US 3472149 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Filed Feb. 14, 1968 INVENTOR BOBBY s HARRISON flfimz/u/wzww,
BY My United States Patent 3,472,149 AIRFLOW CONTROL MEANS Bobby G. Harrison, Evansville, Ind., assignor to Whirlpool Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Feb. 14, 1968, Ser'. No. 705,543
Int. Cl. F24f 13/08 US. C]. 9894 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A louver attachment for use in a cabinet such as an air conditioner cabinet for controlling airflow through an opening in the cabinet wall. The louver assembly comprises a one piece plastic molding and includes mounting portions which are respectively secured to different portions of the cabinet, with at least one of the mounting portions being retained also by a portion of a grill provided across the cabinet opening.
This invention relates to airflow control means and in particular to louver devices.
In conventional air conditioners and the like, means are provided for controlling the direction of the airflow from the air conditioner. One form of such means comprises an adjustable louver assembly wherein a plurality of louver vanes are disposed inwardly of the air outlet opening of the cabinet and connected to suitable control means for selective disposition at any one of a plurality of different angles to the airflow path.
The present invention comprehends an improved mounting means for retaining such a louver assembly in a cabinet such as an air conditioner cabinet.
Thus, a principal feature of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved airflow control means.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of such an airflow control means comprising a louver assembly and new and improved means for mounting the louver assembly inwardly adjacent the outlet opening of an air conditioner cabinet.
A yet further feature of the invention is the provision of such an airflow control means wherein a decorative grill is provided for extending across the outlet opening and is further provided with means for cooperating with the louver assembly to retain the louver assembly in mounted disposition within the cabinet.
Still another feature of the invention is the provision of such an airflow control means wherein the mounting means is extremely simple and economical of construction.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is an isometric view of an air conditioner having an airflow control means embodying the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevation of the air conditioner cabinet with the decorative front grill removed;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of the louver assembly;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary enlarged vertical section taken substantially along the line 44 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary plan view of the manual operating means portion of the louver assembly; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary rear vertical section taken substantially along the line 66 of FIGURE 4.
In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, a louver assembly generally designated 10 is shown mounted in an air conditioner cabinet generally designated 11 for controlling the airflow through ice an outlet passage 12 thereof. The cabinet 11 includes a top wall 13, left side wall 14, right side wall 15, bottom wall 16, and a horizontal partition, or dividing wall, 17. The front of the cabinet is provided with a removable decorative grill 18 provided with a center divider 19, a lower grill portion 20 for passing air inwardly to a conditioning apparatus, generally designated 21, within the cabinet, and an upper grill portion 22 for passing conditioned air outwardly from the passage 12. As best seen in FIG- URE 4, the upper portion 22 includes a plurality of fixed horizontal deflectors 23. The louver assembly 10 is mounted in the air passage 12 inwardly adjacent the grill portion 22 and includes a plurality of vanes 24 for'controlling the lateral direction of the air being discharged from the duct 12.
More specifically, louver assembly 10 comprises a molded plastic structure including a lower transverse frame portion 25 and an upper transverse frame portion 26. The vanes 24 are pivotally connected to the frame portions 25 and 26 by integrally molded hinges 27 and 28. iHerein, the vanes 24 and the frame portions 25 and 26 may be molded in a substantially flat configuration, with the vanes being turned from the flat configuration to the flow controlling arrangement of FIGURE 3. The vanes are retained in the flow controlling arrangement, as best seen in FIGURE 5, by a control handle 29 having a manipulating portion 30 projecting through a suitable opening 31, FIGURE 1, in the cabinet grill L8, and a control link 32 extending from the operating handle portion 29 parallel to the frame portion 26. Each of the vanes 24 is provided with a snap-in connector 33, the connectors being integrally molded at the upper rear of the vane and which is adapted to extend through a suitable corresponding opening 34, FIGURE 4, in the control link 32. The connectors 33 are spaced apart similarly as the hinges 28. The control handle 29 is pivotally mounted on a pivot post 35, FIGURES 3 and 5, carried on an integrally molded extension 36 of the top frame portion 26. Thus, as best seen in FIGURE 5, when the handle portion 30 is moved about the axis of the pivot 35, the control link 32 is correspondingly moved to the right or left to swing the vanes 24 angularly correspondingly rightwardly or leftwardly. A spring retainer 37 may be provided for releasably retaining the handle 30 in a selected disposition to maintain the vanes in the desired angular relationship.
As best seen in FIGURE 4, the duct 12 is defined at the top by the upper cabinet wall 13 and at the bottom by the dividing wall 17. The present invention comprehends mounting of the louver assembly 10 in an extremely simple and economical manner in association with these walls. More specifically, the louver assembly is provided with a plurality of studs 39 and 40 upstanding from the upper transverse frame member 26 and extension 36;
The upper cabinet wall 13 is provided with a returned flange 41 having a plurality of spaced openings 42 adapted to receive the upstanding studs 39 and 40. Each of the studs is provided with a shoulder 43 which when snapped through the opening 42 in the flange 41 effectively retains the upper portion of the louver assembly 10 in association with the cabinet wall 13.
The unit dividing wall 17 includes a forwardly downturned flange 44 against which the lower frame portion 25 abuts. The frame portion 25 may be retained in the abutting relationship with flange 44 by a spring clip 45 having a U-shaped configuration, as seen in FIGURE 4. Further, the abutting relationship of the louver assembly frame portion 25 and the wall flange 44 is maintained by compressive engagement of a seal strip 46 carried on the mid-portion 19 of the front grill 18. Thus, when the grill 18 is installed across the front of the cabinet 11, the seal 46 is urged against the louver asembly frame portion 25 and the spring clips 45 thereby not only to seal the outlet of the duct 12 to the grill 18 forwardly of the unit wall 17 but also to provide an improved retention of the frame portion 25 in abutting relationship with the wall flange 44.
Thus, the louver assembly is effectively hung from the top wall flange 41 by means of the snap-in studs 39 and 40. The lower portion of the louver assembly is maintained in the desired position by the clip 45 and the seal 46.
The louver assembly may be readily installed and removed as desired. Further, since the mounting posts 39 and 40 may be molded integrally with the louver assembly and the spring clip 45 is extremely simple and economical of construction, the mounting of the louver assembly in the cabinet 11 is extremely economical, while yet the louver assembly provides an improved control of the air delivery.
While I have shown and described one embodiment 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 thespirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
The embodiment of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed is defined as follows:
1. Airflow control means comprising:
a cabinet structure having an opening for conducting airflow therethrough;
a louver assembly having a flow directing portion and first and second mounting portions; a grill;
means for mounting the grill on the cabinet structure to extend across said opening;
first mounting means on said cabinet for mounting said first mounting portion of said louver assembly to said cabinet structure; and
second mounting means including cooperating means on said cabinet and on said grill for mounting said second mounting portion of said louver assembly to said cabinet structure to retain said louver assembly within said cabinet with said flow directing portion disposed inwardly adjacent said opening.
2. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said first mounting means comprises a flange on said cabinet projecting inwardly from adjacent the top of said opening.
3. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said first mounting portion comprises a plurality of spaced mounting posts projecting from said louver assembly.
4. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said second mounting portion comprises an elongated wall defining a base portion of said louver assembly.
5. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said second mounting means comprises a wall carried by said cabinet inwardly adjacent said opening and clip means for securing said second mounting portion to said wall.
6. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said second mounting means comprises a wall carried by said cabinet inwardly adjacent said opening and sealing means carried by said grill and urging said second mounting portion of the louver assembly againt said wall.
7. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said cabinet includes a flange projecting inwardly from adjacent the top of said opening and including a first portion defining said first mounting means, and a second portion, and said flow control means includes means for securing said grill to said second portion of said flange.
8. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said first mounting means comprises means for hanging said louver assembly from said cabinet structure.
9. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said second mounting means on said cabinet comprises a wall defining a boundary of a flow passage for conducting air through said opening.
10. The airflow control means of claim 1 wherein said second mounting means comprises means for clamping said second mounting portion of the louver assembly to said cabinet structure.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS MEYER PERLIN, Primary Examiner Us. c1. X.R. 9s 110, 121