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Publication numberUS20090133957 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/986,641
Publication dateMay 28, 2009
Filing dateNov 26, 2007
Priority dateNov 26, 2007
Publication number11986641, 986641, US 2009/0133957 A1, US 2009/133957 A1, US 20090133957 A1, US 20090133957A1, US 2009133957 A1, US 2009133957A1, US-A1-20090133957, US-A1-2009133957, US2009/0133957A1, US2009/133957A1, US20090133957 A1, US20090133957A1, US2009133957 A1, US2009133957A1
InventorsRobert Lee Owens
Original AssigneeRobert Lee Owens
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sound attenuating air vent
US 20090133957 A1
Abstract
An device that allows air flow while attenuating sound for the purposes of allowing air to flow between rooms in a structure such as a house or building. The device consists of an air passageway that attenuates sound and covers at each end of the passageway. The covers allow air flow while providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Multiple embodiments support pre and post construction scenarios as well access to the interior of the device for cleaning purposes.
Images(10)
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Claims(22)
1) A ventilation device that facilitates the flow of air between rooms within a house or building comprising
a. an enclosure sized to fit in interior walls typical of houses and buildings
b. the said enclosure having a chamber and a first side, the said first side defining a first aperture and the said enclosure defining a second aperture, the said first aperture and said second aperture positioned so that air enters said first aperture, normal or approximately normal relative to the said first side, through said first aperture and is redirected parallel or near parallel relative to said first side to exit said second aperture.
c. sound attenuating material placed in such a manner as to contact air flowing through said device
wherein the said device allows air flow while attenuating sound.
2) the device of claim 1 with a cover over said aperture that allows air flow
3) the device of claim 2 where said cover is removable
4) the device of claim 2 where said cover has an access door
5) the device of claim 1 where said chamber has baffles
6) the device of claim 1 where said chamber consists of a plurality of smaller chambers
7) the device of claim 1 having at least one louver that rotates to open or close air entry way to said aperture
8) the device of claim 1 having a sliding panel that opens or closes air entry way to said aperture
9) the device of claim 1 having a pliable material placed around said aperture forming a seal between said aperture and said interior wall.
10) the device of claim 1 where the side defining the said second aperture is opposite to said first side wherein the air enters the said first aperture on one side of said interior wall and exits the said second aperture on the opposite side of said interior wall
11) the device of claim 1 where the side defining the said second aperture is orthogonal or approximately orthogonal to said first side wherein an application of this configuration would include two said devices where air would flow through one said device, through the interior of said interior wall, and through the other said device exiting on the opposite side of said interior wall.
12) a ventilation device that facilitates the flow of air between rooms within a house or building comprising
a. an enclosure sized to fit in interior walls typical of houses and buildings
b. the said enclosure having a chamber and a first side, the said first side defining a first aperture and the said enclosure defining a second aperture, the said first aperture and said second aperture positioned so that air enters said first aperture, normal or approximately normal relative to the said first side, through said first aperture and is redirected parallel or near parallel relative to said first side to exit said second aperture.
c. the said chamber constructed of sound attenuating material
wherein the said device allows air flow while attenuating sound.
13) the device of claim 12 with a cover over said aperture that allows air flow
14) the device of claim 13 where said cover is removable
15) the device of claim 13 where said cover has an access door
16) the device of claim 12 where said chamber has baffles
17) the device of claim 12 where said chamber consists of a plurality of smaller chambers
18) the device of claim 12 having at least one louver that rotates to open or close air entry way to said aperture
19) the device of claim 12 having a sliding panel that opens or closes air entry way to said aperture
20) the device of claim 12 having a pliable material placed around said aperture forming a seal between said aperture and said interior wall.
21) the device of claim 12 where the side defining the said second aperture is opposite to said first side wherein the air enters the said first aperture on one side of said interior wall and exits the said second aperture on the opposite side of said interior wall
22) the device of claim 12 where the side defining the said second aperture is orthogonal or approximately orthogonal to said first side wherein an application of this configuration would include two said devices where air would flow through one said device, through the interior of said interior wall, and through the other said device exiting on the opposite side of said interior wall.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    Disclosure Document #608522, Quiet Vent
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
  • [0002]
    Not Applicable
  • SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
  • [0003]
    Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    1. Field of Invention
  • [0005]
    This invention relates to air vents; specifically, air vents that allow air flow while attenuating sound.
  • [0006]
    2. Background of the Invention
  • [0007]
    A very common form of an air conditioning system for enclosed structures (i.e. houses/buildings) relies on the circulation of air. Air is pulled from the interior of the structure and passed through a heating/cooling air handler and then is returned to the interior of the structure. The air intake/return is usually a centrally located large vent attached to a large duct that feeds air to the air handler. The air handler forces air out smaller exhaust ducts that terminate in each room of the structure. In some cases, the rooms have multiple exhaust vents. The problem with this approach is that when doors are closed, the airflow is restricted. Specifically, the air exiting exhaust vents in a room must return to the large centrally located intake vent. If doors are closed, the return path is usually restricted to the crack between the bottom of the door and the floor. This restricted airflow results in greater air pressure in the rooms, more load on the air-conditioning system, and more leakage of air through the windows and air ducts due to the higher pressure.
  • [0008]
    The restricted air flow problem is further exacerbated for the case when one door leads to multiple rooms. For example, a master suite could consist of a bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closets, each of which could have one or more exhaust vents. If there is not an air return vent in the master bedroom, then all of the return air must pass through the entry doorway to the master suite and then back to the main return vent. If this entry door is closed, it is unreasonable to expect that the crack between the bottom of the door and the floor would be sufficient to pass the necessary air.
  • [0009]
    A possible solution to the restricted air flow problem would be to have both exhaust and return vents in each room. However, return vents in each room would be much more expensive than one centrally located return vent. This is because there would have to be many small return ducts instead of the one large centrally located return vent. Furthermore, the additional return ducts would not be feasible for limited space conditions, such as when the ducts must be located in the space between floors.
  • [0010]
    Another approach to solving the restricted air flow problem would be to place vents in the walls separating rooms. The vents would allow air to flow between rooms. The problem with this approach is that the currently available vents allow sound to easily travel between rooms. Sound easily traveling between rooms is unacceptable in many cases because it defeats the privacy reason for closing the doors between rooms.
  • [0011]
    3. Objects and Advantages
  • [0012]
    This invention remedies the previously mentioned problems by providing a vent that allows air flow while attenuating sound.
  • [0013]
    This sound attenuating vent has the following advantages:
      • a) Provides air flow between rooms while attenuating sound. The air flow is provided even when doors are closed. The attenuated sound ensures privacy.
      • b) Provides a low cost way of ensuring unrestricted air flow within a structure. The cost is much lower than running return ducts from each room back to the air handler.
      • c) Increases the efficiency of air conditioning systems by ensuring the free flow air.
      • d) Reduces the load on air conditioning fans by allowing free flow of air between rooms.
      • e) Reduces the leakage of air through windows and ducts by reducing back pressures caused by restricted air flows.
      • f) Provides more consistent across room temperatures by allowing the free flow of air.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0020]
    In accordance with the present invention, a vent that allows the flow of air while attenuating sound.
  • DRAWINGS—FIGURES
  • [0021]
    FIG. 1 shows the front view of the version of the vent with horizontal vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 2 shows the right view of the version of the vent with horizontal vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 3 shows the top view of the version of the vent with horizontal vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 4 shows a section view of the version of the vent with horizontal vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 5 shows the front view of the version of the vent with vertical vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 6 shows the right view of the version of the vent with vertical vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 7 shows a top view of the version of the vent with vertical vent covers and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 8 shows a front view of the version of the vent that would require two pieces to complete the installation and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 9 shows a right view of the version of the vent that would require two pieces to complete the installation and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 10 shows a top view of the version of the vent that would require two pieces to complete the installation and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 11 shows a section view of the version of the vent that would require two pieces to complete the installation and that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 12 shows the front view of the vent that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 13 shows the top view of the vent that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 14 shows the section view of the vent that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 15 shows the front view of the vent with closable louvers that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 16 shows the top view of the vent with closable louvers that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 17 shows the section view of the vent with closable louvers that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 18 shows the front view of the vent with a hinged door that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 19 shows the top view of the vent with a hinged door that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 20 shows a section view of the vent with a hinged door that would typically be installed post construction.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 21 shows the front view of the vent with tubular air passageways that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 22 shows the right view of the vent with tubular air passageways that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 23 shows the top view of the vent with tubular air passageways that would typically be installed during construction.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 24 shows an installed front view of the FIG. 1 vent.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 25 shows an installed section view of the FIG. 1 vent.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 26 shows an installed front view of the FIG. 12 vent.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 27 shows an installed section view of the FIG. 12 vent.
  • DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS
  • [0048]
    10 vent embodiment that would be installed during construction and that has horizontal vents
  • [0049]
    20 removable cover, horizontal version
  • [0050]
    30 louvers
  • [0051]
    35 air chamber
  • [0052]
    40 mounting holes
  • [0053]
    50 cover attachment mechanism
  • [0054]
    55 pliable material
  • [0055]
    60 sound attenuating material
  • [0056]
    65 vent aperture
  • [0057]
    70 vent embodiment that would be installed during construction and that has vertical vents
  • [0058]
    75 baffle
  • [0059]
    80 removable cover, vertical version
  • [0060]
    90 vent embodiment that would be installed during construction and that would require two pieces per installation.
  • [0061]
    100 vent embodiment with removable cover that would be installed post construction
  • [0062]
    110 vent cover, post construction version
  • [0063]
    120 attachment screw
  • [0064]
    130 front vent frame
  • [0065]
    140 back vent frame
  • [0066]
    150 attachment mechanism
  • [0067]
    160 vent embodiment with fixed cover with closable louvers and that would be installed post construction
  • [0068]
    170 front frame with integrated cover
  • [0069]
    180 back frame with integrated cover
  • [0070]
    190 mechanism for opening/closing louvers
  • [0071]
    200 vent embodiment with hinged door that would be installed post construction
  • [0072]
    210 hinge
  • [0073]
    220 door
  • [0074]
    230 front frame for hinged door
  • [0075]
    240 back frame for hinged door
  • [0076]
    250 latching mechanism
  • [0077]
    260 vent embodiment with tubular air passageway
  • [0078]
    270 air passage tubes
  • [0079]
    280 wall covering material
  • [0080]
    290 wall stud
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1-4—PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0081]
    A preferred embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 (front view), FIG. 2 (right view), FIG. 3 (top view), and FIG. 4 (section view). This vent 10 is intended to be installed during construction. After construction, the only visible parts would be the vent covers 20. Air would flow through the front vent cover 20, through the chamber 35 (i.e. interior of the vent), which would typically be covered with sound attenuating material 60, and finally out the back vent cover 20. In some cases, due to the convoluted pathway and the acoustical characteristics of the construction materials, the sound attenuating material 60 may not be necessary. The vent cover 20 has louvers 30 which allow air flow through the vent cover 20. The vent cover 20 is removable providing access for cleaning, and is held in place by attaching mechanisms 50. There are many forms of attaching mechanisms 50 that are typically used to hold vent covers 20 in place. Any attaching mechanisms 50 would be suitable for the application of this invention. The pliable material 55 surrounding the vent apertures 65 serves the purposes of providing a seal between the apertures 65 and the interior wall 280 of a house or building. Even though the pliable material 55 is applicable to all embodiments, it is only shown in the preferred embodiment. The vent 10 would be attached to wall studs via putting nails or screws through the mounting holes 40.
  • FIGS. 5-7—Alternate Embodiment
  • [0082]
    An alternate embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 5 (front view), FIG. 6 (right view), and FIG. 7 (top view). This vent 70 is intended to be installed during construction. Its function is the same as the vent 10 in FIG. 1, except the vent covers 80 shown in FIG. 5 are oriented vertically instead of horizontally. The vertical arrangement provides for further installation flexibility. Additionally, there is a baffle 75 that further convolutes the air passageway.
  • FIGS. 8-11—Alternate Embodiment
  • [0083]
    An alternate embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 8 (front view), FIG. 9 (right view). FIG. 10 (top view), and FIG. 11 (section view). This vent 90 is intended to be installed during construction and would require two pieces per installation. One vent 90 would be installed with the vent cover 20 facing the interior of the room and the other vent 90 would be installed with the vent cover 20 facing the exterior of the room. Air would flow from the interior facing vent 90 through the space within the wall to the exterior facing vent 90. This would accommodate greater flexibility in positioning the vents 90. For example, one vent 90 could be placed near the floor on the interior side of the room and the other vent 90 could be placed near the ceiling on the exterior side of the room.
  • FIGS. 12-14—Alternate Embodiment
  • [0084]
    An alternate embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 12 (front view), FIG. 13 (top view), and FIG. 14 (section view). This vent 100 is intended to be installed post construction. This vent 100 consists of a front frame 130, back frame 140, front cover 110, and back cover 110. The front frame 130 is attached to the back frame 140 via screws 120. Air would flow through the louvers 30 on the front cover 110, through the interior of the vent, which is covered with sound attenuating material 60, and through the louvers 30 on the back cover 110. The front frame 130 is attached to the back frame 140 via screws 120. The covers 110 are attached to the frame via the attaching mechanisms 150. There are many forms of attaching mechanisms 150 that are typically used to hold vent covers 110 in place. Any attaching mechanisms 150 would be suitable for the application of this invention.
  • FIGS. 15-17—Alternate Embodiment
  • [0085]
    An alternate embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 15 (front view), FIG. 16 (top view), and FIG. 17 (section view). This vent 160 is intended to be installed post construction. This is similar to the vent 100 illustrated in FIG. 12, except the frame 170, 180 incorporates the louvers 30 and the vent 160 adds a mechanism 190 for opening/closing the louvers. There are many forms of mechanisms 190 that are typically used for opening/closing louvers 30. Any opening/closing mechanism 190 would be suitable for the application of this invention.
  • FIGS. 18-20—Alternate Embodiment
  • [0086]
    An alternate embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 18 (front view), FIG. 19 (top view), and FIG. 20 (section view). This vent 200 is intended to be installed post construction. This vent 200 is similar to the vent 160 illustrated in FIG. 15, except a hinged door 220 has been added. The hinged door 220 provides for easier access for cleaning purposes.
  • FIGS. 21-23—Alternate Embodiment
  • [0087]
    An alternate embodiment of the vent of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 21 (front view), FIG. 22 (right view), and FIG. 23 (top view). This vent 260 provides tubular air passageways. Tubular air passageways are applicable to any of the other embodiments. Although the vent covers 20 shown in FIGS. 1-4 are not shown in FIGS. 21-23, they are applicable to the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 21-23.
  • [0088]
    Operation—FIGS. 24-27
  • [0089]
    The operation of the vent entails installing the vent and the subsequent cleaning of the vent interior. FIGS. 24 (front view) and 25 (section view) illustrate the installation of the vent 10 (see FIGS. 1-4) embodiment. The vent 10 would be installed between wall studs 290 and would be covered by the wall covering 280. The final step would be to attach the vent covers 20.
  • [0090]
    FIGS. 26 (front view) and 27 (section view) illustrate the installation of the vent 100 (see FIGS. 12-14) embodiment. This vent 100 typically would be installed post construction. To install, a rectangular cutout would be made in the wall covering 280. This cutout would be positioned between wall studs 290. The front frame 130 would be positioned through one side of the cutout area and the back frame 140 would be positioned through the other side of the cutout. The two frames 130, 140 would be attached via screws 120. Finally, the covers 110 would be attached.
  • [0091]
    The various embodiments of the vents would require cleaning. This is necessary because as the air flows past the sound attenuating material 60 dust would collect. All of the embodiments provided access to the vent interior, which would accommodate cleaning. For the embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1-11, removal of the vent covers 20 would provide access to the interior. For the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 12-14, removal of the vent covers 100 would provide access to the interior. For the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 15-17, access to the interior would be provide by removing the attachment screws 120 and disassembling the frames 170, 180. For the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 18-29, access to the interior would be provide via the hinged doors 220. The vent covers are not shown for the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 21-23; however, vent covers are applicable to this embodiment in a similar fashion as the vent covers 20 depicted in FIGS. 1-4. Access to the interior of the FIGS. 21-23 embodiment would be via the same method as used for the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1-4.
  • [0092]
    Advantages
  • [0093]
    Based on the description above, the advantages of the sound attenuating vent follow:
      • a) This invention provides an inexpensive method of allowing air to easily circulate through all rooms of a house or building while attenuating sound; and therefore, maintaining the intended privacy of rooms. This approach is much cheaper that having a return vent in each room. In general, a return event in each room is both cost and space prohibitive. Usually, there is not sufficient space in crawl spaces, between floors or in attics to accommodate the additional duct work.
      • b) This invention increases the efficiency of air conditioning systems by allowing the free flow of air.
      • c) This invention reduces the load and ultimately increases the service life of air conditioning components by allowing the free flow of air.
      • d) This invention decreases the backpressure which is normally caused by a closed door limiting air flow to the air conditioning return vent. The reduced back pressure results in less air leakage through windows. Also, the reduced back pressure decreases the leakage of air from the air-conditioning ducts.
      • e) This invention provides a solution for both pre-construction and post-construction installations.
      • f) This invention provides an easy way to clean the interiors of the sound attenuating vents.
  • Conclusion, Ramifications, and Scope
  • [0100]
    This invention provides a device that allows the free flow of air between rooms in a house or building while maintaining privacy between rooms and not requiring additional ductwork. This invention is applicable to pre and post construction applications and for both cases is a very cost effective solution.
  • [0101]
    Although the description above contains many specifics, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the vent covers and internal air passage ways could be a variety of shapes such as but not limited to square, rectangular, triangular, round, and oval. Also, there are unlimited variations on the air passageway configurations and sound attenuating approaches. For example, additionally, the air passage could be a convoluted tube of various shapes or multiple smaller convoluted tubes of various shapes. For this approach, additional sound attenuating material may not be necessary. Another case where sound attenuating material may not be necessary would be if the passageway structure was made of sound absorbing material such as Styrofoam or one of many other materials that absorb sound. There are numerous mechanisms for closing the airflow path through vents. Some examples include louvers, sliding panels, and rotating panels. Any available mechanism for closing the airflow path through a vent would be applicable.
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Referenced by
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US7980357 *Feb 2, 2007Jul 19, 2011Officepower, Inc.Exhaust silencer for microturbines
US8069947Apr 21, 2010Dec 6, 2011The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary, Department Of Health And Human ServicesSound attenuation canopy
US8316986Nov 22, 2011Nov 27, 2012The United States Of America, As Represented By The Secretary Of The Department Of Health And Human ServicesSound attenuation canopy
US8336672 *Dec 14, 2006Dec 25, 2012Bard Manufacturing CompanyAir treatment and sound reduction system
US9402333 *Mar 3, 2015Jul 26, 2016Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.Ventilation denoising device and ventilation denoising system
US9581353 *Jan 23, 2009Feb 28, 2017Valeo Climate Control CorporationHVAC system including a noise-reducing feature
US20080185219 *Feb 2, 2007Aug 7, 2008Officepower, LlcExhaust Silencer for Microturbines
US20090020358 *Dec 14, 2006Jan 22, 2009Irvin Lee DerksAir treatment and sound reduction system
US20100190431 *Jan 23, 2009Jul 29, 2010Darius KurniawanHvac system including a noise-reducing feature
US20150101883 *Oct 10, 2013Apr 16, 2015Yonghui XuSound attenuation module and oversized grill
US20150181759 *Mar 3, 2015Jun 25, 2015Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.Ventilation denoising device and ventilation denoising system
US20160232885 *Apr 18, 2016Aug 11, 2016Noiseout Inc.Perforation Acoustic Muffler Assembly and Method of Reducing Noise Transmission Through Objects
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Classifications
U.S. Classification181/224, 454/237
International ClassificationF24F7/04, E04F17/04
Cooperative ClassificationE04F17/04, F24F13/24
European ClassificationF24F13/24, E04F17/04