US 3636307 A
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United States Patent Pearce [541 ELECTRIC ARTIFICIAL FIREPLACE  Inventor: Richard A. Pearce, Rochester, NY.
 Assignee: Fasco Industries, Inc., Rochester, NY.
 Filed: July 17, 1970  Appl.No.: 55,819
[ 1 Jan. 18, 1972 Primary ExaminerA. Bartis Attorney-Shlesinger, Fitzsimmons & Shlesinger [5 7] ABSTRACT The fireplace includes a hearth section having a screencovered opening in its front wall, and a hollow canopy section fastened over the hearth section and extending beyond the sides and front thereof so that spaces are formed between the sections at the front and sides of the fireplace. An andiron and imitation logs may be placed in the hearth section. A fan and electrical heating elements are mounted in a chamber within the canopy. This chamber has an inlet opening on the interior of the canopy, and an outlet opening at the front of the fireplace. When the fan operates, air is drawn into the chamber through the screened opening in the hearth section and the lateral spaces between the sections, and is heated by the electrical elements to be discharged through the outlet and send heat into the room.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTED m1 81972 Q Q Q Q 2 20! QQQ FIG. 2
INVENTOR. RICHARD A. PEARCE ATTORNEYS FIG. 3
ELECTRIC ARTIFICIAL FIREPLACE This invention relates to artificial or imitation fireplaces, and more particularly to an imitation or artificial fireplace having an electrical unit for heating and blowing air from the fireplace into a room in which the fireplace is installed.
Electric fireplaces, as now manufactured, emit their heated air using one of two methods. The first is through a grille or other opening on the face of the heater unit. The second method is through the fireplace screen. In the first method, heated air is blown directly through the grille into the room that is being heated; and the grille itself, and usually part of the internal heating assembly, are exposed. In the second method, the screen and surrounding areas are heated by the hot air passing over them; and the screen becomes extremely hot and cannot be touched while the unit is operating.
The purpose of this invention is .to eliminate the shortcomings of such prior fireplaces. To this end it is an object of this invention to provide an improved electric fireplace which does not have an exposed grille, and which will remain cool while in operation.
A further object of this invention is to provide an improved fireplace of the type described in which the electrical heater unit is positioned above, rather than behind the fireplace screen, so that the screen does not become undesirably hot when the heater unit is operating.
Another object of the invention is to provide a fireplace of the type described in which cool air is drawn through the fireplace screen into the fireplace, rather than the heated air being blown out through the screen.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent hereinafter from the specification and from the recital of the appended claims, particularly when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing. The fireplace herein disclosed comprises a hollow canopy section, which is mounted above a hearth section and extends beyond the front and sides of the hearth section, so that a space is formed between the sections around the front and sides thereof. The hearth section has an air inlet in its forward wall beneath this space. A small fan is mounted in the canopy section to draw cool air in through the opening in the front wall of the hearth section and the space along opposite sides of the canopy section and blow this air across a heating coil that is disposed in an outlet duct adjacent the forward edge of the canopy section exteriorly of the hearth, so that heated air is blown out into the room without having to pas through the hearth section.
In the drawing:
FIG. I is a front elevational view of an electric fireplace made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of this fireplace, with portions thereof broken away and shown in section; and
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 3 3 in FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawing by numerals of reference, denotes an imitation or artificial fireplace comprising a lower hearth section 11, and an upper canopy section 12.
The hearth section 11 has a flat bottom wall 14, a vertical rear wall 15, opposed end walls 16 which are inclined inwardly downwardly, and a front wall 17, which is also inclined slightly inwardly downwardly. Wall 17 has therein a large central opening 18 behind which is mounted a screen 19.
The canopy section 12 comprises a vertical rear wall 20, triangularly shaped end walls 21, and a steeply inclined front wall 22,which has its upper edge secured to the upper edge of the rear wall 20, and its side edges secured to the vertically inclined edges of the end walls 21. The lower edge of the front wall 22 is spaced forwardly of the upper end of the hearth section 11; and the lower ends of the sidewalls 21 of the canopy 12 are spaced laterally away from the upper ends of the corresponding sidewalls l6 of the hearth section 11, so that the canopy section overlaps or extends slightly beyond the sides and front of the hearth section. This leaves narrow spaces 24 between sections 11 and 12, at opposite ends of the fireplace l0, and a space 25 at the front of the fireplace, between the forward edges of these two sections.
The lower open end of section 12 is secured on the upper open end of section 11 so that the rear walls 15 and 20 are disposed in vertical, coplanar registry.
Fastened in the corners of canopy section 12, at its lower end, and extending diagonally between its forward wall 22 and its end walls 21, are two rigid reinforcing struts or members 27 and 28 (FIG. 3). These members overlie, and are fastened also to, the upper end of the hearth section 11 at each of its forward corners.
Secured to the undersides of struts 27 and 28, and projecting downwardly into the hearth section 11 adjacent its forward corners, are two hook-shaped clips 30 (FIGS; 2 and 3). Removably mounted at opposite ends thereof in the hookshaped ends of the clips 30 to be supported thereby slightly above the upper end of the opening 18 in the front wall 17 of section 11, is an elongaterod 31. Suspended from this rod, behind the opening 18 in the front wall 17 of the hearth section is the fireplace screen 19 (FIGS. 1 and 2).
Mounted in the lower end of the canopy section 12 medially of its end walls 21 is a fan housing 34. The rear end of the housing 34 is closed by the rear wall 20 of section 12; and its forward end 36 is shaped to provide an elongate outlet duct 37 that opens on the space 25 between the forward walls of the canopy and the hearth section to discharge air outwardly from the fireplace. In its upper wall, housing 34 has a large circular opening 38 covered by a circular, generally disc-shaped screen 39.
Mounted in housing 34 just beneath and in registry with the screen 39 for rotation about a vertical axis is a conventional suction fan 40. This fan is driven by an electric motor 42, which is mounted in any conventional manner in the housing to support the fan 40 for rotation beneath the screen 39.
Also mounted in the housing 34 between the fan 40 and the outlet or forward end of the duct 37, are a plurality of electrical elements 44 (FIG. 2), which are connected in a conventional manner to an electrical power supply.
Fastened in the lower end of canopy section 12 adjacent the rear wall thereof, and extending across part of the upper end of the hearth section 11 between the housing 34 and one of the end walls 21 (the left wall 21 as illustrated in FIG. 3), is a shelf 45 (FIG. 3) which covers only a portion of the upper end of section 11 at the left side (FIG. 3) of the housing 34, leaving an opening 46 in the lower end of the canopy section which communicates with an opening 47 (FIG. 2) in the upper end of the hearth section 11.
Supported on the plate or shelf 45 within the canopy section 12 is a housing 48 containing the electrical control elements for the fireplace. The circuits in housing 48 may be connected to a conventional power supply by means of leads enclosed in an insulated cord 49, which extends from the housing 48 downwardly through an opening 50 in plate 45 to an electrical wall outlet or receptacle (not illustrated).
The hearth section 11 may hold a plurality of imitation logs 52, which can be energized in a known manner to simulate logs burning in the fireplace 10. A thermostat may be utilized to interrupt the power to the logs and/or the fan motor and heater elements, when the temperature of the room in which the fireplace 10 is mounted, has reached a certain value.
In use, the fan motor 42, the heater elements 44, and the imitation logs 52 are energized by closing conventional ON- OFF switches, or the like, not illustrated. The fan 40 operates to lower the pressure in the canopy section 12, and draw cool air from outside the fireplace into the housing 34 through the screen 19, through the spaces 24 and 25 between the lower end of the canopy and the upper end of the hearth section, and through the openings 47 and 46 in the hearth section and canopy, respectively, as indicated by arrows leading to housing 34 in FIGS. 1 and 2. This air is forced by the fan over the spaced heating elements 44 to heat it. Then it flows out of the forward end of duct 36, as heated air, along the paths indicated by the arrows emerging from housing 34 in FIG. 2.
The open end 37 of the duct, which is concealed beneath the overhanging forward edge of the canopy section 12, thus discharges the heated air forwardly of the hearth section II,
and in a direction which is inclined away from the hearth section, so that neither the forward wall 17 of section 11 nor the screen 19 becomes unduly heated. Moreover, the entire lower section 11 is cooled by the cool airstreams passing through the screen 19, over the imitation logs 52, upwardly through the upper, open end 47 of section 11, and the port 46 into section 12 around opposite sides of the housing 34. The control box 48 and the walls of the canopy section 12 are also cooled by the cool air that is drawn from the room into housing 34 through the space 25 at the front of the fireplace, and the two spaces 24 located at opposite ends of the fireplace.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that with the fireplace disclosed there is no discharge of heated air directly through an exposed grille or other opening located on the face of the unit. instead, the heated air is discharged through a concealed opening 37 located beneath the overhanging canopy section 12. This eliminates an exposed grille and the exposed working parts that usually go with it. The percentage of opening in the grille is increased, resulting in cooler operation of the whole unit. Moreover, the screen 19, as well as the imitation logs 52, the control box 48, and the walls of both the sections 11 and 12, are cooled by the cool air that is drawn into the fireplace through the openings 18, 24 and 25, so that all parts receive a constant supply of cool air when the unit is in operation. The heat, that is generated by the fireplace, is confined to a relatively small almost inaccessible area adjacent the discharge end 36 of housing 34.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
1. An electric fireplace, comprising a hollow hearth section having a forward wall with an opening therethrough,
a hollow canopy section mounted above said hearth section to overlie the upper end thereof, and having a forward wall extending beyond the forward wall of said hearth section,
a housing interposed between said sections and having therein an inlet communicating with the interior of said hearth section and said opening, and an outlet opening exteriorly of said sections,
a fan mounted in said housing and operable to draw air through said opening and said inlet, and to force said air out of said outlet, and
means in said housing for heating said air before it passes out through said outlet.
2. An electric fireplace as defined in claim I, wherein opposite sides of said canopy section extend beyond opposite sides of said hearth section to fonn between adjacent sides of said hearth and canopy sections, respectively, additional inlet spaces through which air is drawn by said fan to be directed over said heating means and exhausted through said outlet.
3. An electric fireplace as defined in claim 1, wherein said hearth and canopy sections have registering openings at the top and bottom thereof, respectively, and are secured to one another so that the rear walls thereof are coplanar,
said canopy section is larger in area at its bottom than said hearth section is at its top so that the former extends beyond the sides as well as the front of said hearth section,
said housing extends transversely between the front and rear walls of said canopy section above said hearth section, and at its forward end extends downwardly into the space between the forward walls of said sections,
said inlet is in the top of said housing and said outlet is in the forward end thereof and concealed beneath the forward wall of said canopy section, and
the forward wall of said hearth section is disposed behind and inclined downwardly and rearwardly away from said outlet.