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Publication numberUS3673701 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date4 Jul 1972
Filing date16 Jun 1970
Priority date16 Jun 1970
Publication numberUS 3673701 A, US 3673701A, US-A-3673701, US3673701 A, US3673701A
InventorsRobert V Albertson
Original AssigneeRobert V Albertson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combined building humidifier and clothes dryer
US 3673701 A
Abstract
Moisture laden air from a clothes dryer is selectively directed either to the outside of the building or to the cold air return of the building's forced air heating system. Control means are provided for sensing the flow of air from the dryer to the cold air return for insuring that the motor driven blower of the forced air heating system is energized whenever the moisture laden air from the dryer is flowing to the cold air return.
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United States Patent Albertson 1 1 July 4, 1972 [54] COMBINED BUILDING HUMIDIFIER 3,289,313 12/1966 Lechner, Jr. et a1. 34/91 X AND CLOTHES DRYER 3,417,481 12/1968 Rumsey, Jr. ....34/90 X 2,677,897 5 1954 H b t ..34 90 [72] Inventor: Robert V. Albertson, Wayzata, Minn. er 8 er I 55 391 Primary Examiner-Frederick L. Matteson [22] Filed: June 16, 1970 Assistant ExaminerHarry B. Ramey pp 46 614 Att0rneyAlfred E. Hall [57] ABSTRACT 2% $8.81 ..34?2(2b3: 9133 Moisture laden air from'a clothes dryer is Selectively directed l 126 1/13 either to the outside of the building or to the cold air return of I 0 care l the buildings forced air heating system. Control means are provided for sensing the flow of air from the dryer to the cold [56] References Cited air return for insuring that the motor driven blower of the forced air heating system is energized whenever the moisture UNITED STATES PATENTS laden air from the dryer is flowing to the cold air return.

1,811,616 6/1931 Doyle", ..261/D1G. 34 4 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure OUTSl DE PATENTEDJUL "'4 m T 8, 673 701 COLD AIR HOT AIR 2 RETURN DUCT l I I I I l6 l8 To 4 OUTSIDE 24 ll. H

INVENTOR ROBE/PT 'V. ALBERTSO/V ATTORNEY COMBINED BUILDHJG HUMIDIFIER AND CLOTHES DRYER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the prior art there are described arrangements wherein a laundry dryer is used in combination with a forced air heating system. For example, in the Herbster US. Pat. No. 2,677,897 there is described an arrangement where the heated air from the furnace in a forced air heating system is directed to a drying compartment such that it is unnecessary to include a heating unit within the dryer assembly itself.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION While the present invention relates broadly to the same combination of elements i.e. a furnace and a laundry dryer, the purpose, construction, and mode of operation is substantially different. In the present invention, I provide a means for adding humidity to a building being serviced by a forced air heating system by selectively permitting moisture laden air from a clothes dryer to pass into the cold air return of the heating system. Further, I provide a suitable control mechanism for causing the moisture laden air from the laundry dryer to pass outside of the building rather than to the cold air return if desired.

Finally, to insure that moisture does not build up and condense within the cold air return, I provide a suitable control mechanism which is responsive to the flow of moisture laden air from the dryer to the cold air return to insure that the motor driven blower for the buildings forced air heating system is energized to thereby circulate sufficient air through the system to the heating chamber where the heating unit of the furnace completely vaporizes moisture introduced into this system from the dryer.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a novel'means of providing humidity to a building.

Another object of this invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive mechanism which can be used to interconnect a conventional clothes dryer to the cold air return of a forced air heating system so that humidity can be introduced into the building.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description wherein reference is made to the drawing which is a perspective view of the dryer and furnace embodying the principles of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the FIGURE, there is shown a conventional laundry dryer having a cabinet 12 surrounding a motor driven cylindrical tumbler (not shown). Clothes to be dried are introduced through the door 14 into the tumbler chamber. Also contained within the dryer cabinet 12 is a heating unit which may be either electrical or gas burning type. The temperature of the heating unit may be controlled by a thermostat having an adjustable control lever 16. The drying time for the unit may be controlled by a settableclock controlled switch 18.

Also contained within the cabinet 12 is a motor driven fan which causes air to pass over the heating unit where it becomes heated and from there through the drying chamber and a lint filter to an exhaust port which may be located on the rear of the dryer 10. In a conventional installation, the exhaust port of the dryer is connected by way of a cylindrical duct which leads to the outside of the building in which the dryer is located. Thus, moisture laden air is conveyed to the outside atmosphere.

Also located in the premises containing the laundry 10 is a forced air heating system indicated generally by the numeral 20. This forced air heating system is quite conventional and includes behind the removable panel 22, a motor and a squirrel cage blower driven by the motor. This motor driven blower draws air from various points in the building serviced by the heating unit through the cold air return 24 and a furnace filter 26 to a hot air plenum 28. Located behind the panel 30 is the heating unit which may comprise a gas fired burner unit (not shown). The heated air is forced by the motor driven blower out of the hot air plenum 28 and through the building's hot air ducts (not shown) in a conventional manner. 1

One drawback of the forced hot air heating system is the fact that it tends to fill the building being serviced with extremely dry air. This makes it necessary to maintain the building at a higher temperature in order to provide a measure of comfort for the occupants. Also, a lack of humidity in the air may cause the building and objects located therein to dry out and be damaged.

In order to provide humid air to the building, my invention contemplates connecting the exhaust port of a laundry dryer to the cold air return of the buildings heating unit. Hence, the somewhat heated and moisture laden air can be introduced into the building through the forced air heating system.

In carrying out this function, there is provided a cylindrical duct 32 which is connected at one end to the exhaust port (not shown) of the dryer and at its other end to a junction box 34. The junction box 34 contains a damper or butterfly valve 36 which can be pivoted to block the opening of an exhaust duct 38 or the furnace inlet duct 40. The furnace inlet duct 40 is, in turn, connected to the cold air return 24 of the heating unit 20. The exhaust duct 38 is arranged to pass outside of the building so that when the damper 36 is in a position blocking the inlet to duct 40, the dryer system works in a conventional fashion to exhaust all of the moisture laden air to the outside atmosphere. However, when the damper 36 is rotated so as to block the exhaust duct 38, the moisture laden air from the dryer passes through the junction box 34 and through the duct 40 to the cold air return of the furnace.

Mounted on the duct 40 is a suitable sensor for detecting when moisture laden air from the dryer is passing through the duct 40. In the preferred embodiment, I merely provide a vane type switch 42 which is disposed in the duct 40. When air flows through the duct 40 the contacts of the vane switch 42 close and are used to complete an electrical circuit from a power supply to the motor which drives the fan in the heating unit 20. This control insures that whenever moisture laden air from the dryer is being introduced into the cold air return of the heating unit, that the furnace blower will be operational to circulate this moisture laden air throughout the building.

Having described but a single embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that many changes and modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention or from the scope of the annexed claims.

What I claim is:

1. Apparatus for adding humidity to a building comprising in combination:

a. a laundry dryer of the type including a heat source, a chamber for receiving moisture laden articles and a fan for directing air from said heat source through said chamber to an exhaust port;

b. a forced air heating system having a furnace for heating air, a network of heating ducts, a cold air return and a motor driven blower for forcing said heated air through said network of heating ducts and said cold air return;

c. control means responsive to the operation of said laundry dryer for energizing said motor driven blower and d. means connecting said exhaust port to said cold air return of said forced air heating system for conveying said moisture laden air to said furnace.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said control means includes a damper disposed between said exhaust port and said cold air return of said forced air heating system for controlling the flow of moisture laden air to said cold air return.

3. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said control means includes means responsive to the flow of air in said means connecting said exhaust port to said cold air return of said forced air heating system for controlling the energization of said motor driven blower.

4. Apparatus as in claim 1 further including means for selectively directing said moisture laden air outside of said building or into said cold air return.

III II!

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1811616 *18 Mar 193023 Jun 1931Alfred DoyleHot air furnace
US2677897 *26 Oct 194911 May 19548600 Denison CompanyLaundry drier and combination thereof with domestic furnace
US3289313 *16 Jan 19646 Dec 1966Lechner Jr Paul PCombination clothes dryer, hair dryer, and auxiliary heater
US3417481 *16 Jun 196624 Dec 1968Joseph F. Rumsey Jr.Attachment for dryers or the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4034482 *13 Jun 197512 Jul 1977Briscoe Harry HHeat recovery system
US4227315 *8 Jun 197814 Oct 1980Hight Jesse GClothes dryer heat economizer
US4388766 *17 Aug 198121 Jun 1983Sanderson L WayneHumidity-controlled diverter valve
US4412391 *29 Sep 19821 Nov 1983Bolognino John VWater heater utilizing laundry dryer exhaust
US4551093 *31 Aug 19845 Nov 1985Carter-Wallace Inc.Production of a solid stick in a container
US4922808 *16 Feb 19898 May 1990Smith Stephen DRadon and other gas ventilator
US73569459 Nov 200515 Apr 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Operation method and device for combination dryer
US74187899 Nov 20052 Sep 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Combination dryer and method thereof
US76476638 Dec 200519 Jan 2010Lg Electronics IncCombination laundry device and method thereof
US8024871 *7 Nov 200727 Sep 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Exhaust structure for clothes dryer in apartment building
US8695228 *30 Nov 200515 Apr 2014Lg Electronics Inc.Composite washing system
US20060112497 *14 Nov 20051 Jun 2006Lg Electronics, Inc.Operation method for combination type laundry device
US20060112585 *9 Nov 20051 Jun 2006Lg Electronics, Inc.Operation method for combination dryer
US20060137205 *30 Nov 200529 Jun 2006Lg Electronics Inc.Composite washing system
US20060137208 *30 Nov 200529 Jun 2006Lg Electronics, Inc.Complex type drying apparatus
US20060150689 *8 Dec 200513 Jul 2006Lg Electronics Inc.Combination laundry device and method thereof
US20080127505 *7 Nov 20075 Jun 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Exhaust structure for clothes dryer in apartment building
US20090100702 *19 Sep 200823 Apr 2009Robert Wood FairApparatus and methods for improving the energy efficiency of dryer appliances
US20090151189 *30 Jul 200818 Jun 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Clothes treatment apparatus
US20100089552 *15 Oct 200815 Apr 2010Vu James IHeat energy recovery system
Classifications
U.S. Classification34/90, 34/606, 55/385.1
International ClassificationF24D5/00, F24F3/14, D06F58/20
Cooperative ClassificationF24F3/14, D06F58/20, F24D5/00
European ClassificationF24D5/00, F24F3/14, D06F58/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
13 Jan 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: BURD, BARTZ & GUTENKAUF 1300 FOSHAY TOWER MINNEAPO
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALBERTSON, ROBERT V.;REEL/FRAME:004502/0616
Effective date: 19860103
8 Feb 1983PAPatent available for license or sale
14 Jan 1983AS99Other assignments
Free format text: NEMER, BRUCE A. RECEIVER * DYNA-TEK CORPORATION : 19821110; MCPEAK, DOUGLAS H. : 19821110; ALBERTSON, ROBERT V. : 19821110 OTHER CASES: NONE; CERTIFIED COPY OF ORDER FILED IN THE DISTRICT COURT, HENNEPI
14 Jan 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: NEMER, BRUCE A. RECEIVER
Free format text: CERTIFIED COPY OF ORDER FILED IN THE DISTRICT COURT, HENNEPIN COUNTY MN, APPOINTING ASSIGNEE AS RECEIVER FOR ASSIGNEE ON NOV. 10, 1982.;ASSIGNORS:DYNA-TEK CORPORATION;MCPEAK, DOUGLAS H.;ALBERTSON, ROBERT V.;REEL/FRAME:004086/0795
Effective date: 19821110
Owner name: NEMER, BRUCE A. RECEIVER, MINNESOTA
Free format text: CERTIFIED COPY OF ORDER FILED IN THE DISTRICT COURT, HENNEPIN COUNTY MN, APPOINTING ASSIGNEE AS RECEIVER FOR ASSIGNEE ON NOV. 10, 1982;ASSIGNORS:DYNA-TEK CORPORATION;MCPEAK, DOUGLAS H.;ALBERTSON, ROBERT V.;REEL/FRAME:004086/0795