Patent application title: VENTILATION EXHAUST FAN
Peter Yeung (Burnaby, CA)
IPC8 Class: AF24F700FI
Class name: Having outlet airway with air pump ceiling or wall mounted
Publication date: 2008-12-25
Patent application number: 20080318515
Patent application title: VENTILATION EXHAUST FAN
NEXUS LAW GROUP LLP
Origin: VANCOUVER, BC CA
IPC8 Class: AF24F700FI
A ventilating exhaust fan has a housing having a top, four sides, and an
open bottom forming an air inlet. An exhaust outlet is located in one of
the sides. A motor is housed within the housing and a fan is connected to
the motor. The exhaust fan is mountable within an opening in a surface.
The sides of the housing have a plurality of slots through which
restraints can be inserted in order to connect the housing to the
1. A ventilation exhaust fan for mounting in an opening in a surface, said
ventilating exhaust fan comprising:a housing having a top, four sides and
an open bottom;a motor and a fan housed within said housing, said fan
being rotatable by said motor;an exhaust outlet located in said housing;a
plurality of openings in said sides spaced above said bottom a distance
corresponding to a ceiling surface thickness; anda plurality of
restraints, said restraints being removably connectable to said housing
through said openings for mounting said housing to said surface.
2. The ventilation exhaust fan of claim 1 wherein said plurality of openings are in the shape of an inverted "T".
3. The ventilation exhaust fan of claim 2 wherein said restraints comprising pre-formed, flat, elongated "U"-shaped members having a first portion insertable through any one of said plurality of openings and a second portion perpendicular thereto.
4. The ventilation exhaust fan of claim 2 wherein said restraints comprising pre-formed, flat, elongated "L" shaped members having a first portion insertable through any one of said plurality of openings and a second portion perpendicular thereto.
5. The ventilation exhaust fan of claim 2 wherein when said first portion is inserted through one of said plurality of openings, said second portion is releasably connected to a portion of said one of said plurality of openings.
6. The ventilation exhaust fan of claim 1 further comprising a flange extending perpendicularly outwards from each wall at said bottom, said restraints coordinating with said flanges such that when mounted to said surface, a portion of said surface is sandwiched between a portion of said restraint and a portion of said flange.
7. A housing for mounting in an opening in a surface and housing components of a ventilation exhaust fan, including a motor and fan, wherein said housing comprises:a top, four sides and a bottom, an inlet opening being located in said bottom, and an exhaust outlet being located in one of said top and four sides;a plurality of openings located in said sides spaced above said bottom a distance corresponding to a ceiling surface thickness; anda plurality of restraints, said restraints being removably connectable to said housing through said openings for mounting said housing to said surface.
8. A method of mounting the ventilation exhaust fan housing of claim 7 in an opening in a surface comprising:positioning the housing in said opening such that said bottom is in abutment with one side of said surface;inserting at least two of said plurality of restraints through at least two of said plurality of openings such that a portion of each of said restraints is in abutment with a second opposite side of said surface.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to the field of ventilation exhaust fans for use in removing air from a bathroom or other area and venting it to an exterior location.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Ventilation exhaust fans are used to vent air from a given room to an exterior location. They are typically used in bathrooms, where saturated air from bath, shower and sink use can cause condensation and related problems such as mold and mildew. By venting this saturated air, the ventilation exhaust fan can limit the amount of condensation formed. These ventilation fans are also useful in removing stale air and odors that may be present in the bathroom.
The ventilation fan is typically mounted in the ceiling between the joists, and is therefore limited in size by the space between the joists and between the ceiling and the floor above it. An air inlet in the bottom of the ventilation fan draws air from the room below into the fan. An exhaust duct is connected to an exhaust outlet located on a side of the ventilation fan. The duct directs air drawn into the air inlet of the ventilation fan from the bathroom (or other room where the fan is placed) to a desired location, typically outside.
The bathroom fans of the prior art typically have a square casing having a top, bottom and sides, with a maximum width corresponding to the distance between the joists. The bottom is open, allowing the interior components to be fitted within the casing and forming the air inlet. A blower housing is fitted within the casing interior and a centrifugal fan, sometimes referred to as a blower wheel, is fitted within the blower housing. A motor is secured within the casing, and connects to the centrifugal fan, such that when it is activated, the motor acts to rotate the centrifugal fan. A venturi plate having an air inlet is then connected to the casing. When rotated by the motor, the blower wheel draws air in through the air inlet (aligned with the fan) and forces it radially outwards and in the direction of rotation of the wheel. Air being forced through the housing follows the rounded contour of the side wall of the blower housing until it exits through the exhaust outlet (located in the side wall).
The ventilation exhaust fan is normally mounted into position during construction of a house prior to installation of the ceiling drywall. Even at this time of relatively easy access, the fans can be difficult to install, as the fan must be positioned on the ceiling joist in such a manner that the drywall can be installed in proper abutment with the fan.
In order to overcome this problem, U.S. Pat. No. 6,802,770 teaches a fan housing having two series of spaced view holes formed in the back wall so that the installer can see the ceiling joist during installation for proper positioning of the housing. In addition, the housing has a pair of bend down tabs along the back wall. The tabs are set in such a position that when placed in abutment with the bottom of the ceiling joist, the correct spacing will be provided for the drywall (of common thickness). However, while the '770 patent makes it easier to install a ventilation fan prior to putting the finishing drywall into place, it is of no use when installing a replacement fan in an already finished ceiling.
Replacing a fan, or installing a new fan through finished ceiling dry wall is difficult to say the least. The installer is forced to work through a hole in the drywall that is sized to accommodate the fan housing. Depending on the positioning of the hole in the drywall, the installer may have difficulty attaching the housing to the ceiling joist. Working in a tight space makes this all the more difficult.
It is therefore an object of an embodiment of the present invention to provide a ventilation exhaust fan that can be easily installed through finished drywall.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent from the description that follows.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the present invention there is provided a ventilation exhaust fan for mounting in an opening in a surface. The ventilation exhaust fan comprises a housing having a top, four sides and an open bottom. A motor and a fan are housed within the housing, the fan being rotatable by the motor. An exhaust outlet is located in the housing. A plurality of openings are located in the sides spaced above the bottom a distance corresponding to the thickness of the surface having the opening. A plurality of restraints are removably connectable to the housing through the openings for mounting the housing to the surface.
According to the invention, the ventilating exhaust fan housing described above is mountable in the opening in the surface by first positioning the housing in the opening so that the bottom is in abutment with one side of the surface and then inserting at least two of the restraints through the openings so that a portion of each of the restraints is in abutment with an opposite side of the surface.
Other aspects of the invention will be appreciated by reference to the detailed description of the preferred embodiment and to the claims that follow.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings and wherein:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a ventilating exhaust fan;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the fan housing shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a detailed view of a portion of a wall of the housing shown in FIG. 2 taken at the line 3-3;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a portion of a wall of the housing shown in FIG. 2 shown mounted to a portion of drywall using the preferred embodiment of a clip;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a portion of a wall of the housing shown in FIG. 2 shown mounted to a portion of drywall using an alternative embodiment of a clip;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a portion of a wall of the housing shown in FIG. 2 shown mounted to a portion of drywall using a further alternative embodiment of a clip;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a ventilation exhaust fan housing;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a portion of a wall of the housing shown in FIG. 7 shown mounted to a portion of drywall using a further alternative embodiment of a clip; and
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the clip shown in FIG. 8.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The preferred embodiment of a ventilation exhaust fan 10 is shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 1, the ventilation exhaust fan 10 has a housing 12 having a top surface 14, four sides 16 and an open bottom 18. The open bottom 18 is bordered by flanges 28 extending outwards from each of the sides, substantially perpendicular thereto. An exhaust outlet 14 is defined in one of the sides to which outlet fitting 2 is attachable. Outlet fitting 2 connects to an exhaust duct (not shown) for venting to an exterior location.
A blower housing 26 is mountable within the interior of housing 12. A motor 22 and a fan 24 are fitted within the blower housing. A cover plate 8 attachable to the blower housing has an inlet opening through which air is drawn in to the blower housing when the fan is in operation. Motor 22 is connected to the fan, and when it is activated, the motor acts to rotate the fan, thereby acting to draw air through the air inlet opening into the blower housing where it is then forced out the exhaust outlet 14 and outlet fitting 2 to the exhaust duct to be vented to an exterior location. A hinged door 4 allows air to flow out of the exhaust outlet 14 through the outlet fitting to the exhaust duct while preventing outside air from passing back through the blower housing 26 and into the room when the fan is shut off.
Electrical connection 7 is adapted for connection to a source of electrical power and is contained within power box 5.
The ventilating exhaust fan 10 is adapted for easy installation where a ceiling drywall or other surface is already in place, either through an existing opening in the surface or a new opening. According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the housing has a plurality of openings 30 for connection to ceiling drywall by way of restraints, such as clips 20 shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 4. As best viewed in FIG. 3, the opening 30 is preferably in the form of an inverted "T" shaped slot having a vertical slot 32 and a horizontal slot 34. The horizontal slots 34 of openings 30 are positioned a suitable distance from the flanges 28 to accommodate common ceiling surface thicknesses.
Clips 20 are formed of a solid material such as plastic or metal with sufficient strength and rigidity to support the ventilating exhaust fan on the ceiling drywall when installed in the ceiling. Preferably, the clips 20 are elongated planar members having a first portion 21 sized to fit through horizontal slot 34, a second portion 23 substantially perpendicular to first portion 21, and a third portion 25 substantially parallel to first portion 21. Preferably first portion 21 terminates in an upwardly angled portion 27. It is contemplated that a screw or other connector could be used to attach clip 20 in place on housing 12.
When installing the exhaust fan 10, after the ducting and electrical connections are completed as known in the art, the housing 12 is inserted into an opening in a ceiling, connected to the already installed components, and mounted in place. Once the housing is in place the remaining components, including the motor and fan, are mounted into the housing 12 and connected as necessary.
Using the easy-install system of the present invention, when the housing 12 is inserted into an opening in a surface for mounting, it is positioned so that the bottom, in this case flanges 28, are in abutment with the ceiling drywall 36 as shown in FIG. 4. Clips 20 are inserted through openings 30 so that first portion 21 sits above and in abutment with drywall 36, second portion 23 is in abutment with that portion of wall 16 below horizontal slot 34, and third portion 25 is in abutment with the underside of flange 28. Upwardly angled portion 27 makes it easier to clear the edge of drywall 36 when inserting the clip 20 through horizontal slot 34. The clips 20 transfer the weight of the exhaust fan 10 to the drywall 36, thereby supporting it in the ceiling. Should a user wish to remove the exhaust fan housing, they need simply use a screwdriver or like instrument to pry out the clips. The clips could also be used with a housing with sides terminating in an open bottom with no flanges, as third portion 25 is in abutment with the bottom side of surface 36, with a portion of surface 36 being sandwiched between first portion 21 and third portion 25.
It is contemplated that different models of ventilating exhaust fan can be adapted for different thicknesses of drywall, by simply varying the distance of the horizontal slot 34 from the flange 28. Alternatively, different clips can be used for different sized drywall as shown in FIG. 5. In FIG. 5, the clip has a first portion 31 terminating in an upwardly angled portion 27, a second portion 33 and a third portion 35. A stepped portion 39 raises the level of the first portion 31 above the level of horizontal slot 34 so that the clip sits flush when the clip is forced all the way into place.
A further alternative restraint is shown in FIG. 6. Clip 50 has a vertical portion 52 and a horizontal portion 54 substantially perpendicular thereto. Horizontal portion 54 terminates in an upwardly angled portion 57. When installing the housing in an opening in the ceiling, clip 50 is inserted through opening 30 such that horizontal portion 54 is fitted through horizontal slot 34 above drywall 36. Vertical portion 52 is connected to vertical slot 32 by way of a screw 40 or like connector. Having a vertical slot allows for varied placement of the screw 40 depending on the alignment of the vertical portion 52.
A further alternative embodiment is shown in FIGS. 7 through 9, where the plurality of openings 65 in the side walls 66 of the housing 60 are small circular openings through which restraints 64 may be inserted to support the housing 60 on the drywall 36. The restraint 64 is preferably a solid, pre-formed wire or plastic cylindrical element dimensioned to fit within opening 65. Preferably restraints 64 are substantially u-shaped with a first portion 61, second portion 63 and third portion 65.
It is also contemplated that other shapes and sizes of openings and restraints could be used, provided that they involve the insertion of a plurality of restraints through a plurality of openings in the housing to support the housing and ventilating exhaust fan on the ceiling drywall within which it is mounted. Similarly, multiple openings to accommodate different sized drywall could be included on each side of the housing. For example, each side could have two openings per side to accommodate 1/2 inch drywall and another two opening per side to accommodate 5/8 inch drywall, two of the most common sizes. Other sizes could also be provided for.
Preferably the housing 12 is also equipped with the standard parts and fittings for mounting within a ceiling as known in the art. For example, the housing could be connected directly to a joist by way of screw or like connection passing through a defined opening in the housing as known in the art. Referring to FIG. 1, a screw can be inserted through opening 19 to fasten the housing 12 to a ceiling joist.
The easy-install housing of the present invention can be installed using the following method. The housing is inserted into an opening in a surface such as a ceiling until the bottom (flanges 28) is in abutment with one side of the surface having the opening within which it is being mounted. Any connections required to be made for the functionality of the exhaust fan are completed. Holding the housing in position, at least two restraints are inserted through openings in the housing in order to connect the housing to the ceiling drywall. Any further connections are then made in order to complete the functionality of the exhaust fan, including connecting a decorative fan grill (not shown) for safety and aesthetics.
While the exhaust fan has been described being mounted in a surface in a ceiling, it is also contemplated that it could be mounted in a wall or other surface, the housing being adaptable to such variations by way of it being mounted to the surface itself by way of the restraints and corresponding openings in the housing. Similarly, while the surface being described has been referred to as drywall, it could also be mounted in an opening in any other surface, such as wood or particle board, having a suitable thickness.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the preferred and alternative embodiments have been described in some detail but that certain modifications may be practiced without departing from the principles of the invention.
Patent applications by Peter Yeung, Burnaby CA
Patent applications in class Ceiling or wall mounted
Patent applications in all subclasses Ceiling or wall mounted