US 3907050 A
The present invention provides a housing for a heat exchanger coil that is dimensioned to communicate with the air outlet of a forced air furnace. The housing components include rectangular top and bottom frame members of common configuration, three side walls that are supported in mating relation with the frame members, and a front access panel. The fabricated components are packaged and shipped unassembled and the housing is assembled at the installation site.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States aten n91 Mullings Sept. 23, 1975 1 1 HEAT EXCHANGER HOUSING  Inventor: Donald M. Mullings, Yardley, Pa.
 Assignee: General Electric Company,
 Filed: Feb. 19, 1974  App1.No.: 443,407
 11.8. CI. 138/157; 62/297; 98/114; 220/4 R; 220/77  Int. (11. F16L 9/00; F24F 13/00; F25D 19/00; B65D 7/00  Field of Search 138/155,157,162,163, 138/166, DIG. 4, DIG. 10, DIG. 11, 92,103,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,498,753 2/1950 Deitsch 138/163 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 835,535 4/1952 Germany 220/77 Primary ExaminerRichard E. Aegerter Assistant Examiner-Steven L. Stephan  ABSTRACT The present invention provides a housing for a heat exchanger coil that is dimensioned to communicate with the air outlet of a forced air furnace. The housing components include rectangular top and bottom frame members of common configuration, three side walls that are supported in mating relation with the frame members, and a front access paneL' The fabricated components are packaged and shipped unassembled and the housing is assembled at the installation site.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 1 of2 3,907,050
US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,907,050
HEAT EXCHANGER HOUSING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention This invention relates generally to a housing adapted to be mounted in communication with the air outlet of either an upflow or downflow forced air furnace, and more specifically to a housing or plenum that may contain an evaporator coil of a refrigeration system. The housing components include top and bottom frame members, two side walls and a rear wall that are supported in mating relation with the frame members and a front access panel. The unassembled parts of the housing are packaged in a relatively flat container which is easy to handle, requires a minimum amount of storage space, and is economical to transport. The installer of the furnace and refrigeration system receives the housing in the container which may be conveniently transferred to the installing site where the housing can be assembled and placed on the furnace.
2. Description of Prior Art Traditionally forced air furnaces are equipped with a housing or plenum at the air outlet. The housing is especially useful if the furnace air system is to be used for cooling, in which case the evaporator coil is conveniently located in the housing. Manufacturers have made housings available that could be used with these furnaces; however, when available they have been preassembled at the factory. This procedure in supplying housing usually presents many problems, e.g., handling of the fabricated housings is difficult and often leads to damage; storage requires space that could be better uti lized for more productive purposes; and the added cost of shipping the relatively lightweight but bulky housing to the installer who is also faced with many of the above problems. To eliminate some of the problems encountered in using a prefabricated housing many installers of forced air furnaces have fabricated the housing on the job. This also has proven unsatisfactory in many sit uations in that the units are poorly designed and constructed relative to the furnace requirements.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a housing that meets the manufacturers design requirements and may be assembled conveniently at the installing site.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION By this invention there is provided a housing for use with a forced air furnace. The housing components include rectangular top and bottom frame members of common configuration, each having an upstanding peripheral wall. The walls of the housing include two opposite side Walls of common configuration, and an end wall each having lower and upper edge portions supported in mating relation with the peripheral wall, and a second end wall mountable opposite the end wall to complete the side walls of the housing. Guide members are located on oppositely disposed sides of the frame members and include wall portions that are disposed parallel to and spaced from the peripheral wall to provide a receiving area for positioning the lower and upper edge portion of the side Walls in intimate contact with the peripheral wall. Locking means are provided for securing the side walls to the frame members and for trapping an end wall therebetween.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional hot air furnace including the heat exchanger housing embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded disassembled perspective view of the housing; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBQDEMENT Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a hot air furnace 10, which includes a blower or air handling means (not shown) for moving air from an air inlet 12 through the furnace and for delivering air to an outlet 14 and into an enclosure or housing 16. Located in the housing l6 and positioned to receive air from the outlet 14 is a heat exchanger or evaporator coil assembly 118.
In the preferred embodiment as shown in FIGS. l and 2 the housing 16 consists of top and bottom frame members 20, 22 respectively of common configuration. The peripheral walls of the housing 16 include side walls or panels 24, 26 of common configuration, a rear panel 28 and a front or access panel 30. While in the present instance frame member 22 is shown over the furnace air outlet 14, it should be understood, however, that if the furnace were of the downflow type the air outlet would be in the bottom wall and the upper frame 20 would be in communication with the furnace outlet.
In effect the frames are interchangeable and either one may be attached to the furnace with the other oppositely disposed one being attached to.appropriate duct work associated with the furnace system. The frame members 20, 22 are generally fabricated of U-shaped channels connected to form substantially rectangular frames including side sections 29 and end sections 31. The channels include a base portion 32 and an upstanding peripheral outer wall or flange 34 extending laterally from the base portion 32. The side panels 24, 26 and rear panel 28 are dimensioned so that the upper and lower edge portions are received in the side sections 29 and end section 31 respectively of the U- shaped frames and more specifically adjacent the inside surface of flange 34 to form three sides of the housing 16.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown means provided in the side sections 29 of the frame members 20, 22 to locate the panels 24 and 26 and for insuring the intimate contact of the upper and lower edge portions of panels 24, 26 with the inside surface of flange 34. To this end guide means 38 are positioned in side sections 29 of frame members 20, 22. The guide means 38 in clude a substantially vertically disposed wall portion 40 which is parallel with and spaced from the wall 34 to provide a receiving area 42 for the edge portions of walls 24 and 26. The area 42 is effective in maintaining the upper and lower edge portions of panels 24, 26 in intimate contact with the peripheral wall 34. The panels 24 and 26 are dimensioned so that the upper and lower edge portions of the rear or end panel 28 located in end portion 31 is held in intimate contact with wall 34 by the vertically disposed ends of panels 24 and 26. To strengthen the housing 16 and insure its integrity under the support loads that may be imposed on it, structural ribs or corrugation 43 are provided. The ribs 43 are especially beneficial when as mentioned hereinbefore the housing is used with a downflow'furnace. in which case it must support the weight of the furnace. Means are also provided in the present invention to secure the side panels 24, 26 to the frame members 20.. 22 to form a rigid housing without the use of separate fastening means. Located along the upper and lower edge portions of the walls 24 and 26 in the areas that communicate with the area 42 are lanced out portions that form tabs 44 that engage cooperating slot means 46 located on the wall 40 of guide means 38. in operation walls 24, 26 are placed in sections 29 while the rear wall 28 is placed in section 31 of frame members 20, 22. The upper and lower edges of walls 24 and 26 contact a camming surface 48 formed on the free end of wall 40. As pressure is applied to the housing components to force the frame members 20, 22 toward each other the camming surface 48 causes a deflection of wall 40 allowing the latching of the tabs 44- into cooperating slots 46.
If at the time the housing is fabricated the installation of a refrigeration heat exchanger is not required, the front panel 30 is placed over the open end of the housing and secured to the end section 31 of frames 20, 22 by any suitable means such as screws 47 to thereby complete the peripheral side wall of the housing which may be prior to its installation over the furnace outlet 14. In the event the installation of a refrigeration heat exchanger is required, the front panel is not secured to the housing lolprior to its installation over the furnace outlet'l4. The housing 16 with the front panel removed is located over the furnace outlet 14 and the heat exchanger placed inside the housing. To facilitate the connection of the heat exchanger to the refrigeration system, the front panel 30 is provided with sections 48 that include appropriate knock-outs through which the necessary connecting component may pass; After the connections are made to complete the refrigeration system the relative small air leaks that may exist between the knock-outs and the components passing therethrough are appropriately sealed, and the remaining portion of panel 30 secured as mentioned hereinbefore.
To insure a relatively airtight peripheral side wall for housing 16 and to further increase its rigidity, the vertically disposed ends of the rear panel 28 and front panel 30 are provided with laterally projecting flanges 50. The flanges are dimensioned on the panels 28 and 30 to intimately engage the outside vertically disposed ends of the side panels 24 and 26.
I claim: 1. A housing for use with a forced air furnace comprising:
rectangular top and bottom frame members of common configuration providing air inlet and outlet openings for said housing, each of said frame members having a base portion and a peripheral wall extending laterally from said base portion; two opposite substantially flat side panels of common configuration and a substantially flat first end panel each having lower and upper edge portions;
guide means mounted on said base portions of said lower and upper frame members, including wall portions parallel to and spaced from said peripheral wall for positioning and holding the lower and upper edge portion of said side panels in intimate contact with said peripheral wall;
locking means including tab means on one of either said edge portions or said frame members. and arranged to engage slot means on the other of said edge portions or said frame member for securing said side panels to said frame members and means for trapping and holding said first end panel be tween said frame members; and
a substantially flat second end panel mountable opposite said first end panel to complete the peripheral side walls of said housing.
2. The housing of claim 1 wherein flange means are formed along the vertical edge of said first and second end panels extending laterally therefrom to overlap and intimately engage the outer vertical edge of said opposite side panels to form a continuous substantially airtight peripheral side wall of said housing.
3. The housing of claim 2 wherein said locking means includes tab means positioned along the lower and upper edge portions of said side panels and slot means being located on the wall portion of said guide means for receiving said tab means.