Title:
DRAIN PAN LINER, DRAIN PAN KIT, AND METHOD OF USING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drain pan liner usable with a drain pan is provided. The drain pan liner includes a plurality of elongated foam lining portions, an adhesive film disposed on a rear portion of each of the foam lining portions, and a release sheet to cover the adhesive film, the release sheet being removable from the adhesive film by peeling to expose the adhesive film.



Inventors:
Miller, Timothy Scott (Henderson, KY, US)
Application Number:
12/207087
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
09/09/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/77, 206/223, 220/495.01
International Classes:
F25D21/14; B65D25/14; B65D69/00; F25D21/00
View Patent Images:



Foreign References:
JP2004324932A2004-11-18
Primary Examiner:
DUKE, EMMANUEL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERENATO & WHITE, LLC (BETHESDA, MD, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A drain pan liner usable with a drain pan, the drain pan liner comprising: a plurality of elongated foam lining portions; an adhesive disposed on a rear surface of each of the foam lining portions; and a release sheet overlying and adhered to the adhesive film, the release sheet being removable from the adhesive film to expose the adhesive film.

2. The drain pan liner of claim 1, wherein the foam lining portions have contours that complement contours on the drain pan.

3. The drain pan liner of claim 1, wherein the foam lining portions are flat and formed of flexible material so that the foam lining portions may conform to contours on the drain pan when the foam lining portions are applied to the contours of the drain pan.

4. The drain pan liner of claim 1, wherein the lining portions are formed from closed cell, cross-linked polyethylene.

5. A drain pan liner usable for preventing condensation in a drain pan having a plurality of elongated interconnect peripheral sides, each elongated side including a moisture guiding surface defined by sidewalls extending therefrom on a top portion of the drain pan and a bottom surface disposed opposite the moisture guiding surface on a bottom portion of the drain pan, the drain pan liner comprising: a plurality of foam side lining portions, each foam side lining portion being couplable to an associated bottom surface of the elongated sides of the drain pan to form a condensation barrier along the bottom portion of the drain pan corresponding to the moisture guiding surface; and an adhesive completely covering a surface of each portion.

6. The drain pan liner of claim 5, wherein the foam side lining portions are contoured to correspond to a substantially convex shape of associated bottom surfaces of the elongated sides of the drain pan.

7. The drain pan liner of claim 5, wherein the foam side lining portions each have an elongated rectangular shape, and a removable cover disposed on the adhesive to protect the adhesive.

8. The drain pan liner of claim 7, wherein said removable cover comprises one of a paper sheet and a plastic sheet.

9. The drain pan liner of claim 5, wherein the lining portions are cross-linked, closed cell polyethylene.

10. The drain pan liner of claim 5, wherein the adhesive is an acrylic.

11. The drain pan liner of claim 10, wherein the plurality of lining parts are defined by contours formed in the foam sheet the contours being raised with respect to a major plane of the foam sheet.

12. The drain pan liner of claim 15, wherein the foam sheet comprises at least one contour extending longitudinally along the foam sheet to define two different lining parts, the at least one contour projecting from a major plane of the foam sheet.

13. The drain pan liner of claim 5, wherein the lining portions are flat.

14. A drain pan usable to drain moisture from an air conditioning unit, the drain pan comprising: a plurality of side panels, each side panel including an upper moisture guiding portion and a lower portion having a surface; and a plurality of foam lining sheets adhered to said lower surfaces.

15. The drain pan of claim 14, wherein the foam lining sheets are contoured to correspond to the respective bottom surfaces.

16. The drain pan of claim 14, wherein each foam lining sheet is formed from a closed cell, cross-linked polymer.

17. The drain pan of claim 16, wherein the polymer is polyethylene.

18. The drain pan of claim 17, wherein each foam lining sheet has an elongated rectangular shape and an adhesive disposed on a surface thereof.

19. The drain pan of claim 18, further including: a drain hole disposed in a sidewall of the top moisture guiding portion, the drain hole eliminating moisture in the side panels of the drain pan.

20. The drain pan of claim 19, wherein the adhesive is a pressure sensitive acrylic.

21. The drain pan of claim 19, wherein each lining sheet is contoured and conforms to the contour of the associated side panel.

22. The drain pan of claim 21, wherein each lining sheet abuts an adjacent lining sheet for thereby covering completely a surface of the drain pan.

23. A kit for insulating a drain pan, comprising: a plurality of foam parts each having a shape that corresponds to an associated portion of the drain pan, each of the foam parts including an adhesive applied along an entire surface thereof and a release sheet disposed on the adhesive, and the release sheet being removable from the adhesive; and a container for housing the plurality of foam parts.

24. A method of applying a drain pan liner to a drain pan having a moisture guiding surface and non-moisture guiding surface opposite to the moisture guiding surface, the method comprising: providing the drain pan liner which includes a plurality of elongated lining portions to fit the drain pan, an adhesive film disposed on a rear portion of each of the lining portions on the contours, and a release sheet to cover the adhesive film; peeling a first release sheet of a first elongated lining portion from a first adhesive film to expose the first adhesive film and applying the first elongated lining portion to a first side panel of the non-moisture guiding surface of the drain pan; and peeling a second release sheet of a second elongated lining portion from a second adhesive film to expose the second adhesive film and applying the second elongated lining portion to a second side panel of the non-moisture guiding surface of the drain pan.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the providing of the drain pan liner comprises: providing a foam sheet including the elongated lining portions defined therein; and separating the elongated lining portions from the foam sheet.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION AND CLAIM TO PRIORITY

This application is based on provisional application Ser. No. 60/935,995, filed Sep. 10, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference and to which priority is claimed.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a drain pan liner, a drain pan for draining an HVAC unit, a kit for lining the drain pan, and a method of using the same.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known to use drain pans with various devices that produce moisture. FIG. 1 illustrates a top plan view of an exemplary drain pan 10. The drain pan 10 has a tray shape with long sides 12 and short sides 14. The sides 12 and 14 (i.e., side panels) have sidewalls that allow water and moisture to be collected and discharged through a drain 16 disposed at a corner of the drain pan 10. Although not shown in FIG. 1, a top portion of the drain pan 10 is curved upwardly to form a moisture guiding surface for which arrows A, B, C, and D indicate the direction moisture flows (i.e., a moisture transfer path).

The drain pan 10 may be made of a hard plastic and includes channels 18 defined in a bottom of the tray shape for water to be transferred toward the drain 16.

The drain pan 10 is used with an air conditioning unit (not shown) or another heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit to collect water vapor that is removed/condensed from surrounding air. In particular, the arrows A, B, C, and D in FIG. 1 indicate the directions on the moisture guiding surface in the drain pan 10 along which the collected water travels toward the drain 16.

FIG. 2 illustrates a bottom plan view of the drain pan 10 of FIG. 1 having a conventional liner 20 disposed on a bottom portion of the drain pan 10. As can be seen from FIG. 2, the conventional liner 20 includes rib portions 22 that accommodate a protruding portion of the bottom of the drain pan 10. The conventional liner 20 is made of a single piece of foam that is secured to the bottom portion of the drain pan 10 by hot melt adhesive.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the top portion of the drain pan 10 of FIG. 1 having the conventional liner 20. Arrows A, B, C, and D of FIG. 3 indicate the directions along which collected water flows along the moisture guiding surface toward the drain 16 in the drain pan 10. As best shown in FIG. 3, the conventional liner 20 extends downward from the bottom portion of drain pan 10 (not shown in FIG. 3) toward the top portion of the drain pan 10 along inner portions of the sides 12 and 14 of the drain pan 10. Accordingly, the conventional liner 20 prevents water from condensing under the drain pan 10.

The conventional liner 20 has several disadvantages. First, the conventional liner 20 is manufactured using a die cutting process in which a sheet of foam is cut to form the shape of the conventional liner 20, including the sides 12 and 14. In particular, a relatively large inner portion of the sheet of foam is removed, leaving the sides of the conventional liner 20 with a die cut open portion in the middle. The cut portion of the sheet of foam is discarded during the manufacturing process. This aspect of the manufacturing process of the conventional liner 20 is wasteful and inefficient Additionally, the conventional liner 20 must be shipped in a package that is rather large and awkward.

Finally, in order to apply the conventional liner 20 to the bottom portion of the drain pan 10, a liquid adhesive, such as hot melt adhesive, must be applied to a rear portion of the conventional liner 20 before applying it to the drain pan 10. Applying the liquid adhesive to the conventional liner 20 causes an inconvenience.

Not only is applying the liquid adhesive inconvenient, but it is difficult to apply the liquid adhesive uniformly to all portions of the conventional liner 20. As a result, one or more voids may be formed between the conventional liner 20 and the drain pan 10 when the conventional liner 20 is applied thereto. These voids are a source for microbial growth due to moisture condensation and sweating through the drain pan 10.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A drain pan liner usable with a drain pan includes a plurality of elongated foam lining portions, an adhesive film disposed on a rear portion of each of the foam lining portions, and a release sheet to cover the adhesive film. The release sheet is removable from the adhesive film by peeling to expose the adhesive film.

Additionally, a drain pan liner is usable for preventing condensation in a rectangular drain pan having a plurality of elongated sides outlining a cut out portion in the middle of the elongated sides, the elongated sides including a moisture guiding surface defined by sidewalls extending therefrom on a top portion of the drain pan and a bottom surface disposed opposite to the moisture guiding surface on a bottom portion of the drain pan. The drain pan liner includes a plurality of foam side lining portions, each foam side lining portion being couplable to an associated bottom surface of the elongated sides of the drain pan to form a condensation barrier along the bottom portion of the drain pan corresponding to the moisture guiding surface.

A drain pan liner usable to prevent condensation to a bottom of the drain pan includes a foam sheet having a plurality of lining parts defined therein. The plurality of lining parts correspond to different shapes in a drain pan and are separable from the foam sheet so that the lining parts are individually applicable to respective portions of the drain pan.

A drain pan usable to drain moisture from an air conditioning unit includes a plurality of side panels defining an outline of a rectangle with a cut out space in a middle thereof. The side panels include a top moisture guiding portion having a shape that is curved upward to retain moisture and a bottom portion having a shape that corresponds to the top moisture guiding portion. The drain pan further includes a plurality of individual foam lining sheets adhered to the bottom portion of the corresponding side panels to prevent moisture from condensing to the bottom portion of the side panels from the top portion of the side panels.

A kit for insulating a drain pan includes a plurality of foam parts each having a shape that corresponds to an associated portion of the drain pan, and a container for housing the plurality of foam parts. Each of the foam parts include an adhesive layer applied along an entire surface thereof and a release sheet disposed on the adhesive layer. The release sheet is removable from the adhesive layer.

A method of applying a drain pan liner to a drain pan having a moisture guiding surface and non-moisture guiding surface opposite to the moisture guiding surface includes providing the drain pan liner which includes a plurality of elongated lining portions to fit the drain pan, an adhesive film disposed on an inner portion of each of the lining portions on the contours, and a release sheet to cover the adhesive film. The method further includes peeling a first release sheet of a first elongated lining portion from a first adhesive film to expose the first adhesive film and applying the first elongated lining portion to a first side panel of the non-moisture guiding surface of the drain pan, and peeling a second release sheet of a second elongated lining portion from a second adhesive film to expose the second adhesive film and applying the second elongated lining portion to a second side panel of the non-moisture guiding surface of the drain pan.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a drain pan;

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the drain pan of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the drain pan of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a bottom assembly view of a drain pan having a drain pan liner according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded bottom assembly view of the drain pan liner of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an exploded top assembly view of the drain pan liner of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a portion of the drain pan of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a portion of the drain pan liner of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of another portion of the drain pan liner of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the drain pan liner of FIGS. 8 and 9, as applied to the drain pan according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a bottom plan view of a bottom portion of a drain pan having a drain pan liner according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a drain pan liner sheet according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a drain pan liner sheet according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a drain pan lining part according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 15 is a side view of an HVAC unit having a drain pan and a drain pan liner according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments and methods of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the drawings. It should be noted, however, that the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative devices and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described in this section in connection with the preferred embodiments and methods. The invention according to its various aspects is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the attached claims read in view of this specification, and appropriate equivalents.

FIG. 4 illustrates a bottom plan view of a drain pan 40 having a drain pan liner 53 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The drain pan 40 may be similar to the drain pan 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. Accordingly, a detailed description of the structure and operation of the drain pan 40 will not be provided here. However, it should be understood that drain pans can vary in size and shape based on the type of HVAC unit which is to be used.

The drain pan liner 53 includes first side lining portions 52 which correspond to long sides 42 of the drain pan 40 in FIG. 4 and second side lining portion 54 which correspond to short sides 44 of the drain pan 40 in FIG. 4. These parts are separately applied to the respective sides 42 and 44 of the drain pan 40. Discontinuities 46 of the drain pan liner 53 are disposed between the first side lining portions 52 and the second side lining portions 54 of the drain pan liner 53. The size of these discontinuities 46 have been exaggerated for clarity and for illustration purposes. In practice, the sizes of the first side lining portions 52 and the second side lining portions 54 are sufficiently small that the first and second side lining portions 52 and 54 of the drain pan liner 53 fit snugly together, thereby forming a uniform condensation barrier on the bottom portion of the drain pan 40.

The first and second side lining portions 52 and 54 have elongated shapes with contours that correspond to the shape of the bottom portion of the drain pan 40. The side lining portions 52 and 54 of the drain pan liner 53 may be molded from a sheet of foam. For example, the sheet may be closed cell, cross-linked polyethylene.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded bottom plan view of the drain pan liner 53 of FIG. 4. As can be seen from FIG. 5, the first side lining portions 52 and the second side lining portions 54 have an adhesive 56 applied thereto as illustrated by dashed outlines representing the adhesive film 56. The adhesive film 56 is used to secure the side lining portions 52 and 54 to the sides of the drain pan 42 and 44, respectively.

The adhesive film 56 is applied uniformly over the entire surface of side lining portions 52 and 54. It should be noted that although the drain pan liner 53 is shown as having four side lining portions 52 and 54, a smaller or greater number of lining portions may be used.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded top plan view of the drain pan liner 53 of FIG. 4. As best seen in FIG. 6, the first side lining portions 52 and the second side lining portions 54 include the adhesive film 56 which is covered by a release sheet 58. The release sheet 58 covers the adhesive film 56 until an end user is ready to apply the side lining portions 52 and 54 to the respective sides 42 and 44 on the bottom portion of the drain pan 40. The release sheets 58 can be removed from the side lining portions 52 and 54 by pulling or peeling them away from the respective side lining portions 52 and 54, for example, along corresponding arrows A, B, C, or D in FIG. 6.

FIG. 7 illustrates a fragmentary cross sectional view of a portion of the drain pan 40 of FIG. 4. The drain pan 40 illustrated in FIG. 7 is inverted for illustration purposes. 42T indicates the top portion of the drain pan 40 in which water collects (i.e., a moisture guiding surface) and 42B indicates the bottom portion of the drain pan 40 where the drain pan liner 53 is applied to provide a condensation barrier. 42S represents a surface along which the drain pan liner 53 is adhered by the adhesive film 56.

The surface 42S may be substantially convex while the top portion 42T of the drain pan 40 may be substantially concave to retain moisture. The top portion 42T is substantially concave, because the top portion 42T acts as the moisture guiding surface to guide the moisture toward a drain (e.g., the drain 16 in the drain pan 10 of FIG. 1).

Additionally, the surface 42S along which the drain pan liner 53 is to be applied is curved from the bottom portion of the drain pan 40 toward the top portion of the drain pan 40. The portion of the surface 42S extending from the bottom portion of the drain pan 40 toward the top portion of the drain pan 40, which acts as the moisture guiding surface, extends along an inner surface of the drain pan 40. Reference 48 represents an outer side wall portion of the drain pan 40. Although only the side 42 of the drain pan 40 is illustrated in FIG. 7, it should be understood that the side(s) 44 may have a similar shape and/or configuration.

As can be seen in FIG. 8, the adhesive film 56 is disposed along an inner surface of the side lining portion 52. The side lining portion 52 can be applied to the surface 42S of the drain pan 40 illustrated in FIG. 7. Contours of the side lining portion 52 correspond to contours of the surface 42S of the drain pan 40 (see FIG. 7) such that the drain pan liner 53 seals the bottom portion of the drain pan 40, as illustrated in FIG. 4.

It should be understood that the drain pan liner 53 may either be initially contoured to correspond to the surface 42S, or the drain pan liner 53 may be flat and flexible so that it can be applied to the surface 42S easily using the adhesive film 56. When the drain pan liner 53 is flat, the drain pan liner 53 is contoured to correspond to the surface 42S at the time of application to the drain pan 40.

As best shown in FIG. 9, release sheet 58 is disposed on the adhesive film 56 to protect the adhesive film 56. The release sheet 58 can be peeled from the side lining portion 52 of the drain pan liner 53 to expose the adhesive film 56 when the side lining portion 52 is to be applied to the surface 42S of the drain pan 40.

The release sheet 58 may be a silicone coated paper or plastic material adhered to the adhesive film 56. The release sheet 58 may be a single piece (e.g., a sheet) that can be peeled from the adhesive film 56 beginning at the end portion of the side lining portion 52.

As best shown in FIG. 10, the side lining portion 52 of the drain pan liner 53 is adhered to the surface 42S of the drain pan 40 by the adhesive film 56 such that the side lining portion 52 extends along the inner side surface of the drain pan 40 to seal the drain pan 40 and provide a thermal condensation barrier. The side lining portion 52 is contoured to correspond to the convex shape of the surface 42S on the bottom portion 42B of the drain pan 40. Accordingly, when moisture is transferred along the moisture guiding surface (i.e., the top portion 42T of the drain pan 40), moisture is prevented from being transferred toward the bottom portion 42B of the drain pan 40 by sweating or condensation. In other words, the drain pan liner 52 acts as a thermal condensation barrier on the bottom portion 42B of the drain pan 40 to prevent sweating through the drain pan 40. Because the adhesive 56 secures the entirety of the portion 52 to the drain pan 40, there are no voids or discontinuities in which moisture may collect to permit microbial growth.

The drain pan liner 53 of the embodiments of the present invention can be easily applied to the drain pan 40 via the adhesive film 56 and the release sheet 58. Accordingly, an end user need not apply a liquid adhesive to the drain pan in order to secure a liner thereto. Additionally, application of the separate parts of the drain pan liner 53, one by one, is easier than application of a single piece drain pan liner (e.g., the conventional liner 20 of FIGS. 2 and 3) due to the fact that the end user need not get each part of the drain pan liner aligned and in position at one time.

The adhesive film 56 may be a pressure sensitive adhesive that is applied uniformly to a rear surface of the drain pan liner 53. As a result, when the drain pan liner 53 is applied to the drain pan 40 no voids are formed between the drain pan liner 53 and the drain pan 40, and the drain pan liner 53 provides a uniform thermal condensation barrier to the drain pan 40. As a result, microbial growth along the drain pan 40 and/or between the drain pan 40 and the drain pan liner 53 is prevented.

The adhesive film 56 may be an acrylic adhesive. Alternatively, other adhesives that are suitable for the purposes described herein may also be used with the present invention.

Additionally, the shapes of the side lining portions 52 and 54 of the drain pan liner 53 allow for efficient manufacture from a closed cell, foam material using a die molding process without unnecessary waste of cut-out portions of the foam material. In particular, the side lining portions 52 and 54 can be individually cut from a foam sheet in a manner that minimizes wasted foam material in the sheet.

Furthermore, the side lining portions 52 and 54 of the drain pan liner 53 can be easily shipped in a relatively small package, as opposed to the large awkward package in which the conventional liner 20 of FIGS. 2 and 3 is shipped. For example, the side lining parts 52 and 54 can be shipped in separate form or the side lining parts 52 and 54 can be shipped as part of a unitary sheet.

The drain pan 100 of FIG. 11 includes a moisture drain port 102 disposed at a corner thereof. As illustrated in FIG. 11, the drain pan 100 includes elongated side portions 108 and 110, and short side portions 104 and 106. When the drain pan 40 is oriented in an upright manner, the elongated side portions 108 and 110 may be angled between the short side portions 104 and 106 so as to elevate one short side portion 106 with respect to the other short side portion 104. In this manner, any moisture on a moisture guiding surface, which is opposite to the drain pan liner 112, 114, and 116, flows from the short side portion 106 along the elongated side portions 108 and 110 toward the drain port 102 at the short side portion 104.

The elongated side portions 108 and 110 include recessed portions defined by the moisture guiding surface on the top portion of the drain pan 100. Parts of the drain pan liner 112 and 114 may be disposed in the recessed portions of the drain pan 100. The contoured lines in FIG. 11 represent contours in the parts of the drain pan liner 112 and 114 applied to the recessed portions of the elongated side portions 108 and 110.

The short side portion 104 of the drain pan 100 may be recessed or it may be flat. Other portions of the drain pan liner 116 may be formed accordingly.

The parts of the drain pan liner 112, 114, and/or 116 may be initially formed to have a flat shape such that the parts 112, 114, and/or 116 can be contoured to fit the corresponding side portions 108, 110, and/or 104, respectively, when the flat parts are applied to the drain pan 100. Alternatively, the parts of the drain pan liner 112, 114, and/or 116 may be initially formed to have contours that match the corresponding side portions 108, 110, and/or 104, respectively, of the drain pan 100.

The parts of the drain pan liner 112, 114, and/or 116 may be initially formed as a sheet of foam having an applied adhesive film (e.g., the adhesive film 56 described above) covering the entire surface thereof and a release sheet (e.g., the release sheet 58 described above) disposed on the adhesive film to preserve the adhesive film until it is time to apply the drain pan liner 112, 114, and 116 to the drain pan 100.

The sheet of foam may be manufactured of polyethylene foam. The polyethylene foam may be cross-linked, closed cell polyethylene. The adhesive film may be a pressure-sensitive acrylic adhesive. The pressure sensitive adhesive film is applied uniformly over the sheet of foam and/or the drain pan liner parts 112, 114, and 116.

FIG. 12 illustrates a drain pan liner sheet 120 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The drain pan liner sheet 120 of FIG. 12 may include drain pan liners 122 and 124 for two different drain pans. In particular, the sheet 120 may be cut along the dashed line 126 to separate the two drain pan liners 122 and 124 from each other.

Each drain pan liner 122 and 124 includes contoured portions 128 which correspond to recessed and/or contoured parts of a drain pan. Lines 130 separates two different parts of the drain pan liners 122 and 124. For example, the drain pan liner 124 may be cut along the line 130 to separate a first liner part 129 from a second liner part 131. Each of these first and second liner parts 129 and 131 may then be applied to the drain pan separately (i.e., to different side portions of the drain pan 40 or 100).

More specifically, the liner parts 129 and 131 may be applied to the elongated side portions 108 and 110 of the drain pan 100 of FIG. 11 such that the contours 128 conform to or fit snugly in the recessed portions of the elongated side portions 108 and 110.

The sheet 120 may be a sheet of foam (e.g., polyethylene) having an adhesive film (not shown in FIG. 12) formed thereon and a release sheet (not shown in FIG. 12) disposed on the adhesive film to preserve the adhesive film. The sheet 120 may be manufactured using a die cutting and/or a roll forming process.

FIG. 13 illustrates a drain pan liner sheet 140 according to another embodiment of the present invention. The drain pan liner sheet 140 is similar in most respects to the drain pan liner sheet 120 of FIG. 12. However, the drain pan liner sheet 140 is made from flat sheet material that is die cut to size and shape.

The sheet 140 includes two drain pan liners 142 and 144 which may be separated by cutting along the dashed line 146 of the sheet 140. Once the drain pan liners 142 and 144 are separated from one another, the parts of the drain pan liners 142 and 144 can be separated by cutting along the solid lines 148. Each of the parts of the drain pan liners 142 and 144 can then be applied to the corresponding side portions of a drain pan.

Although the sheet 140 is not formed with contours, the sheet 140 is manufactured from material that is sufficiently flexible that the parts of the drain pan liners 142 and 144 can be easily applied to fit snugly in the contours and recessed portions of the drain pan by applying pressure to adhere the parts of the drain pan liners 142 and 144 to the corresponding drain pan via the adhesive film disposed on a rear surface of the sheet 140. The drain pan liners 122 and 124 of FIG. 12 and/or the drain pan liners 142 and 144 of FIG. 13 may be shipped to an end user as the sheets of 120 and/or 140, respectively.

The sheet of 120 and/or the sheet of 140 may yield drain pan liners similar to the drain pan liner 53 of FIGS. 4-6 and 7-10 or the drain pan liner (112, 114, 116) of FIG. 11. Additionally, the lines 126 and 130 of the sheet 120 and/or the lines 146 and 148 of the sheet 140 may be defined in a surface thereof such that an end user can readily ascertain how to separate the parts of the drain pan liner from the respective sheets 120 and/or 140. For example, the surface of the sheets 120 and/or 140 may be indented, recessed, marked, or folded to define the lines 126 and 130 and/or the lines 146 and 148 along which the end user can separate or cut the respective sheet 120 and/or 140 to separate the different parts of the drain liners 122 and 124 and/or 142 and 144, respectively.

FIG. 14 illustrates a drain pan lining part 150 according to another embodiment of the present invention. The drain pan lining part 150 may correspond to a short side portion (e.g., the short side portion 104 of the drain pan 100 of FIG. 11) of the drain pan. The drain pan lining part 150 may be formed as part of a sheet of foam (e.g., the sheet 120 in FIG. 12 or the sheet 140 in FIG. 13). Alternatively, the drain pan lining part 150 may be formed separately from the sheet of foam.

The drain pan liner(s) of the embodiments of the present invention can be pre-cut from a foam sheet and shipped to an end user. Alternatively, the drain pan liner(s) can be shipped in sheet form, because the parts of the drain pan liner can be cut and/or separated from the foam sheet easily by the end user.

FIG. 15 illustrates a side view of an HVAC unit 150 having a drain pan 160 and a drain pan liner 170 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The drain pan 160 and the drain pan liner 170 may be similar to any of the drain pans and drain pan liners of previous embodiments of the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 15, the HVAC unit 150 includes an evaporator coil 152. As warm air circulating through the system passes along the evaporator coil 152, the air is quickly cooled and can no longer hold as much moisture. The excess moisture condenses on the outside of the evaporator coil 152 and is collected in the drain pan 160. The drain pan liner 170 provides a thermal barrier at a bottom portion of the drain pan 160 to prevent condensation at the bottom portion of the drain pan 160.

The embodiments of the present invention provide a drain pan liner usable on the bottom portion of a drain pan that is conveniently applied by an end user and can be easily manufactured, packaged, and/or shipped. The drain pan liner is compliant with UL safety standards (Underwriters Laboratory, Inc).

According to embodiments of the present invention, by manufacturing side parts of a drain pan liner individually (e.g., in a foam sheet) as opposed to manufacturing the entire drain pan liner as one piece, manufacturing efficiency/yield can be increased.

Also, by forming an adhesive film on the drain pan liner, an end user need not apply a liquid adhesive to the drain pan liner. As a result, the end user can conveniently apply the drain pan liner to a drain pan.

Although embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims and their equivalents.