US 3253820 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 31, 1966 L. w. SEIL 3,253,820
HUMIDIFIER Original Filed Aug. 28, 1961 2 SheetsSheet 1 May 31, 1966 L. w. sen.
HUMIDIFIER a Sheets-Sheet 2 Original Filed Aug. 28, 1961 United States Patent 3,253,820 HUMIDIFIER Lewis W. Seil, Grayslake, Ill., assignor to Cory Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Continuation of application Ser. No. 134,399, Aug. 28, 1961. This application Apr. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 451,680 7 Claims. (Cl. 261-27) This application comprises a continuation of my copending application Serial No. 134,399, filed August 28, 1961, assigned to the assignee hereof, and now abandoned.
This invention relates to humidifiers and in particular to humidifiers for humidifying rooms such as in homes or ofiices.
To promote health, humidifiers are utilized in living spaces and the like to maintain a desired amount of moisture in the air. In addition to precluding irritation to persons in such rooms resulting from dry air, such humidification is valuable in properly maintaining furnishings, woodwork, books, etc. For improved flexibility and facility of use, humidifiers have been developed which are portable, permitting use selectively indifferent spaces as desired. Such humidifiers are conventionally provided with electrically operable means for delivering suitable quantities of water vapor into the surrounding atmosphere to maintain the surrounding atmosphere at a preselected level. The present invention is concerned with such humidifiers and comprehends a new and improved arrangement thereof providing improved facilitated operation.
Thus, a principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved humidifier apparatus.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus having new and improved control means. I
A further object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus having new and improved means for precluding operation of the apparatus whenever the level of liquid provided therein for humidifying the air is below a preselected level.
Still another object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus including new and improved means providing desirable indication of the level of humidifying liquid therein.
A still further object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus having new and improved means for delivering liquid from a liquid supply to a stream of air for humidifying the air.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus wherein the liquid delivering means includes a conduit extending from the reservoir, a pump for forcibly moving liquid from the reservoir to adjacent the stream of air, a control preventing operation of the delivering means whenever the level of liquid in the reservoir is below a preselected level, and an indicator device responsive to the level of liquid in the reservoir to indicate whether the level of the liquid in the reservoir is above or below said preselected level:
A yet further object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus having new and improved means for indicating whether the apparatus is in the ON arrangement and suflicient water is available for suitably humidifying the air, or whether the apparatus is deenergized because of a low condition of the water in the reservoir thereof.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus having means for isolating the humidistat from the humidifying means and venting the humidistat space to exteriorly of the cabinet at a point spaced from the flow of humidified air therefrom.
Still another object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus arranged for facilitated maintename.-
A further object of the invention is to provide such a humidifier apparatus wherein the mechanism is arranged for removal as a unit from the external enclosure for facilitated maintenance thereof.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a humidifier apparatus embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical section thereof taken substantially along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical, transverse section thereof taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating the electrical circuitry of the apparatus.
In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, a humidifier apparatus generally designated 10 is shown to comprise an external cabinet 11 having a generally rectangular configuration provided with acover panel 12 having a pair of openings 13 across each of which is removably disposed a pair of louvers 14. Each of the end walls 15 of the cabinet 11 is provided with a plurality of air inlet openings 16 for delivering air from surrounding the cabinet 11 to within the cabinet for humidification of the air therein. To facilitate movement of the humidifier, the cabinet may be provided with a set of swivel wheels 17 carried on a bottom wall 18 thereof.
Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 2 and 3, the lower portion of cabinet 11 efiectively defines a reservoir 19 arranged to hold a body of water 20. A horizontal dividing wall 21 extends across the interior of the cabinet to define the upper boundary of the reservoir 19. The dividing wall 21 is carried on a pair of angles 22 fixed to the front wall 23 and rear wall 24 of cabinet 11 respectively and comprises the support for the apparatus within the cabinet. More specifically, the mid-portion of wall 21 comprises a shallow pan 25 provided with a peripheral upstanding flange 26, the opposite side portions of which are extended upwardly to define a pair of baflles 27 each having an upper end portion 27a secured to the upper end of the side walls 15 by a suitable securing device 29. As best seen in FIG. 3, each baffle is provided with a pair of side flanges 28. A pair of filters 30 extends vertically upwardly at the opposite sides of pan 25, being retained at their lower ends by an angle clip 31 and the flange 26. At their upper ends, the filters are retained by clips 32 secured to a side wall 33 of a frame 34 extending across the interior of the cabinet between the upper ends 27a of the baffles 27. As shown in FIG. 3, the filters 30 may be provided with an upstanding projection 35 adapted to be retained between clip 32 and a trough portion 36 of wall 33. Trough 36 is providedwith a plurality of openings 37 for passing water downwardly onto the filters 30 to saturate the filters with water for delivery to the air to be humidified.
Delivery of water from the body 20 thereof in reservoir 19 to troughs 36 is eflected i-n humidifier 10 by means of a pump 38 carried on a bracket 39 secured to the dividing wall 21 to extend downwardly into the \body of water 20. Pump 38 is driven 'by an electric motor 40 mounted on a bracket 41 secured to and upstanding from the dividing wall 21. The dividing wall defines an opening 42 in the center thereof through which extends a shaft 43 connecting motor 40 and pump 38. A fan 44 is secured to shaft 43, by a suitable coupling 45, within opening 42 to be driven by the motor 40 suitably to draw air through inlet 3 opening 16 and force the air through filters 30, wherein the air is humidified, to pass outwardly from apparatus through the openings 13 in the top wall 12. Concurrently, pump 38 delivers water from body 20 upwardly through a conduit 46 to a pair of delivery ducts 47 into troughs 36 for maintaining the filter 30 saturated.
As indicated briefly above, the present invention cornprehends an improved control in apparatus 10 of the air humidifying action. More specifically, the humidifierapparatus is provided with a manual indicator control generally designated 48 at the front of top wall 12. As best seen in FIG. 2, indicator control 48-comprises a pair of wheels 49 and 50 coaxially juxtaposed on an upright wall 51 within an upwardly opening enclosure 81 and accessible through an opening 52 in the top wall 12. Wheel 49 is fixedly carried and wheel 50 is rotatably carried on a forwardly extending shaft 53 of a conventional humidistat 54 carried at the rear of enclosure 51. Humidistats are well-known in the art, providing a switching action similar to that of a conventional thermostat except that the humidistats are humidity responsive rather than temperature responsive.
Wheel 49 comprises the means for turning the humid istat 54 on and off and for adjusting the setting of the humidistat 54 to the preselected setting. Wheel 50 com prises means for indicating the level of water in the reservoir 19 and is provided with a hub portion 55 to which is connected a connecting link 56 extending radially outwardly through the wheel and connected at its distal end to a pivot arm link 57 movably supported on a pivot 58. A float 59 is disposed in reservoir 19 to float on the body of water 20 therein and is provided with an upstanding rod '60 having its upper end 61 extend through a turned distal end 62 of pivot link 57 retained for movement with rod 60 by an upper collar retainer 63 spaced above a lower collar 64 on the rod 60.
Lower collar 64 controls an operating finger 67 of an electric switch 68 as a function of the axial displacement of the rod 60. More specifically, when the float 59 moves downwardly sufiiciently to engage collar 64 with the switch finger '67, the finger '67 is pivoted in a clockwise direction as seen in FIG. 3 to engage a movable contact 70 of switch 68 with a first fixed contact 69 thereof. Fixed contact 69 is connected to a lead 66 connected to the pilot light 87. The pilot light is further connected through a lead 88 to a fixed contact '89 of a second on-off switch 90 having a movable contact 91 connected to one power supply lead L1. Lead 88 is further connected to a second pilot light 92 further connected through a lead 93 to the motor 40 for driving fan 44. The motor 40 is further connected by a lead 94 to the humidistat 54, the humidistat being further connected to lead 88. Lead 93 is connected to a second fixed contact 94 of switch 68, movable contact-70 being biased into engagement with contact 94 at all times when the water level in reservoir 19 is above a preselected low level. The movable contact 70 is connected to the other power supply lead L2 to complete the electrical connections of the apparatus 10.
Thus, when leads L1 and L2 are connected to a suitable power source (not shown) .and the switch 90 is closed, motor 40 will be potentiated for operation under the control of humidistat 54 as long as the water level in the reservoir 19 is suflicient to maintain the rod 60 sufliciently upwardly to prevent engagement of collar 64 with switch finger 6-7. Concurrently, the pilot light 92 will be energized, as it is connected effectively. in parallel with the. series connection of the fan motor 40 and the humidistat 54. When the level of water 20 in reservoir 19 drops below the preselected level, however, the collar 64 engages the switch finger 67 to move contact 70 from contact 94 of switch 68 and engage contact 70 with contact 69 thereof. As the circuit between lead 93 and power supply lead L2 through switch contact 94 is broken and lead 88 now effectively shorts out pilot light 92 and fan motor 40, the fan motor and pilot light 92 are de-energized at this time. Concurrently, however, the pilot light 87 is energized.
Referring now more specifically to 'FIG. 4, pilot lights 92 and 87 may be seen to be disposed behind a transparent lens 71 fixed in an opening 72 provided in the front wall 23 of the cabinet 11. 'The pilot lights are carried in suitable sockets 73 secured in a bracket 74 which is, in turn, fixed to the lower end of a bracket 75 carrying the switch 68. A baffle 76 is mounted on the bracket 74 to extend vertically between the pilot lights 92 and 87 so that the pilot light 92 illuminates only the left-hand portion 77 of lens 71 and the pilot light 87 illuminates only the right-hand portion 78 of lens 71. Preferably left lens portion 77 has a color differing from the color of right lens portion 78, herein left lens portion 77 is translucent white and right lens portion 78 is translucent red. Further, a legend 79, herein ON, is provided on lens portion 77 and a legend 80, herein MT is provided on lens portion 78. A name plate 81 may be provided on the front of the wall 23 to surround the lens as best seen in FIG. 1.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the upwardly opening channelshaped wall 82 extends across the interior of cabinet 11 to divide the interior thereof into a lower space 95 and an upper space 96, effectively isolated from lower space 95 as it is closed at the front end by wall 51. Humidistat 54 is disposed within upper space 96 and, thus, is effectively isolated from the high moisture air in space 95. A vent 97 is provided at the rear of space 96 opening outwardly through the rear cabinet wall 22. A support bracket 98 extends downwardly from wall 82 to bracket 75 as best seen in FIG. 2.
Wheel 50 is provided with a plurality of peripheral markings 83 for indicating the level of water in reservoir 19 as a result of the rotation of the wheel 50 by the float rod 60 and connecting link 57. Thus, the user is appraised of the volume of water remaining in reservoir 19 at all times so that suitable replacement may be made prior to the lowering of the level to the point where the above described operation of switch 68 and energization of pilot lights 87 and 92 are effected.
The use of humidifier apparatus '10 is extremely simple. The user merely rolls the apparatus to the desired location and connects the leads L1 and L2 to a siutable power source such as a wall outlet. The user then manipulates switch 90 to close contact 91 with contact 89, thereby potentiating the fan motor 40 for control by the humidistat 54 and switch 68. The switch 90 permits the user to turn the humidifier on and ofi without disturbing the setting of the humidistat which would be necessary if the switch 90 were omitted and the humidistat 54 were used to provide the on and oil control. If the level of water is sufficiently high to disengage the collar 64 from the switch finger 67, the circuit to the fan motor 40 is completed from leads L1 and L2 and controlled operation thereof is effected. If, however, the level of water in reservoir 19 is low, the user merely pours a suitable quantity of water through the openings 13 to pass downwardly over the bafiles 27 and clip 31 and through the opening 42 in divider wall 21 into the reservoir 19. The level of the body of water 20' in reservoir 19 as it is so filled, is indicated by the wheel 50 so that over-filling of the reservoir may be avoided. As soon as the water level in reservoir 19 rises above the preselected low level to disengage the collar 64 from the switch finger 67, the switch contact 70 recloses with contact 94. Upon completion of the filling of the reservoir, the louvers 14 are replaced across openings 13. The wheel 49 may may be positioned to a desired preselected position to adjust the humidistat 54 to the desired level of humidity in the space being humidified. Toward this end, the wheel 49 is provided with a plurality of peripheral markings 84 correlated with the humidistate adjustment. The humidistat, being connected in series with the motor 40, controls the operation of the motor so that the motor is energized whenever the level of humidity in the surrounding atmosphere drops below the preselected level selected by the operator. Thus, a cyclical operation of the motor 40 may be effected to maintain the humidity at the preselected level. As discussed above, the humidification of the air is effected by the drawing of the air into apparatus by fan 44 and the forcing of this airthrough the filters 30 satuarted with water delivered from reservoir 19 thereto by pump 38.
Automatic cyclical operation of the apparatus continues, to provide the desired level of humidity in the surrounding air, until the level of water in reservoir 19 drops below the preselected minimum level thereof whereupon the float 59 causes movement of rod 6.0 to reposition switch 68 to prevent further operation of motor 40 and effect illumination of the M-T pilot light 87.
Humidifier apparatus 10 provides an efficient humidification of the surrounding air in a foolproof, simple manner. simple while yet positive, and provides improved indication of the operating condition of the humidifier.
Another highly desirable advantage of humidifier apparatus 10 is the arrangement thereof for facilitated maintenance. Thus, the user need merely remove the screws 29 securing the cover panel 12 to the cabinet 11 to permit removal of the entire apparatus from within the cabinet. As best seen in FIG. 2, the dividing wall 21 merely rests on the angles 22 so that the entire structure supported by the dividing wall may be moved readily upwardly through the cabinet 11. Thus removed, the mechanism is' accessible for maintenance and the interior of the cabinet 11 is accesible for cleaning or similar maintenance.
As shown in FIG. 2, a selectively closable drain 86 may be provided in the lower portion of the cabinet 11 for draining the reservoir 19 when desired.
As the humidistat 54 is elfectively isolated from the moist air within the cabinet and the space 96 is vented to the rear of the cabinet away from the path of flow of the humidified air through openings 13, accurate sensing of the ambient air humidity is effected, providing improved control of the humidifier apparatus. As the switch 90 is operable independently of the humidistat setting by means .of wheel 49, the apparatus may be turned on and off successively without affecting the adjustment of the humidistat. While the pilot lights 87 and 92 provide a gross indication of the water level in the reservoir 19, the control wheel 50 provides an accurate specific indication of the level thereof to advise the user of the level so that a refilling of the reservoir may be effected prior to the time when the level reaches the preselected low level.
While I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that it is capable of many modifications. Changes, therefore, in the construction and arrangement may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. In a humidifier, apparatus comprising: a cabinet having front and rear portions; a reservoir in said cabinet for holding humidifying liquid; means in said cabinet for flowing a stream of air therethrough; means for conducting said air stream to outwardly of said cabinet; means for delivering liquid from said reservoir to said stream for humidifying the air; means in said cabinet for sensing the humidity of the ambient air and for causing operation of said air flowing means whenever the humidity of the ambient air is below a preselected level, said humidity sensing means being disposed at said front portion; bafile means in said cabinet for preventing said air stream from affecting said humidity sensing means, said baffle means being arranged to define first and second spaces within said cabinet with said air flowing means in said first space and said humidity sensing means in said second space; means for sensing the level of liquid in said reservoir; means responsive to said level sensing means precluding operation of said air flowing means whenever the The control of the humidifier is extremely level of liquid in said reservoir is below a preselected level; and means defining a passage from said second space to exteriorly of said cabinet at a point spaced substantially from said conducting means and from said humidity sensing means whereby said humidity sensing means is effectively recessed to preclude drafts from said air stream exteriorly of the cabinet from directly impinging on said humidity sensing means while permitting humidity conditions exteriorly of the cabinet to readily affect said humidity sensing means.
2. The humidifier apparatus of claim 1 wherein the humidity sensing means includes manually adjustable means.
3. The humidifier apparatus of claim 1 further including means carried by said cabinet for providing an indication of the level of liquid in said reservoir relative to said preselected level comprising a visual indication means disposed at said front portion.
4. In a humidifier, apparatus comprising: a cabinet; humidifying means including air moving means and a reservoir for holding humidifying liquid in said cabinet; means within said cabinet for sensing the humidity of the ambient air and for operating said humidifying means whenever the humidity of the ambient air is below a preselected level; signal means providing a first visual signal of a predetermined color and a second visual signal having a different color whereby an observer may tell at a glance which of said signals is operating; means mounting said signal means on said cabinet; means for operating said signal means to provide said first signal when said air moving means is operating; and means responsive to the level of liquid in said reservoir to preclude operation of said signal means to provide said first signal and cause said signal means to provide said second signal when the level of liquid in said reservoir is below a preselected level.
5. In a humidifier, apparatus comprising: a cabinet; humidifying means including air moving means, a reservoir for holding humidifying liquid in said cabinet, and switch means for operating said air moving means; means within said cabinet for sensing the humidity of the ambient air and for actuating said switch means to operate said air moving means whenever the humidity of the ambient air is below a preselected level; signal means providing first and second signals comprising a light transmissive element having first and second portions, means mounting said element on said cabinet for observation thereof, first means for illuminating said first portion of the element when said air moving means is operating, second means for illuminating said second portion of the element; means for operating said signal means to cause operation of said first illuminating means when said air moving means is operating; and means responsive to the level of liquid in said reservoir to preclude operation of said air moving means and said first illuminating means and concurrently operate said second illuminating means when the level of liquid in said reservoir is belowa preselected level and said switch means is arranged for potentiating the air moving means.
6. In a humidifier, apparatus comprising: a cabinet having first and second spaced walls and defining an enclosed space; means in a first portion of said space for humidifying air passed therethrough; means for directing a flow of humidified air from the cabinet; a humidistat in a second portion of said space and adjacent one of said walls; means isolating said second portion of said space from said first portion of said space; and means in the other of said walls for venting said second portion of said space outwardly of said cabinet at a point spaced from the path of flow of the humidified air therefrom, said humidistat being spaced substantially from said venting means whereby it is substantially unaffected by air currents from said air humidifying means thereby to accurately sense the general humidity of the ambient atmosphere.
7. In a humidifier, apparatus comprising: a cabinet having front and rear walls, a pair of side walls and top and bottom walls; a reservoir in said cabinet adjacent said bottom wall for holding humidifying liquid; a filter panel in said cabinet; inlet means for air to be humidified in at least one of said side walls; outlet means for humidified air in said top wall; means in said cabinet for flowing a stream of air into said cabinet from said inlet means through said filter panel to said outlet means; first bafile means extending from a point between said inlet means and said outlet means to a point adjacent said air flowing means for precluding intermingling of air to be humidified and humidified air within said cabinet; means including a portion of said baffie means for maintaining said filter panel in a substantially upright position with either end thereof selectively lowermost; means for delivering liquid from said reservoir to said filter panel for humidifying the air passing therethrough; means within said cabinet adjacent said front wall for sensing the humidity of the ambient air and for causing operation of said air flowing means whenever the humidity of the ambient air is below a preselected level; second baflle means in said cabinet for preventing said air stream from affecting said humidity sensing means, said second baflie means defining an isolated space within said cabinet wherein said humidity sensing means is located; means in said rear wall for venting said isolated space to-the atmosphere at a point spaced substantially from said outlet means whereby said humidity sensing means is'freely exposed to the ambient air while being substantially unaffected by air currents caused by operation of said air flowing means; means for sensing the level of liquid in said reservoir; and means responsive to said level sensing means for precluding operation of said air flowing means whenever the level of liquid in said "reservoir is below a preselected level.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,029,368 2/ 1936 Goldthwaite.
2,100,454 11/ 1937 Schroeder 261-26 X 2,310,163 2/1943 Moxay 340252 X 2,631,829 3/ 1953 Carraway 261-26 2,73 0,340 1/ 1956 Patriarca 261-26 HARRY B. THORNTON, Primary Examiner.
T. R. MILES, Assistant Examiner.