Honeywell Generator Winter Guide: Expect The Unexpected

Location, location, location...

When it comes to generator selection and installation, so much depends on your unique needs and your home's configuration. Just like there's no "one size fits all" for appropriately sizing a generator, there are also multiple factors to consider when determining the ideal installation site. For that reason, the below guidelines have been assembled to make the process easier and to ensure your chosen location meets appropriate zoning requirements.

Codes: Most municipalities will require a permit to install a standby generator. Visit your local buildings department and/or contact a local inspector to ensure the approval of your desired installation site.

Utilities: An easy way to save money on the cost of installing a generator is to place the generator closer to your electric meter and fuel supply line.

Sound:Featuring sound attenuated enclosures, Honeywell air-cooled automatic standby generators are quieter than a portable generator, making placement closer to the home an applicable option when determining your desired installation site.

Weather: While Honeywell standby generators are designed to protect the unit from precipitation, it is important to protect each unit from flooded areas. Choosing an installation site that is well-drained and unsusceptible to accumulated rainfall or runoffs is recommended.

Compliance: Generators can be placed no closer than 3 feet from meters, A/C units, combustibles, or anything serviceable. If located away from doors, windows, and fresh air intakes, the back of the generator can be placed as close as 18 inches from the home, unless otherwise dictated by local codes. Working with an authorized Honeywell dealer will help to ensure all of the proper clearances are provided for optimal operation.

Upkeep: In addition to the clearance requirements provided above, at least 36 inches of space is recommended in front of the unit to leave enough space for a technician to perform maintenance and service-related tasks.

Tips for Powering Up Your Holiday Gift List

No one wants to be known as the family grinch on Christmas morning. But we have good news for all you holiday shoppers: stealing the title of "best gift giver" is easier than you might think. Just follow these simple tips to make everyone wish you had drawn their name for holiday gifts this year.

Keep records: Listen to when loved ones say they like something or have an interest in a specific activity. Write it down at that moment so you don't forget it and they'll know you listen to what they are saying. Write a note: Yes, actually WRITE it. A handwritten note that accompanies a gift is a thoughtful gesture that people appreciate in a world of email and texts.

Spend time: Instead of getting a gift, give the gift of time. Take a loved one to a sporting event, concert, museum, or on vacation. Spending time makes memories, which are remembered far longer than a thoughtless gift.

Think consumable: People love food. Take the time to bake or cook something you know they love.

Give a top ten: Search out the top gifts for 2015. Often, these gifts have been tested and approved by a number of critical giftees who assigned them the coveted title of "best gift."

According to multiple gift guides for 2015, the top ten best holiday gifts for 2015 are all electronics. And what's the one thing you need to make your electronics work? Power. So this year, if you really want to give the best gift under the tree, give the gift of power.

4 Unexpected things you'll miss during a Winter Power Outage

According to a recent study, just four percent of surveyed homeowners selected heat as the household item they would miss the most during a power outage, compared to more than half (51%) who said they would miss their TV the most. Yes, long hours in the dark can be incredibly boring without the entertainment of a news program or favorite show, but when considering power outages during the dead of winter, a lack of entertainment may be the last thing homeowners should be concerned about.

This research alludes to the fact that many homeowners don't realize the dangers and inconveniences they would face during a power outage. To help homeowners best prepare for the realities of winter-related power outages, Honeywell has compiled a few reminders of unexpected items they'll be without when utility power is unavailable:

1. Running water: When the heat is out, pipes are more susceptible to freezing. Even if you have an oil-based source of household heating, a power outage will still disrupt service and indoor temperatures will dip. A frozen or burst pipe can halt your access to running water, which can lead to some very expensive home repairs. Opening the faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that comes with ice blockage and can prevent a pipe from bursting.

2. Fast emergency responders and utility companies: Snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice all make for treacherous travel conditions, so response times from emergency and utility crews will be delayed during winter storms. When power outages occur and these important services aren't readily available, families can quickly find themselves in dangerous situations. By properly preparing for these situations, you can keep your family safe and avoid having to call these crews for help in the event of an emergency.

3. Wireless Internet: Most homeowners forget that when the power goes out, so does their wireless internet access. With routers down, that means no available connection to communicate with loved ones or get important updates about the storm. Cellular service can also be interrupted during an outage, and with no way to charge cell phone batteries, that option is also often limited.

4. Daylight: This one might seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget that daylight hours are short during the winter, especially when a storm is passing through. Homes can get dark and stay dark for the majority of the day. Candles and flashlights work well for short periods of time, but it's important to re-think backup lighting options during the winter when darkness is prolonged.

These critical household functions are all things that homeowners would desperately miss in the event of a winter power outage. The best way to ensure you and your family won't be without power is to create an organized winter preparedness plan that includes a stockpile of food, water and other supplies, as well as a source of backup power. From a home standby option that automatically turns on when utility power is interrupted, to a portable unit for powering essential items, generators can make all the difference in regards to the safety of your home and family this winter.

Winterizing Honeywell products

For those who will feel the effects of extreme cold over the next few months, it is highly recommend that Honeywell products are prepared for the looming winter weather. If you do not plan on utilizing a portable or stationary product this winter season, performing any long-term storage or maintenance-related tasks is recommended to keep your unit safely stored until the next time it's put to use. Following these tips will keep your product safe during the winter, so that it's ready to operate when warmer weather returns in spring.

Honeywell Portable Generators:

Drain Fuel: To avoid engine problems, the fuel system should be emptied before storage of 30 days or longer. In an outdoor setting, drain fuel in an approved container and away from an open flame (do not smoke in the vicinity or light a cigarette). Be sure to only do this when the engine is cool. Once the fuel has been removed through the use of an automatic style siphon, start and run the engine until it stops from a lack of fuel. If emptying the fuel tank is not practical, add a commercially available fuel stabilizer to the gasoline to increase the life of the gasoline - do not store untreated gasoline from one season to the next.

Drain/Replace Oil: After adding a fuel stabilizer or running the generator, allow the engine to cool, and drain oil from the unit's crankcase. Then refill the crankcase with 5W-30 synthetic oil; 5W-30 is the optimal option for freezing temperatures. Be sure to check your unit's owner's manual to ensure that alternative oil is not required.

Lubrication: Another important aspect of preparing a portable generator for long-term storage is lubricating the piston rings and cylinder bore. To do so, remove the unit's spark plug and pour about half ounce (15 ml) of engine oil into the cylinder. Then cover the spark plug hole with a rag. Next, pull the recoil starter a couple of times to provide the proper lubrication; it is important to avoid spray from the spark plug hole when cranking the unit's engine. Once lubricated, re-install and tighten the spark plug - do not connect the spark plug wire.

Prepare for Storage: Once the aforementioned steps have been performed, clean the generator's outer surfaces. Ensure that cooling air slots and openings are open and unobstructed. If possible, the unit should be covered and stored indoors to keep it warm and away from dust and dirt; any cover that does not retain moisture would be suitable for storage use. Never cover the generator while the engine and exhaust area are warm.

Battery: If your product features a battery, it must be charged at least once every 30 days (for no longer than 48 hours), even if you don't plan on using the product for the next few months.

Honeywell Home Standby Automatic Generators:

Use the Right Oil:While automatic standby generators require maintenance for the winter season, they do not require storage prep, as they are permanently installed and should be set to run whenever an outage occurs. Considering this, we recommend that you change the unit's oil to 5W-30 synthetic if you have not done so already. If your unit is new, however, please know that SAE 30 conventional oil should be used for the duration of the unit's break-in period prior to changing to an alternative oil option.

Clearing Snowfall: In regards to maintaining the generator when inclement weather hits, we recommend keeping the unit clear of snowfall on all sides, including the top of the unit. At least 5 feet of clearance should be provided at all times. Failure to do so can cause the unit to overheat and may jeopardize the functionality of the generator.

Battery Checks: Check that the battery is not low or dead to ensure the unit is prepared to operate when the next outage occurs. If a battery is too low or completely dead, it may not take a charge and will need to be replaced. Also, follow the unit's scheduled maintenance requirements for product use in the winter months. For a complete breakdown of the maintenance required for your home standby generator, we recommend referring to the Maintenance section of the product's owner's manual.

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