Title:
AIR DIFFUSER COVER FLAP AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for preventing air within a room from entering an inactive air diffuser utilizing a diffuser cover flap attached to a surface around the diffuser made of a rigid lightweight material containing cavities for protruding diffuser levers. The cover flap has a flexible lip region permitting the cover flap to lift away from the diffuser when air is supplied through the diffuser into the room, and rest flush with the air diffuser when the system is inactive preventing conditioned air and airborne contaminants from re-entering the ductwork system.



Inventors:
Markovich, Joseph G. (Raytown, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/555607
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
09/08/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F13/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOWNS, BRITTANY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF MARK BROWN, LLC (Shawnee, KS, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the disclosed subject matter, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A device for the covering of typical air diffusers made of lightweight, flexible material, comprising: a front wall, opposite top and bottom walls, and opposite side walls; a flexible lip connected to each of said walls; said lip resting flush against the wall of a building or structure surrounding said diffuser when no air is leaving said diffuser; a method of attaching said device to the wall of a building or structure surrounding a diffuser; a plurality of insets formed into said front wall to accommodate various placements of louver levers; and a portion of said lip hinged to allow the covering device to be pushed away from the diffuser by air being blown from said diffuser.

2. The device according to claim 1, including: a plurality of structural ridges formed into said front wall to provide stability and strength to said covering.

3. The device according to claim 1, including: said method of attaching said device to a wall of a building or structure including double-sided adhesive.

4. The device according to claim 1, including: said top, bottom, and sidewalls creating an angle with said front wall greater than ninety degrees.

5. The device according to claim 1, comprising: said flexible material being of light-weight plastic.

6. A method of delivering air to a room through standard HVAC processes, comprising: a typical room with a typical diffuser for supplying air to said room; said diffuser including a plurality of louvers and a lever for controlling said louvers; and a diffuser covering device made of flexible material and affixed to the wall adjacent to said diffuser, further comprising: a front wall, a top and bottom wall, and opposite side walls; a lip connected to said top, bottom, and side walls, said lip resting flat against the building wall when air is not being forced through said diffuser; and a plurality of insets formed into said front wall to accommodate the louver lever of said diffuser; wherein said diffuser covering is forced to lift away from said building wall and said diffuser while air is being forced through said diffuser, allowing the air to enter the room, and when said air no longer is blowing into said room, said diffuser covering falls back against said building wall and covers said diffuser, preventing the air that was blown into the room from reentering said diffuser.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein: said air is conditioned to be either heated or cooled and may or may not pressurize the room to be conditioned.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein: said diffuser cover front wall contains a plurality of structural ridges to provide added structural integrity to said diffuser cover.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein: said diffuser cover is comprised of lightweight flexible plastic.

10. The method of claim 6, wherein: said diffuser cover lip contains a hinged portion adjacent to where said cover is affixed to said building wall; said hinged portion allowing greater ease of flexibility when air is forced against said diffuser cover from said diffuser.

11. A device for the covering of typical air diffusers made of lightweight, flexible plastic, comprising: a front wall, including a plurality of structural ridges for increased support; top, bottom walls, and opposite side walls forming angles greater than ninety degrees with said front wall; a flexible lip connected to each of said walls; said lip resting flush against the wall of a building or structure surrounding said diffuser when no air is leaving said diffuser; a method of attaching said device to the wall of a building or structure surrounding a diffuser including the use of double-sided adhesive; a plurality of insets formed into said front wall to accommodate various placements of louver levers; a portion of said lip hinged to allow the covering device to be pushed away from the diffuser by air being blown from said diffuser;

12. A method of delivering conditioned air to a room through standard HVAC processes, comprising: a typical room with a typical diffuser for supplying air to said room; said diffuser including a plurality of louvers and a lever for controlling said louvers; and a diffuser covering device made of flexible plastic and affixed to the wall adjacent to said diffuser, further comprising: a front wall, a top and bottom wall, and opposite side walls; a hinged lip connected to said top, bottom, and side walls, said lip resting flat against the building wall when air is not being forced through said diffuser; a plurality of insets formed into said front wall to accommodate the louver lever of said diffuser; and a plurality of structural ridges on said front wall for added structural integrity; said conditioned air to be either heated or cooled and may or may not pressurize the room to be conditioned; wherein said diffuser covering is forced to lift away from said building wall and said diffuser while air is being forced through said diffuser, allowing the air to enter the room, and when said air no longer is blowing into said room, said diffuser covering falls back against said building wall and covers said diffuser, preventing the air that was blown into the room from reentering said diffuser.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority in provisional application No. 61/095,707, filed Sep. 10, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a system which prevents air within a room from entering an inactive air diffuser. More specifically, this invention is a cover for an air diffuser which will lay over the diffuser while the diffuser is inactive, but will swing out once the diffuser is activated.

2. Description of the Related Art

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems utilize ductwork to transport air to diffusers or air vents which disperse the air they produce into the rooms of a house or office. The placement of the diffusers or air vents can affect the performance of the HVAC system, and the temperature stability of the air in the room. Often diffusers are placed low on the walls, or even on the floor. Once a room reaches the temperature set on the thermostat, the HVAC system will shut off, allowing the air to settle in the room. The problem that arises is that cool air will sink to the bottom of the room. If the diffusers are located low on the walls or on the floor, this cool air may sink into the diffusers or vents and leave the room that had recently been conditioned. This means that the room will no longer be at the set temperature and the HVAC system will have to produce more conditioned air.

Additionally, the air that falls through these vents may contain airborne contaminants such as dust particles, allergens, bacteria, and disease. The cleaning of HVAC ductwork is important to prevent the spread of such contaminants. However, when the airborne contaminants settle into the ductwork and the HVAC system pushes air across the settled contaminants, it can be picked up and dispersed through the entire house or building.

It would be advantageous to have a cover flap for an air vent or diffuser that would permit air to enter a room from the HVAC system but prevent the conditioned air from sinking into the diffuser and carrying airborne contaminants into the ductwork when the HVAC system is not expelling air. HVAC system operating efficiencies can thus be enhanced by capturing in the living spaces conditioned air which would otherwise escape into the ductwork.

Heretofore there has not been available an air diffuser cover flap implementing the system and method with the advantages and features of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an air diffuser cover flap designed to increase the efficiency of HVAC systems and prevent the spreading of airborne contaminants throughout the entire HVAC system. In the practice of one aspect of the invention, the flap is secured to the wall or floor around the diffuser or air vent. The apparatus is adapted for covering air diffusers with several common lever control locations. The apparatus is made of a lightweight material that is rigid throughout yet flexible in the lip region. When air is supplied through the diffuser, the apparatus will be lifted by the air, allowing the air to reach the room and condition it. When the room has reached its ideal temperature and the HVAC system deactivates, the apparatus returns to its resting position over the air vent or diffuser and prevents conditioned air or airborne contaminants from re-entering the HVAC ductwork system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cover flap embodying the present invention, shown covering a wall-mounted diffuser.

FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view thereof taken generally along line 2A-2A in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view thereof shown in a raised position.

FIG. 3 is another perspective view thereof.

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

I. Introduction and Environment

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art how to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. For example, up, down, front, back, right and left refer to the invention as orientated in the view being referred to. The words, “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the embodiment being described and designated parts thereof. Said terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar meaning.

II. Preferred Embodiment Air Diffuser Cover Flap

This particular invention is designed to fit over a wide array of diffuser or vent sizes and shapes. Additionally, this invention has areas which will accommodate a wide array of louver-lever configurations because most diffusers have some lever control reconfiguring the internal louvers of the diffuser device.

Referring to the drawings in more detail, FIG. 1 shows an HVAC vent or diffuser cover flap 2 embodying the invention. The cover flap 2 generally includes a flexible lip 4, a top wall 16, a bottom wall 17, a front wall 14 containing several structural ridges 6, a front lever housing 8, a right lever housing 10, a left lever housing 12, a right wall 18 and a left wall 20. All of the elements of the cover flap 2 are preferably formed from one piece of rigid lightweight material, preferably plastic, allowing flexibility along the region between the lip 4 and a wall of the cover that is attached to the building wall surface 22 by a fastener 24, but not allowing air to pass through the cover flap 2.

In a typical application of the invention, the cover flap 2 is positioned over a diffuser 28 when no air is being expelled from the diffuser 28, thus acting as a one-way check valve preventing air backflow from re-entering the HVAC duct system. The cover flap 2 is positioned over the diffuser 28 permitting the diffuser lever 30 to protrude into the cavity created by the front lever housing 8 in the front wall 14 of the cover flap 2. The right and left lever housings 10, 12 are likewise adapted for accommodating other diffuser levers (not shown).

The cover flap 2 is secured against a wall surface 22 in proximity to a floor 32, or some other structural element, in covering relation over the diffuser 28 with a suitable type of fastener 24 which could include mechanical fasteners, material fasteners and adhesives with the preferred method being double-sided adhesive tape. As is further displayed in FIG. 2B, the cover flap 2 is hinged at a hinge line 34 between the top wall 16 and the flexible lip 4, thereby allowing the cover flap 2 to respond to air flow from the diffuser 28 by rotating outwardly from the wall surface 22, thus allowing air flow from the diffuser 28 to enter the room.

It will be appreciated that the components of the cover flap 2 can be used for various other applications. Moreover, the cover flap 2 can be fabricated in various sizes and from a wide range of suitable materials, using various manufacturing and fabrication techniques.

It is to be understood that while certain embodiments and/or aspects of the invention have been shown and described, the invention is not limited thereto and encompasses various other embodiments and aspects.