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Publication numberUS20040011346 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/199,752
Publication dateJan 22, 2004
Filing dateJul 19, 2002
Priority dateJul 19, 2002
Publication number10199752, 199752, US 2004/0011346 A1, US 2004/011346 A1, US 20040011346 A1, US 20040011346A1, US 2004011346 A1, US 2004011346A1, US-A1-20040011346, US-A1-2004011346, US2004/0011346A1, US2004/011346A1, US20040011346 A1, US20040011346A1, US2004011346 A1, US2004011346A1
InventorsEdward Sakai
Original AssigneeEdward Sakai
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Decorative palm patio heater
US 20040011346 A1
Abstract
A patio heater with a outer shrouding of the functional upright fuel line formed to resemble the trunk of a palm tree, with an access means to reach the control but otherwise keep them from sight, and with a secondary heat distribution shield topped by decorative metal leaves resembling the leaves of a palm tree distributed in a balanced fashion around the circular trunk, embodies a functional aesthetic that will keep it both on display and in use in more circumstances than traditional, bare-bones functional patio heaters.
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Claims(17)
I claim:
1. An aesthetically pleasing outdoor patio heater with an appearance of a palm tree, comprising:
a functional outdoor patio heater unit; and,
an overall decorative and ornamental design aesthetic realized in a covering body, deliberately resembling a palm tree, to encourage extended use said body comprising
a stabilizing base;
an ascending circular trunk attached to the stabilizing base;
a control shrouding assemblage attached to the topmost part of the ascending circular trunk; and,
a top fronds assembly attached to the topmost part of the control shrouding assemblage.
2. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 1, wherein the stabilizing base further comprises:
a bottom plate of heavy metal, having a protective coat to prevent it from rusting and from staining a surface it is placed upon; and,
attached to the bottom plate and spaced around the center, at least three vertical uprights to which the ascending circular trunk is attached.
3. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 2, wherein the stabilizing base further comprises:
a circular bottom plate of heavy metal, having a protective coat to prevent it from rusting and from staining a surface it is placed upon; and,
attached to the circular bottom plate and spaced around the center, at least three vertical uprights to which the ascending circular trunk is attached,
such that the outdoor patio heater resembles an existing palm growing straight from the surface on which the circular bottom plate is placed.
4. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 2, wherein the stabilizing base alternatively comprises:
a bottom plate of heavy metal, having a protective coat to prevent it from rusting and from staining a surface it is placed upon; and,
a planter box with at least one side and a top surface, attached to said bottom plate and capable of enclosing the functional base of a standard outdoor heater; said planter box further having:
a utility door in one side, giving access to the functional outdoor patio heater unit for maintenance, recharging, or checking of the fuel or connections;
a potting tray in the top surface that can be filled with sand or vegetation at the owner's desire;
such that the outdoor patio heater resembles a planter box out of which a palm tree is growing, said planter box's bottom plate resting on the surface.
5. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 3, wherein the stabilizing base further comprises:
a predrilled off-center hole that allows a user to pipe natural gas directly to the functional outdoor patio heater unit.
6. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 4, wherein the stabilizing base further comprises:
a predrilled off-center hole that allows a user to pipe natural gas directly to the functional outdoor patio heater unit.
7. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 2, further comprising:
a track on the bottom plate for a utility door to permit access to the functional outdoor patio heater unit for changing its fuel, checking its operation, or maintaining it.
8. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 1, wherein the ascending circular trunk further comprises a series of sized metal elements, each element being:
fabricated from precision cut durable material;
hoop-shaped;
wrapped around and enclosing a vertical portion of the functional outdoor patio heater unit;
formed to resemble a section of palm bark; and,
attached to the element of the ascending circular trunk immediately below, with the lower portion slightly overlapping the higher element, the bottommost element being attached to the stabilizing base;
such that the entirety of the ascending circular trunk tapers inwards with a natural-appearing curve between the stabilizing base and the control shrouding assemblage, and resembles the trunk of a palm tree.
9. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 3, wherein the ascending circular trunk further comprises a series of sized metal elements, each element being:
fabricated from precision cut durable material;
hoop-shaped;
wrapped around and enclosing a vertical portion of the functional outdoor patio heater unit;
formed to resemble a section of palm bark; and,
attached to the element of the ascending circular trunk immediately below, with the lower portion slightly overlapping the higher element, the bottommost element being attached to the stabilizing base; and,
a utility door is provided at the base of the ascending circular trunk giving access to the functional outdoor patio heater unit for maintenance, recharging, or checking of the fuel or connections;
such that the entirety of the ascending circular trunk tapers inwards with a natural-appearing curve between the stabilizing base and the control shrouding assemblage, and resembles the trunk of a palm tree.
10. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 1, wherein the control shrouding assemblage further comprises:
a controls access element which incorporates both:
an opening through which the controls for the functional outdoor patio heater unit can be accessed; and,
a moveable cover plate which closes and conceals said opening except when that moveable cover plate is opened to gain access to the controls;
an elevated heat ring that provides additional burn area and a single central bolt rising above the control shrouding assemblage;
a perforated heat absorbing metal shroud surrounding the burn area; and,
openings which are cut out of the perforated heat absorbing metal shroud that allow the flame to be viewed through them.
11. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 10, wherein the perforated heat absorbing metal shroud surrounding the burn area is comprised of a high steel content alloy, to enhance thermal conductivity and glow in the presence of a lower-temperature flame and increased airflow through the openings.
12. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 1, wherein the top fronds assembly further comprises:
a first heat deflector;
a second heat deflector; and
a third heat deflector assemblage;
all attaching to the control shrouding assemblage.
13. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 10, wherein the top fronds assembly further comprises:
a first heat deflector;
a second heat deflector; and
a third heat deflector assemblage;
all attaching to the single central bolt rising above the control shrouding assemblage.
14. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 13, wherein the first heat deflector is a convex dome shaped piece of durable heat-conductive metal with a wide central portion having a central axial hole, that fits over the single central bolt, cut with five tapered leaves spaced symmetrically about and extending from the center portion, wherein the center portion is relatively large and the leave shapes slight, but the whole is only one and a half to five times as wide as the control shrouding assemblage.
15. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 13, wherein the second heat deflector is cut from durable heat-conductive metal with a central portion that also has a central axial hole that fits over the central bolt, which has the same approximate diameter as the first heat deflector, but which has its leaves proportionately larger and central element smaller, wherein the leaves are stamped with texture and incorporate a specialized center ridge (on the top, forming a corresponding upward cleft on the bottom) of each leaf leading to the smaller central portion to provide a path for the heat to travel through, and each ridge empties into the comfort zone, wherein the second heat deflector is offset from the first heat deflector to provide coverage of space which would otherwise let the heat escape.
16. An outdoor patio heater as in claim 13, wherein the third heat deflector is a set of individual formed leaves, each of which has a hole in the stem to fit over the central bolt, with the set symmetrically placed and offset from both the first and second heat deflectors.
17. An aesthetically pleasing outdoor patio heater with an appearance of a palm tree, comprising:
a functional outdoor patio heater unit; and,
an overall decorative and ornamental design aesthetic realized in a covering body, deliberately resembling a palm tree, to encourage extended use said body comprising
a stabilizing base, comprising:
a bottom plate of heavy metal, having a protective coat to prevent it from rusting and from staining a surface it is placed upon; and, attached to the bottom plate and spaced around the center, at least three vertical uprights to which an ascending circular trunk is attached;
said ascending circular trunk, comprising:
a series of sized metal elements, each element being:
fabricated from precision cut durable material;
hoop-shaped;
wrapped around and enclosing a vertical portion of the functional outdoor patio heater unit;
formed to resemble a section of palm bark; and,
attached to the element of the ascending circular trunk immediately below, with the lower portion slightly overlapping the higher element, the bottommost element being attached to the stabilizing base;
such that the entirety of the ascending circular trunk tapers inwards with a natural-appearing curve between the stabilizing base and the control shrouding assemblage, and resembles the trunk of a palm tree;
a control shrouding assemblage atop the topmost element of the ascending circular trunk, comprising:
a controls access element which incorporates both:
an opening through which the controls for the functional outdoor patio heater unit can be accessed; and,
a moveable cover plate which closes and conceals said opening except when that moveable cover plate is opened to gain access to the controls;
an elevated heat ring that provides additional burn area and a single central bolt rising above the control shrouding assemblage;
a perforated heat absorbing metal shroud surrounding the burn area; and,
openings which are cut out of the perforated heat absorbing metal shroud that allow the flame to be viewed through them; and,
a top fronds assembly, comprising:
a first heat deflector;
a second heat deflector; and
a third heat deflector assemblage, comprising a set of individual formed leaves, each of which has a hole in the stem to fit over the central bolt, with the set symmetrically placed and offset from both the first and second heat deflectors.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This utility patent application is being filed contemporaneously with a design patent application with the same title.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] Outdoor heaters, used to render a limited area comfortably warm when the weather is mildly cool, whether electric or gas, have been available for businesses, homeowners, and guesthouses for some time. Few, however, would agree with their salesmen's' representations that an outdoor heater will grace the location where they are placed. A number of designs have been patented (Olson et. al., D429,324; Bilotti, D450,816) but they remain determinedly, almost fixedly utilitarian in their appearance. As a consequence, many potential purchasers and users decide against using a heater or exert themselves to bring out the item only as a last resort and to remove it as rapidly as they can thereafter, because the heater or heaters are so ugly and unnatural that their appearance interferes with the enjoyment of the outdoors they are supposed to render more accessible.

[0005] There are functional needs for any patio heater (it must produce radiant heat with reasonable safety, be at least somewhat mobile, provide some overhead coverage, be fuel-efficient or at least not be too profligate with the energy source, have accessible controls, etc.), which prior inventions have sought to perfect. See, e.g. Clark et. al., U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,964,233; Waters, 6,102,031 and 6,164,273. Nevertheless, even the most wonderfully engineered patio heaters of the prior art will be patently inadequate if their aesthetic appearance impels their owners not to use them.

[0006] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0007] People all around the world spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars toward perfecting their own peaceful, relaxing, and comfortable oasis in their backyard as a refuge from the stresses of everyday modern life. Within these tranquil surroundings there are, unfortunately, objects necessary to extend the comfortable use through less-than-California-perfect climes or times, that bring the industrial and technological times back to those seeking tranquil comfort. Chiefest of these objects is the outdoor patio heater.

[0008] A patio heater (or more than one, depending on the size of the patio and the clemency of the location) is undoubtedly a necessity on many outdoor patios. Patio heaters allow for a longer period of outdoor enjoyment, by providing a controllable, placeable, and temporary supply of heat. They have also begun to be used to provide longer outdoor dining hours for restaurants, or more effective use of the grounds and landscaping surrounding hotels, bed and breakfast inns, even convention centers or other public gathering places. A patio heater allows more hours in an evening, and more evenings in a season, to be enjoyed outdoors.

[0009] At present, all patio heaters are almost stridently utilitarian. Many people consider these appliances to be ugly, unsightly and an intrusive element of the world outside of the elegant oasis which they want to enjoy. Patio heaters provide a jarring and intrusive note of functionality lacking any aesthetics, and stand out like iron sentries in environments where time, energy, intelligence, and design have striven for naturalness.

[0010] When lack of aesthetics interferes with the functional utility of an object, then providing an aesthetic form which does not interfere with the object's functionality is itself a functional and useful invention. If a patio heater could be designed that did not jar, but blend in with the natural and out-of-doors appearance sought, no longer would owners wish to conceal their heaters (at a greater risk, often, of causing an overhead fire when the concealing material becomes overly close and overheats); no longer would they feel impelled to “put away”, hide, or store this appliance during the months it is not used. (And imagine the value of not having to find or pay for that storage space!) There is need for an ascetically pleasing patio heater for those who wish to enjoy, share with others, or simply take pride in, their estate, guest establishment, or meeting environs, where nature is gentled yet present.

SUMMARY

[0011] A decorative palm patio heater, that is, an outdoor patio heater which has a functional unit blended with elements that are designed to make the entire assemblage resemble a palm tree, that incorporates a stabilizing base, an ascending circular trunk (that tapers towards the top) surrounding the majority of the upright portion of the heater, a control shrouding assemblage, and a top fronds assembly which includes as its uppermost element a set of formed metal leaves circumferentially placed and balanced but held onto the central structural support by a single, axial retaining element, is taught, wherein the design serves both aesthetic and aesthetically functional purposes, and enables enhanced and extended enjoyment and use of outdoor areas by employing the decorative palm patio heater to offset less than perfectly clement weather or evening microclimate conditions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a patio heater suggestive of a palm tree growing out of the surface on which it is placed, showing the overall design, with the chief fuel element and central vertical element of the enclosed functional patio heater indicated.

[0013]FIG. 2 is a view of an alternative embodiment suggestive of a palm tree growing out of a planter box.

[0014]FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the entire top of a Palm Patio Heater, from the control shrouding assemblage to the unitary retaining element.

[0015] The broken lines showing the interior structure are for illustrative purposes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a patio heater suggestive of a palm tree growing out of the surface on which it is placed, showing the overall design, the chief fuel reserve (1), central vertical feed (2) elements of the enclosed functional patio heater, the stabilizing base (3), ascending circular trunk (4), and control-shrouding (5) elements, and the top fronds assembly (6) with unitary retaining element (27).

[0017]FIG. 2 is a view of an alternative embodiment suggestive of a palm tree growing out of a planter box, showing the box (8) and the top potting tray (9).

[0018]FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the entire top of a Palm Patio Heater. The bottommost piece is the control shrouding element (10), which surrounds the main burner (12) of the functional outdoor patio heater. The main burner then has extended separating legs that attach to the elevated heat ring (14). The inner screen of the control shrouding element is a perforated metal shroud (16) with openings (not shown) to increase airflow and visibility of the flame & reflections thereof. Ascending from the central bolt (18) and attached to it are the elements of the Top Fronds Assembly (20-27), namely, the first heat deflector (20), the second head deflector with heat duct (22), the set of leaves comprising the third heat deflector (24, only one leaf is shown), and the unitary top retaining element (27).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The preferred embodiment of the invention is designed to provide sufficient aesthetic cover to an otherwise bare utilitarian appliance. The shrouded heater turns rigid iron into an organic wonder of delight and beauty.

[0020] Outdoor temperatures often range from comfortably warm at mid-day to chilly in the evenings. Popular demand, and an attractive locale, give incentive for homeowners to create a backyard patio, or for restaurant owners to provide facilities for outdoor (patio) dining. However, the existence of such facilities is predicated on their efficient use, which is somewhat marginal unless steps are taken to insure the comfort of the users throughout a substantial portion of the entire day and seasons, including the cooler hours and times.

[0021] To this end, outdoor patios are often provided with radiant heaters. Some burn natural gas or propane gas. Heaters of this type are available from a number of manufacturers. A typical heater of this type is approximately 93 inches tall. The combustion chamber is supported by a hollow column that extends upward from the floor, and a reflector in the shape of an inverted dish is located above the combustion chamber for the purpose of reflecting radiant heat downward that would otherwise travel skyward. Others use electric radiators, and their shape and height are similar.

[0022] One approach, used by Clark, et. al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,964,233 combined a patio heater and a large beach umbrella. Those inventors noted that one design need was to ensure that those parts of the structure which can be reached by people seated or passing by the unit must be maintained at a safe temperature—that is, a temperature that will permit the reachable portions to be touched safely. Their solution was to use a cloth umbrella which prevented radiant heat from diffusing to the reachable area. Unfortunately, however, the intrusiveness of the utilitarian patio heater was in no way ameliorated by the additional artificiality of a beach umbrella, in their invention.

[0023] The preferred embodiment of the invention is best described by detailing its 4 different basic elements, which encompass and incorporate any of a number of existing standard patio heaters. These 4 basic elements are: (1) the stabilizing base; (2) the ascending circular trunk; (3) the control shrouding assemblage; and (4) the top fronds assembly. Each of these is described below.

[0024] 1. The Stabilizing Base. One problem with existing patio heaters is that their upper metal elements, situated at the end of a long lever-arm of the central upright, provide potential instability. Two distinct embodiments of the stabilizing base are, for the palm patio heater, (a) the Established Palm; and (b) the Planter Box Palm.

[0025] (a) The Established Palm (FIG. 1) resembles an existing palm growing straight from the ground. The stabilizing base is solid and heavy, chiefly from its bottommost part, which is a plate of heavy metal (3). In the preferred embodiment, it is a circular cut plate steel. This plate has a protective coat to prevent it from rusting and patio floors from staining. In one enhancement, the plate has a predrilled off-center hole that allows a user to pipe natural gas directly to the Established Palm. From the circular plate emanate vertical uprights (5 in the preferred embodiment, not shown), to which the decorative “palm bark” of the ascending circular trunk is attached. In the preferred embodiment, between one pair of these verticals is a track for a utility door into the base for changing propane canisters or checking the fixed gas pipe connection. The Established Palm has no wheels, is durable, heavy and decorative, and does not need to be removed during the season or time in which the Palm Patio Heater is not used.

[0026] (b) The Planter Box Palm (FIG. 2) resembles a wooden planter box out of which a slightly less tall palm tree is growing. The overall height of the two versions does not have to and generally does not vary; only the bottom few feet are different in their form and, so a slight extent, function. One side of the planter box (8) incorporates a utility door (not shown) through which empty fuel canisters may be removed and fully charged ones installed. The Planter Box Palm also incorporates as its bottommost element a plate of heavy metal, in the preferred embodiment, cut plate steel. This plate may be circular (to save on manufacturing costs for the different embodiments) or otherwise, but does not extend beyond the outer limit of the planter box. In one enhancement, the bottom plate has a predrilled off-center hole that allows a user to pipe natural gas directly to the Planter Box Palm. In its preferred embodiment the planter box wood is pressure treated lumber and stained in two durable finishes, redwood and light wood finishes. The top of the planter box serves as potting tray (9) for small plants if desired (succulents are suggested); but this potting tray can also be filled with white sand around the palm, and thus serve as an ashtray. The Planter Box Palm also has no wheels, is durable, heavy and decorative, and does not need to be removed during the season or time in which the Palm Patio Heater is not used.

[0027] In both these embodiments, and others, year-round the decorative palm aesthetic will continue to function. Furthermore, the utility door, not being obvious, not only avoids interfering with the aesthetics of the object but also provides protection of a vulnerable join for the flammables or energy connection.

[0028] (2) The Ascending Circular Trunk. The trunk is preferentially constructed of powder coated steel or copper, depending on the style requested by a purchaser. A series of sized “palm bark” elements are fabricated from precision cut steel or copper and wrapped around the 5 vertical uprights, and then the steel or copper is tack welded or soldered starting at the base and working upward with overlapping layers to resemble palm bark. In one variation of the Existing Palm embodiment, the bottom “palm bark” elements differ in that a utility door is made on one side, preferably with concealed hinges and latch, through which empty fuel canisters may be removed and fully charged ones installed.

[0029] The “palm bark” elements provide a durable and easily cleanable surface which can simply be wiped down. Those units incorporating the copper style will see the ascending circular trunk naturally verdigris over time, enhancing the aesthetic functionality of the unit. Unlike many other outdoor appliances, the appearance of such units improves with age and use.

[0030] (3) The control shrouding assemblage. Above the ascending circular trunk and resting on or attached thereto is a control shrouding assemblage, which contains an access opening through which access is provided for the patio heater's controls (typically, an igniter and gas valve for moderating intensity of heat). This access opening is kept inconspicuous to keep with the aesthetics of this product, chiefly by providing for the access opening a separable and movable cover element which is easily shifted to give immediate and temporary access to the controls. The separable and removable cover element returns into place, thereby concealing the controls when they are not being accessed. The controls are thus protected by the control shrouding element from ignorant meddling, inadvertent misuse, or even damage (if the Palm Patio is knocked or otherwise falls over), as the concealment keeps the controls out of sight and thus out of mind for most who (unauthorized, or unwisely) might wish to fiddle or play with the appliance.

[0031] The mechanics of a patio heater seem quite simple. Gas-fueled heaters use natural gas or propane, which is fed through a regulator up into a thermocouple to a gas valve, and then through a mercury (tip over) safety switch into a gas heat ring. An igniter is used to provide the spark to start the fire. The gas from the gas ring is lit and heats surrounding perforated steel which turns red hot and emanates heat. Electrical heaters are simpler, having radiant elements much like a toaster. The top shroud or cover deflects the heat down and keep a substantial amount of heat within the comfort zone. Most patio heaters glow red without showing any sign of fire or flame; in fact, many are designed to conceal the bright heating area from view, as neither a blue-yellow gas flame nor a red-white glowing electrical element appear natural.

[0032] The Patio Palm works in much the same way, but the gas-fueled and preferred embodiment (FIGS. 1 & 2) incorporates elements to provide a “Tiki Effect” as part of the functional aesthetics. It includes an elevated heat ring (14) and “Tiki Windows” (17) within the perforated metal shroud that surrounds the heating element. The elevated heat ring (14) allows the gas to combine with more oxygen, turning the gas from a blue flame into a dancing orange flame. The “Tiki Windows” are openings which are cut out of the perforated heat absorbing metal shroud that allow the observer to partake in the wondrous dancing flame above the ignition point (which will be blue) in its extended flame area (which will be red). The combination of elevating the heating ring and providing openings for additional air flow creates more variation in the burning, making the flame flicker, dance, and change color with the vagaries of the immediate air flow, thus creating the appearance of a natural fire rather than a man-made and tightly-controlled industrial burner. The perforated metal shroud has nearly twice the steel content of any existing patio burner cover, and differs from the metal alloy used elsewhere, because of its proximity to the flame. It is not the durability of the metal which provides the function, here, but the fact that red-hot steel has greater thermal conductivity, especially when perforated to allow increased air flow, than solid and low-steel content alloys.

[0033] (d) The Top Fronds Assembly. Atop the patio palm exists a very utilitarian, although apparently aesthetically-determined design of primary, secondary, and tertiary heat shields which resemble palm leaves, but which provide easy disassembly and assembly for cleaning, care and maintenance. Any and all patio heaters suffer from the build up of excess carbon that eventually clogs and dirties this appliance. Most common heaters are difficult to disassemble and clean. The Palm Patio provides a central mount for all top mount elements with a unitary retaining element (in the preferred embodiment, one large wing nut) provided for easy removal and cleaning. Under the top mounted elements the perforated heat screen is easily removable with 3 wing nuts.

[0034] Immediately above the control shrouding assemblage, and specifically above the elevated heat ring (14) is the first heat deflector (20). This piece is a convex dome shaped piece of stainless steel or copper with a wide central portion having a central axial hole, that fits over the central bolt (18). In the preferred embodiment the first heat deflector is approximately 42″ in diameter and cut with 5 tapered leaves spaced symmetrically about and extending from the center portion. The center portion is relatively large and the leave shapes slight, but the whole is only one and a half to five times as wide as the control shrouding assemblage.

[0035] Next above is the second heat deflector (22). The second heat deflector is cut from flat steel in same five leaf fashion. In the preferred embodiment it, too, is approximately 48″ in diameter; generally, it will have the same diameter as the first heat deflector. However, its leaves are more visible than the first, are stamped with texture and incorporate a specialized center ridge (on the top, forming a corresponding upward cleft on the bottom) of each leaf leading to the smaller central portion. These central ridges provide a path or escape for the heat to travel through, and each ridge empties into the comfort zone. The second heat deflector also has a central axial hole, that fits over the central bolt (18). This second heat deflector is offset from the first heat deflector to provide coverage of space which would otherwise let the heat escape.

[0036] The next, and next-to-final portion of the top fronds assemblage, is a set of individual formed leaves (24) which form the third heat deflector, each of which has a hole in the stem to fit over the central bolt (18) In the preferred embodiment there are again five leaves, which are offset from both the first and second heat deflectors.

[0037] The three layers of heat deflectors work better that the standard single pressed tin top commonly on the market. Each layer acts as blanket keeping the majority of heat in the comfort zone.

Other Embodiments/Enhancements

[0038] The scope of this invention includes any combination of the elements from the different embodiments disclosed in this specification, and is not limited to the specifics of the preferred embodiment or any of the alternative embodiments mentioned above. The leaves, trunk elements, or other parts may be made of any ceramic, metal, or complex combination thereof which is durable, heat-resistant, heat-conductive, and sturdy enough for continuous outdoor exposure. There may be variations in the number and offset of leaves, or leaf-shaped elements in each of the heat deflectors, or indeed in the number of heat deflectors, and there may be a wide variation in the shapes and forms of the leaves and trunk elements. One variation would be a unitary ascending central trunk formed out of metal which is perforated with a ‘v’ shaped pattern of openings and then stretched to form a palm-like appearing perforated metal trunk shape.

[0039] Individual user configurations and embodiments of this invention may contain all, or less than all, of the elements disclosed in the specification according to the needs and desires of that user. The claims stated herein should be read as including those elements which are not necessary to the invention yet are in the prior art and are necessary to the overall function of that particular claim, and should be read as including, to the maximum extent permissible by law, known functional equivalents to the elements disclosed in the specification, even though those functional equivalents are not exhaustively detailed herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8137769Feb 25, 2009Mar 20, 2012RLP Management Holdings, LLCLandscape concealment structure
US8542987 *Jul 5, 2011Sep 24, 2013Allgreen Designs Co., Ltd.Heater
US8674266Aug 22, 2008Mar 18, 2014Fis Design, LlcHeater covers and methods of using the same
US20110073095 *Jun 10, 2009Mar 31, 2011John BechtoldPatio Heater Side Heat Director
US20120263443 *Jul 5, 2011Oct 18, 2012Allgreen Designs Co., Ltd.Heater
US20140263262 *Mar 13, 2014Sep 18, 2014Fis Design, LlcHeater covers and methods of using the same
WO2009029537A1 *Aug 22, 2008Mar 5, 2009Fis Design LlcHeater covers and methods of using the same
WO2009146421A1 *May 29, 2009Dec 3, 2009Bechtold Fleming Designs, LlcPatio heater double dome infrared heat reflector/converter
Classifications
U.S. Classification126/92.0AC, 126/92.00B
International ClassificationF24C1/10, F24C15/06
Cooperative ClassificationF24C15/06, F24C1/10
European ClassificationF24C15/06, F24C1/10