Title:
Protective Construction Ventilation Register
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
One possible embodiment of the invention could be a protective construction ventilation register and a methodology of operating same. One possible version of the register could comprise of a framework having a peripheral flange attached to an overlying flange, the peripheral flange further defining an air passage; a grid work attached to the overlying flange and located within at least a portion of the air passage; a set of two flexible flaps overlaying the grid work, each flap having an attached edge securing the flap to the overlying flange and unattached edge; a set of deflectors located under grid work that directs the forced air from the underneath the grid work towards unattached edges; wherein the flaps can move from a first closed position covering the grid work to a second open position that has an angle that is less then perpendicular to the plane of the overlying flange.



Inventors:
Sanchez, John Patrick (Reno, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/193369
Publication Date:
02/19/2009
Filing Date:
08/18/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
236/49.3
International Classes:
F24F13/08; F24F7/00
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Primary Examiner:
PROBST, SAMANTHA A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John D. Long, Esq (Reno, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A protective construction ventilation register comprising: (A) a framework, the framework having defining an air passage; (B) a set of flexible flaps, the flaps reversibly covering the air passage, each flap having two edges, an attached edge attached to the framework and unattached edge that abuts the second unattached edge of the other flap, the flaps moving from a first closed position covering the air passage to a second open position uncovering the air passage; (C) a set of deflectors located in the air passage, the deflectors directing the forced air from air passage towards the unattached edges and away from the attached edges.

2. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 1 wherein the deflectors in directing forced air provides the second open position with an operating angle that is less then ninety degrees.

3. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 1, wherein the set of deflectors are a pair of inverted, L-shaped strips.

4. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 3, wherein the strips direct forced air away from the attached edges of the flexible strip.

5. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 4, wherein strips in directing the forced air provides the second open position that is less than perpendicular to a plane of the overlying flange.

6. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 3, wherein the strips are comprised of a top section and a bottom section, the bottom section attaches to framework.

7. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 6, wherein the top section directs forced air towards the attached edges and away from the unattached edges.

8. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 1 further comprising an attachment means securing the attached ends to the framework predispose the flexible of laps towards the first closed position.

9. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 1 further comprising a grid work, the grid work attached to the framework and located within at least a portion of the air passage, the set of flexible flaps reversibly overlying the grid work.

10. A method of operating a protected construction ventilation register comprising of the steps, not necessarily in the order set forth: (A) providing a ventilation register having a framework defining an air passage, a set of flexible flaps having attached and unattached edges, the flexible flaps move from a closed position covering an air passage to an open position allowing passage of forced air through the air passage, and a set of deflectors to direct forced air to unattached edges of flexible flaps, (B) passing forced air to the protected construction ventilation register; (C) directing forced air toward unattached edges; (D) deflecting forced air away from the attached edges; and (E) moving the flaps from the closed position to the open position, the open position having an operating angle of less than ninety degrees.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising of directing air towards the unattached portions of the flexible flaps.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the open position is less than perpendicular to the plane of the overlying flange.

13. The method of claim 10 further comprising of preventing the flaps from folding over themselves.

14. A protective construction ventilation register comprising of: (A) a framework means for defining an air passage; (B) a flap means for reversibly covering an air passage, the flap means having a unattached and attached edges (C) a grid means for support a flap means, and (D) a deflector means for directing air to an unattached edges of the flap means.

15. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 14 further comprising an attachment means for securing the attached edges to the framework to predispose the flap means towards a first closed position.

16. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 15 wherein deflector means deflects forced air away from attached edges to hold the flap means in a second open position that has less than ninety degree angle of operation.

17. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 16 wherein the second open position that has less than ninety degree angle of operation prevents the flap means from folding over.

18. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 14 wherein the deflector means is a pair of inverted, L-shaped strips.

19. The protective construction ventilation register of claim 18 wherein the pair of inverted, L-shaped strips is located under the grid means.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/965,222 filed on Aug. 17, 2007, the contents of which are relied upon and incorporated by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED

RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to temporary ventilation registers used in a forced air heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system of a structure during the construction of the structure. More particularly, to those temporary ventilation registers that incorporate flexible movable covers that generally prevents foreign objects and debris from entering into the system when the system's forced air is not passing through the ventilation register.

BACKGROUND

During the construction of a structure (such as a commercial, residential, or industrial building) that utilizes a forced air heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system (e.g., HVAC system), the HVAC system may be operated to distribute heated forced air to various areas of the structure during cold days to facilitate drying of cement, plaster, paint, varnish, and such as well as to prevent the freezing of water pipes and alike. The heated forced air could be channeled through ductworks of the HVAC system to specially constructed ventilation openings or air outlets in the walls, ceilings, floors, and the like of the structure. Towards the completion of such construction, the standard ventilation registers may be applied to the outlet openings.

These standard ventilation registers may have a framework that generally matches the overall dimensions of the opening of the air outlet to allow generally the register to be generally placed into the air outlet to generally cover it. The ventilation register could further incorporate a grate or grid work through which the forced air could flow from the HVAC system, through the ventilation register, and out into an open area or an environment (generally internal to the structure) surrounding the air outlet. The grate or grid work, while it could prevent relatively large sized foreign matter from entering into the ductwork, generally does not prevent other smaller matter such as construction dust and smaller debris from entering the HVAC ductwork, especially when forced air is not being sent through the register. In some instances, the ventilation register may further incorporate a set of manually operated shutters; these shutters are generally used by an operator to control the amount of forced air passing through register.

Many times, during such construction, standard ventilation registers are not fitting to the HVAC system until close to the completion of the construction project, allowing large-scale construction debris to contaminate the HVAC ductwork. Further, many floor-located air outlets may be generally left uncovered or otherwise unsecured (e.g., only a paper or cloth sheet is placed over the air outlet) possibly forming a construction or OSHA safety hazard. In such instances, a construction worker or others on the jobsite may be unaware of the existence of the floor-based air outlet or ventilation opening, and accordingly may fail to navigate properly around the said HVAC air outlet or opening. As a result, the worker may then fall or trip by stepping into the exposed air outlet or opening with possible subsequent injury to the worker or others.

What is needed therefore is a protective construction ventilation register that can be temporarily employed over the HVAC ventilation outlet openings once they are created, the protective construction ventilation register may further having flexible coverings that can move from a first closed (or rest) position when no forced air is being sent through the HVAC system to second open (or operative) position when forced air is being sent through the HVAC system. While in the closed position, the flexible coverings or flaps can generally seal off the air outlet to prevent generally the passage of construction dust and debris from entering into HVAC ductwork. The protective construction ventilation register could further incorporate a means that generally prevent the flexible covering from locking into the open position and then not returning into the closed position once the forced air is no longer being sent through the register.

SUMMARY OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Advantages of One or More Embodiments of the Present Invention

The various embodiments of the present invention may, but do not necessarily, achieve one or more of the following advantages:

provide a sturdy protective construction ventilation register for covering floor-based air outlets of HVAC systems to prevent trip and fall injuries at a construction worksite;

provide a flexible flap-based protective construction ventilation register that generally resists having its flaps getting locking in the open position and not returning to the closed position when forced air is no longer passing through the register;

provide a protective construction ventilation register that automatically seals off its respective air outlet when the HVAC system is not in use, generally preventing the contamination of foreign objects into the HVAC system;

an ability to limit the entry of dust and debris into a HVAC system during construction of a structure;

provide a protective construction ventilation register that deflects HVAC forced air to the flexible flaps in such a manner to prevent the flexible flaps from locking into the open position when the forced air is not passing through the register; and

provide a protective construction ventilation register that is removable and reusable for subsequent use on other construction projects.

These and other advantages may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification and abstract.

Brief Description of One Embodiment of the Present Invention

One possible embodiment of the invention could be a protective construction ventilation register comprising: a framework defining an air passage; a set of flexible flaps reversibly covering the air passage with each flap having an attached edge attached to the framework and unattached edge that abuts the second unattached edge of the other flap, the flaps moving from a first closed position covering the air passage to a second open position uncovering the air passage; a set of deflectors located in the air passage directing the forced air towards the unattached edges and away from the attached edges.

Another version of the invention may include a method of operating a protective construction ventilation register comprising of the steps, not necessarily in the order set forth, providing a protective construction ventilation register having a framework defining an air passage, a set of flexible flaps having attached and unattached edges, the flexible flaps covering an air passage in a closed position and moving to an open position allowing passage of forced air through the air passage, and a set of deflectors to direct the forced air to unattached edges and away from attached edges of the flexible flaps, directing forced air through the ventilation register; deflecting forced air towards the unattached edges of flaps; and moving unattached edged portion of flaps away from the air passage.

Yet another version of the invention could be a protective construction ventilation register comprising a framework means for defining an air passage; a flap means for reversibly covering an air passage, the flap means further having attached and unattached edges; a grid means to support the flap means, and a deflector means for directing the forced air through the grid means towards the unattached edges and away from attached edges of the flap means.

The above-description sets forth, rather broadly, a summary of one embodiment of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. In addition, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is substantially a perspective cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention in the closed position.

FIG. 2 is substantially a lateral cutaway view of the one embodiment of the present invention in the closed position.

FIG. 3 is substantially a perspective cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention in the open position.

FIG. 4 is substantially a lateral cutaway view of the one embodiment of the present invention in the open position.

FIG. 5 is substantially a flowchart generally demonstrating one process for operating the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The present invention 10 in at least one embodiment could generally comprise of a protective construction ventilation register 20 as well as a methodology or process 100 for operating same. As substantially shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4, one version of the protective construction ventilation register 20 could comprise of a framework 30, a grate or grid work 50, a set of deflectors (e.g., baffles) 60, and a set of flexible flaps 70. The invention 10 and its components should be of over sufficient construction to accommodate the weight of objects placed upon it during construction, such that of a worker, a leg of an erected ladder, and the like.

The framework 30 could comprise of an overlying flange 38 orthogonally attached to and extending outwardly from the top of generally box-shaped peripheral flange 32. The peripheral flange 32 itself could be sized and shaped to substantially reversibly fit within the particular air outlet 14 of a HVAC system 12 so that portions of the outer side 34 of the peripheral flange 32 could generally contact the edge 15 of the air outlet 14. Generally, such HVAC air outlets 14 could be sized and shaped themselves to meet various construction standards. The inner side 36 of the peripheral flange 32 could generally define an air passage 46, through which could generally flow the HVAC forced air A from the air outlet 14 to the surrounding or external environment 16 proximate to the air outlet 14.

The overlying flange 38 could be comprised of a bottom side 40 and a top side 42. The bottom side 40 of overlying flange 38 could rest against a portion of a support structure 18 (e.g., surface of a wall, floor, or alike) that generally immediately surrounds and defines the air outlet 14 when the peripheral flange 32 is generally inserted into the air outlet 14.

Also attached to the inner side 36 of the peripheral flange 32 and generally lying in the plane of the peripheral flange IV and the air passage 46 could be the grid work or grating 50. The grid work or grate 50 could be a series of slats 56 spaced apart in parallel orientation to generally allow the free passage of the forced air A through the air passage 46 to between the slats 56 to the external environment 16. The size, spacing, and strength of the grid work 50 could be such that when the protective construction ventilation register 20 is used on a floor-located air outlet 14, the invention 10 could generally support the weight of someone stepping on the grid work 50 (or support an object like a leg of ladder) and generally prevent the foot or like of such individual (or an object) from penetrating through and into the air passage 46.

A set of two flexible flaps 70, made from a suitable polymer such as vinyl or the like, could be attached to the top side 42 of the overlying flange 38 and generally being able to overlay over the top 52 of the grid work 50. Each flap 70 could be rectangular and generally have two ends 72, an attached edge 73, an unattached edge 74, top 76, and bottom 77. The attached edges 74 could be fastened to top side 42 of the overlying flange 38 by a variety of attachment means. In at least one embodiment, the attachment means, could be accomplished by setting a metal strip 79 along the top 76 by the attached edges 74 with fasteners 80 penetrating the metal strip 80, flap 70, and overlying flange 38 to hold the attached edge 74 between the metal strip 79 and overlying flange 38. Other or additional means of attachment could include applying a layer of adhesive (not shown) to a portion of the bottom 77 of the flap 70 proximate to the attached edge 73 to affix the flap 70 to the top side 42 of the overlying flange 38.

The attachment means could be so constructed and applied to generally predispose the set or pair of flaps 70 to be in the close position II. In this manner, when no forced air A is being sent through the invention 10, the set of flaps 70 could be in a first or closed position B to generally lie flat in a side-by-side orientation, abutting each other's unattached edges 73 so that the bottoms 77 generally rest upon and cover the top 52 of the grid work 50 to substantially close off the air passage 46 (e.g., the air outlet 14) to its surrounding external or outside environment 16. The flaps 70 could therefore generally prevent the entry into the air passage 46 (and into the HVAC ductworks) of foreign objects, such as construction-generated dust and debris.

When the HVAC system 12 generates forced air A, the forced air A generally passes through the air outlet 14; onto and through the air passage 46, through the grid work 50, and against the bottom 77 lifts the flaps 70 up and away from the top 52 of the grid work or grate 70 to a second or open position II as the forced air A passes out to the surrounding environment. When the HVAC system 12 generally shuts down so that it is longer is generating forced air A, the flaps 70 have sufficient resilience (due to the closed position 1 predisposition imposed by the attachment means) to move back to their close position 1 thereby once again generally sealing off the air passage 46 to the surrounding external environment 16.

It has been noticed that if the forced air A is heated when sent though a register having flexible flap(s) 70 for a length of time that heated forced air A as it hits most of the flap 70 may also heat the flap(s) 70. When heated, the flap(s) 70 may lose some of their resilience (predisposition to the closed position II) and have a tendency have their unattached portions 78 blown over backwards over their respective attached edges 73 (having an angle of operation III that is greater than perpendicular to the plane of the overlying flange IV or greater than 90° degrees.) When this condition occurs, the flaps 70 have a tendency to stay or lock in an open position II that leaves uncovered the grid work 50 and air passage 46 even when the forced air A is not being generated, thus exposing the air outlet 14 (and the rest of the HVAC system 12) to contamination of construction dust and debris.

To avoid this condition, the invention 10 may employs a set of deflectors or baffles 60 located in the air passage 46 underneath the grid work 50. The deflectors 50 generally direct the forced air more towards the unattached edges 74 (e.g., unattached portion 78) and away from the attached edges 73 so that the flaps 70, instead of going upward towards a open position II that is perpendicular or greater to the plane of the overlying flange 38, may enter an open position II less than perpendicular to the plane of the overlying flange IV (having an angle of operation III that is generally less than ninety degrees.) In at least one embodiment, the angle of operation IV that is maintained is approximately 45 degrees.

Maintaining the open position II that is less than perpendicular to the plane of the operating flange IV (e.g., less that ninety-degree (90°) angle of operation III) may help ameliorate the possibility of flap fold over and allow the flaps 70 to go back to the closed position I when forced air A is no longer being sent through the HVAC system 12

In at least one embodiment, the deflectors 60, in providing this capability, could comprise a set of inverted L-shaped strips 62 (e.g., having an inverted L-shaped lateral cross-section) that could be made from a suitable material such as metal. Each strip 62 could have a top section 64 and bottom section 66 that are orthogonally oriented and attached to one another along their respective longitudinal edges. The bottom section 10 could generally abut the inner side 36 of peripheral flange 32 while the top section 64 could generally abut a portion of the bottom 54 of the grid work 50. A pair of strips 62 could be located proximate to a set of opposing inner sides 36 of the peripheral flange 32 wherein each opposing inner side 36 is attached to respected strip 62 so that the top sections 64 are oriented to be substantially parallel to the unattached edges 74. Fasteners 80 could employed with a particular strip 62 to penetrate and hold the bottom section 66 to the peripheral flange 32 attaching the deflector 60 to the framework 30. In such an orientation, the top sections 64 could generally block or otherwise redirect the passage of forced air (e.g., heated) away from the attached edges 73 and towards the unattached edges (e.g., towards the unattached portion 78) of the flaps 70.

Methodology

As generally shown in FIG. 5, one possible methodology or process 100 of operating the invention 10 could start with step 102, locating the air outlet to which the protective construction ventilation register could be applied. An operator could then select a protective construction ventilation register based on its size and shape to fit appropriately the desired air outlet. The operator could then reversibly fit the selected protective construction ventilation register to the selected uncovered or exposed air outlet. If the exposed HVAC air outlet was located on the floor, then gravity could generally hold the invention 10 in place. Fasteners such as screws and the like could also be used to hold the invention 10 in place in the selected air outlets. Once in place, the invention 10 could help prevent trip and fall injuries by supporting the weight of a worker or other who could generally stand on the invention as installed.

After the substantial completion of step 102, the process 100 could proceed to step 104, directing HVAC forced air to the invention.

At step 104, directing forced air to the invention, the HVAC system could be placed in an operative mode to generate forced air. The forced air could be propelled through the HVAC ductwork to the selected air outlet to meet the invention 10 as connected to and covering the outlet. After the substantial completion of step 104, the process 100 could proceed to step 106, directing or channeling the forced air to the unattached portions of the flaps.

At step 106, directing the forced air to the unattached portions of the flaps, the air could reach the deflectors or baffles. The deflectors could subsequently direct the forced air (through the grate or grid work) generally towards the unattached edges and substantially deflect the forced air away from the attached edges so that the forced air substantially reaches the flaps' unattached portions. As the air hits the unattached portions, the flaps could generally move from a closed position covering the grid work upward uncovering the grid work and the air passage to an open position having that is substantially less than perpendicular to the plane of the overlying flange (e.g., having an angle of operation that is less than ninety degrees [e.g., forty-five degrees].) Even if the temperature of forced air is sufficient to heat the flaps, the flap's angle of operation (e.g., less than 90° degrees or position less than perpendicular to the overlying flange) could substantially prevent the flaps from folding over themselves that otherwise could prevent them from returning to a closed position when forced air is no longer moving through the invention. The forced air after leaving the invention 10 generally reaches the external environment surrounding the air outlet. As step 106 is substantially completed, the process 100 could proceed to step 108, cessation of the forced air.

At step 108, cessation of forced air, the HVAC could stop generating and directing forced air to the desired air outlet. According, the flaps (generally though gravity, their own resilience, predisposition of the attaching means, and operating angle of less than ninety degrees) could substantially move back to the closed position. At the closed position, the flaps could lay side-by-side (e.g., abutting unattached edges) to generally cover the grid work and air passage to substantially prevent passage of air, dust, or other items though the invention 10 into the air outlet and HVAC system. At substantial completion of this step 108, the process 100 could proceed back to step 106.

When necessary, such as when the construction is substantially completed, the invention 10 could be removed from the air outlet to be replaced a standard ventilation register (not shown). The invention could be transported to a new worksite and installed in desired exposed air outlet at the structure being built at the new worksite.

Conclusion

As shown above, the above invention could be employed to prevent construction dust, debris and the like from entering into HVAC system when forced air is not passing through the invention. The invention may also help prevent worksite injuries by covering floor mounted air outlets. The invention may generally ensure that its movable flaps will not lock in the open position (e.g., fold over) and will move back to the closed position after forced air is no longer passing through the invention.

Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention.