Browse Prior Art Database

Publication Date: 2010-Aug-05
Document File: 6 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


An appliance system comprised of a range hood, a cook top, and a closed communication data link is disclosed. The data link facilitates a data stream between the range hood and the cook top. The range hood controls are placed on the cook top user interface at an elevation convenient to the user, such as waist height. The data link between the range hood and the cook top can be implemented in variety of ways including hard-wired, wireless or infrared/laser.

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The present invention relates generally to appliances, and more particularly to a range hood and a cook top.

Typical kitchen appliance installations include a cook top, either stand-alone or as part of a range, and a range hood positioned over the cook top to collect, filter, or remove cooking fumes. The range hood generally contains a fan for moving air and fumes through a filter unit, as well as a light to further illuminate the cook top. Conventionally, the range hood controls consist of a light switch and a fan speed control unit. Fan speed and light controls are, typically, located on or in the chassis of the range hood, about five to six feet above floor level. This location requires a user to reach up in order to adjust the range hood controls. This reaching motion may prove difficult or impossible for many users.

Previous designs contemplated remotely controlling the range hood, but have not placed the controls in an easy to access location such as on an adjacent cook top. The prior art is not focused on ease of use for the operator, only the functionality of the range hood itself. Previous designs attempted to solve the problem by utilizing a separate remote control unit, similar to what is commonly used for a television unit. This solution is inadequate because of practical problems with the remote control unit. Remote control units may be lost or broken, requiring the user to purchase a replacement. Batteries wear out, needing replacement, which may be difficult for a person of limited mobility to accomplish. The cooking environment is often hot and humid, which shortens the life of such remote device.

Other designs aimed not at increasing ease-of-use, but rather at improved hood performance, having remotely controlled the range hood via a keypad or by remotely controlling the fan speed only. There are disadvantages associated with these designs because users often wish to control multiple functions, such as fan speed and light brightness, and designers often wish to utilize control methods other than keypads for aesthetic as well as functional purposes.

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Another previous design attempts to remotely control the range hood by communicating the range hood with a central control panel for all the appliances in a house. This system utilizes a public network wherein all, or many, appliances are controlled from a central wall mounted or hand-held unit. The disadvantages of this design are numerous, specifically in retrofit situations. The requirement to rewire a house will put a high cost on utilizing this approach. Also, all the appliances on this public network will need to be in communication, requiring that they be of like brand to communicate, further limiting the user and increasing installation costs. If a hand- held unit is utilized, the problems described above exist such as risk of losing the hand-held unit or damaging the hand-held...