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Old 02-12-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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Honeywell mini zone and generator power


I just wanted to start out by saying I know very little about HVAC and usually call a tech to come fix my system when in need. I have a few questions about the system I hope someone can answer. I have a 2 story 2300 sq. ft. house that was built in 2004 and the furnace says startup 6/2004.

I have a comfortmaker gas furnace located in my attic and a comfortmaker A/C outside (3 or 3.5 ton). On top of the furnace there is a Honeywell mini zone. I would think the mini zone is the brains of the system. Working the gas furnace and blower motor and ducts in the winter, and working the blower motor and ducts in sync with the A/C in the summer.

I am planning on getting a new portable generator for back up power but have some concerns. I am not getting a standby because I may not be living here in 5 years or less. I have heard of newer furnaces having problems running on generator power. I plan on getting a good quality portable not a cheap one.

My question is has anyone had experience using a portable generator to run this furnace or A/C with the honeywell mini zone? If so what make and size generator.
How picky is the honeywell mini zone as to how clean the power is coming into the unit? If the furnace will not work with the generator does that mean the A/C will not work also? thanks

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Old 02-12-2010, 10:11 PM   #2
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Honeywell mini zone and generator power


I would not run any furnace off a generator. Modern circuit boards are designed for 60 cycle/60 hz power and nothing else. They are polarity sensitive and voltage sensitive (and have monitors for voltage) and can be easily damaged. We get a LOT of that in the Summer with A/C's/storms. Generators are good for power tools which can use power from 58 to 62 cycle with no problems and light bulbs which also don't care. I have a Coleman 5000 watt generator and bought an expensive power conditioner from an electronics store, like the clean power supply UPS that computers use. You also have to have a expensive transfer switch so you don't backfeed power into the grid and get sued for damages or killing a power lineman who may be working to correct the power failure.

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Last edited by yuri; 02-12-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Honeywell mini zone and generator power


I have a transfer switch, so no need to worry about killing a lineman-- but I have not tried running my current generator with my furnace because I know it outs out dirty power. I have looked into the newer, more expensive portables like the Honda, Honeywell, generac and briggs and stratton. The honeywell states they put out clean power and so do the honda's--one or two of the briggs and generacs also say they put out clean power that they are electronics friendly. They have automatic voltage control and electronic idle control. Therefore supplying constant voltage and minimal fluctuation in HZ. The HZ tolerance of the microprocessor is what I am worried about.
I just wanted to know if anyone has used one of these with a microprcessor controlled furnace with success. I want to buy a new portable but wanted some input based on experience . thanks
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