines a space between the cover and the flange to provide for air to travel either into or out of the hole; and one or more inserts positioned within the cover and whereby the inserts are positioned over the hole.

Description:

The present patent application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/906,449 filed on Mar. 12, 2007, named “Exhaust Vent System Apparatus and Method for Installation,” which application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a vent system insert, and more particularly to vent system inserts that provide for vent filtering and provide for an enhanced air flow condition within the interior of a structure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Intake and exhaust vents of various types are well known in the art. Such devices are typically used in residential or commercial structures to provide for necessary air flow in and out of a building. Vents are commonly installed in building roofs and walls but are also located in other places.

However, previous vents have some inherent disadvantages. One of the disadvantages with existing vents is that they allow excessive moisture, snow or objects to enter a structure. The moisture, for example, can excessively damage a structure and it is desirable to minimize this negative effect.

The present invention overcomes these and other problems inherent in existing vents. For example, the present invention provides one or more inserts that are used in combination with intake/exhaust vent systems. The inserts prevent excessive moisture, snow and objects from entering a structure and allow the vent system to operate to allow adequate airflow into or out of the structure. The insert may be factory installed or may be used to upgrade existing vent system installations. The insert is low in cost and easy to install.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one form, a vent system is provided that can be mounted to a structure to provide for air flow either into or out of the structure. The vent system comprising one or more covers and at least one bottom flange in which the bottom flange defines a hole or opening. A ring or other mechanical device may be attached to the bottom flange and encircle the opening whereby the cover is positioned over the opening and further defines the space between the cover and the flange to provide for air to travel either into or out of the opening. One or more inserts may be positioned within the opening or within other spaces defined by the cover and bottom flange to assist in minimizing the amount of moisture, snow or other foreign objects from entering the vent system. In yet other forms, an insert can be provided to upgrade existing vent systems installations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the vent system with an insert positioned in a vent and the vent system mounted to a structure;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the insert of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the insert of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the vent system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another alternate embodiment of a vent system insert;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the insert of FIG. 5 shown installed in a vent system;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the insert of FIG. 5 shown installed in a vent system;

FIG. 8 is a bottom view of an alternate embodiment of a vent system with an insert positioned in a vent;

FIG. 9 is a top view of the vent system of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an alternate top view of the vent system of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along sections A-A of FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is an alternate embodiment of an insert;

FIG. 13 is yet another alternate embodiment of an insert;

FIG. 14 shows an alternate embodiment of a bottom flange;

FIG. 15 shows an alternate embodiment of a cover; and

FIG. 16 shows an alternate embodiment of the flange top side and of a cover with the insert in position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In one form, the invention is an exhaust/intake vent system insert as shown in FIGS. 1-7. In one embodiment, a substantially circular insert 10 is formed from mesh material. In one form of the invention, the insert 10 may be placed into an existing roof vent system 20 installation. One example of a roof vent 20 is shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. In other embodiments, the insert can be square shaped, rectangular shaped or any shape required to fit into a specific vent design. See for example Insert 12 of FIG. 3.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, in one embodiment, vent system 20 may comprise a vent cover 22, a vent bottom flange 24, a vent opening/hole 26, and an interior space 28 which is formed between the side wall of vent cover 22 and a ring 32. In one form, ring 32 is attached to bottom flange 24 or may be an integral unitary part of bottom flange 24. Further, in one embodiment, vent cover 22 is fixed to ring 32 at certain points along the perimeter of ring 32 by one or more fasteners 42 or by any other form necessary to fix vent cover 22 to ring 32 for a particular application. The vent cover 22 is positioned whereby there is a necessary space between vent cover 22 and bottom flange 24 to allow for air circulation into or out of the structure to which the vent system is installed.

For an existing vent system installation or for a factors installed system, one or more inserts 10 are installed underneath vent cover 22 whereby the one or more inserts 10 are placed within a hole or opening 26 defined by ring or other surface 32. When in position, as shown in FIG. 4, additional sealant 40 can be used and applied around the upper and/or lower perimeter of insert 10 to provide even greater filtering efficiency of insert 10 within the vent system.

In another application, the insert 10 can be a factory-installed insert in any type of vent system used either for residential or commercial construction. The insert 10 system may also be employed in new construction or existing construction buildings. The vents may be positioned virtually anywhere on the buildings and the insert 10 system will operate as herein defined.

In another embodiment, the insert 10 can be installed in any pre-existing vent without the need to completely remove and replace the entire vent. One benefit of this vent system is to prevent large amounts of snow from blowing into attics whereby the snow enters through air gaps in standard mushroom-style roof vents. Furthermore, when insert 10 is in position, the vent functions normally, while blocking snow and other items, allowing for proper airflow to maintain and pass through the vent in either direction. As such, the vent system will minimize and/or prevent water damage to buildings such as occurs when snow/water runs to the interior of a building's drywall and insulation. Another benefit of the system is that an average user or homeowner can purchase and install the vent insert system 10 in an existing vent with no damage to the existing structure. In other forms, an existing vent provides ventilation to and removes moisture from, for example, an attic or overhead space area of a residential or a commercial building.

In one form, a mesh circular insert 10 having a diameter of the opening 26 in a roof vent 20 is inserted into opening 26. In place, the insert 10 assists with the elimination of snow build-up inside the vent and within the building and also keeps rain and objects from blowing into the interior space while still providing adequate ventilation and not interfering with the required air flow of the vent. The vent system insert also prevents foreign objects such as, for example, birds, large insects, leaves, twigs, etc. from entering the vent opening. The vent insert system provides further additional sealing properties. In certain applications, yet a second or even a third insert 10 may be positioned in the roof vent 20.

In yet other embodiments, materials other than mesh material may be used for proper operation of the roof vent system. The materials can consist of a variety of different materials and properties such as plastic, fiberglass, mesh, paper, metal, recycled materials and yet other materials that can provide for proper sealing and proper ventilation of a vent using insert 10 as described herein. The material may be flexible, pliable or stiff in nature depending on the application.

In still yet other applications, insert 10 can be a variety of different sizes and shapes to accommodate the necessary requirements and dimensions of a vent in which it will fit. FIGS. 2, 5 and 7 show a few examples of the size and shapes of the insert but certainly other sizes and shapes are required for particular applications. The insert may also be distributed to the user in a basic square shape and the user can cut the insert to fit a specific application. The vents may be sold whereby the insert 10 is in place during factory installation or insert 10 may be installed in existing vents that did not originally feature the insert 10 during factory production.

In yet other embodiments, as shown in FIG. 5, an insert 14 shaped in a substantially elongated rectangular shape can also be positioned in a vent as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.

FIG. 6 shows another embodiment of how an elongated rectangular shaped insert 14 may be used within the vent system 20. In this form, multiple inserts 14 are used to achieve the desired filtering effect. For example, one insert 14 may be used at each corner of vent 20 whereby insert 14 is placed inside space 28 which is formed by a side wall of vent cover 22 and ring 32 as shown in FIG. 6. Additional inserts 14 may be placed at adjacent space openings 28 as shown in FIG. 6. Additionally, in this configuration, inserts 14 may also be used in combination with one or more inserts 10 to provide for additional filtering options.

FIG. 7 shows yet another form of using an insert within a vent system 20. In this application, insert 14 is one continuous elongated piece whereby the insert substantially wraps around the circumference of ring 32 or other wall within the vent system as shown in FIG. 7. In this application, one or more inserts 10 may be used in combination with insert 14 to provide for even greater filtering capabilities. A sealant 40 may also be applied to the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7 at various points where insert 14 is adjacent to any portion of the vent system 20 to provide for even additional filtering capabilities.

In yet another form of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 8-11, vent system may comprise yet additional features. In this embodiment, an insert 52 may be supplied substantially as shown in FIGS. 8, 9, 10 and 11 whereby the insert is positioned over a hole 60 whereby the insert covers substantially all or a significant portion of the hole or opening 60 to minimize the amount of moisture, snow or foreign objects to enter through the vent system into the building. In this embodiment, a cover 54 is provided whereby a lip, flange or protrusion 56 further assists to maintain insert 52 in place over the hole or opening 60 as shown in FIG. 11. As with this and other embodiments discussed herein, yet additional shapes for the insert may be provided as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. The inserts can be substantially any shape necessary to cover all or only a portion of a hole or opening within the vent system. The various other features of alternate embodiments discussed herein may also be adapted and/or configured to cooperate with the embodiment(s) shown in FIGS. 8-13.

And yet still other alternate embodiments of the vent system may be shown in FIGS. 14, 15 and 16. As shown in FIG. 14, a bottom view of the flange 70 is shown having a recess 72 defining an opening or hole 73. As best shown in FIG. 16, the flange 70 as shown in a top view, further has raised walls 74 further defining the opening 73. Turning to FIG. 15, an alternate embodiment of a cover 76 is shown whereby in FIG. 15 the underside or the bottom side of cover 76 is shown having a lip or protrusion 78 that in one embodiment travels the entire inner perimeter of cover 76 whereby a filter or insert 80 can be held in place as best shown in FIG. 16. When the cover 76 is positioned in place on the bottom flange 70, in one form, fasteners or other means for attaching such as for example welding, adhesives, or other means for fastening can attach and securely hold cover 76 in place at one or more points 82 as identified in FIG. 16. The various other features of alternate embodiments discussed herein may also be adapted and/or configured to cooperate with the embodiment(s) shown in FIG. 14, 15 or 16.

While the present invention is susceptible of embodiments in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described some exemplary and non-limiting embodiments, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification for the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated. In this disclosure, the use of the disjunctive is intended to include the conjunctive. The use of the definite article or indefinite article is not intended to indicate cardinality. In particular, a reference to “the” object or “a” object is intended to denote also one of a possible plurality of such objects.