AC not tracking all power usage

I’ve had my Sense with Solar installed for about 2 days now. Earlier this morning, AC was the first device that was detected. However, it doesn’t appear to tracking its full power usage. If I look at the Power Meter live, I can hear the AC come on and see a power usage spike of ~3200-3500W, which drops back down to baseline levels when i hear the AC turn off. However, Sense is showing that the “AC” device is using only ~2500W, with around 700-1000W in Other.

That small step seems to be about 700-800W above the baseline. Not sure if this is relevant or not.

My question is: will the AC power consumption tracking get better over time, or am I stuck missing a big chunk of it?

What sort of AC do you have? My initial guess is that it’s only picking up one component of it so far. In my home, I have a heat pump/central air. When my heat pump got detected initially a chunk would get sent over to Other. Eventually, Sense figured out that that Other chunk was my furnace fan. Something similar may be happening here, and in that case, detection should improve in time.

I’ll let others chime in with ideas, but keep in mind that 2 days is very early in the detection process. The first couple weeks tend to be a bit wonky as Sense pulls in data from your home. You should really see detection start to improve after a a few weeks.

I have central air with a natural gas powered forced air furnace for heating.

Good to hear that it’s not permanent and likely to improve over time :slight_smile:

My 5 ton heat pump AC got detected about 9 months ago - but only the compressor. The indoor and outdoor fans have still yet to be detected.

I wonder if the 2500W was just for the compressor then. Do the fans really use 700-1000W just to run? Seems excessive.

@fluffy_burrito. In my case, there are two fractional horsepower fans. The 1/2 hp indoor fixed speed circulation fan and a 1/3 hp outdoor fan. A 1/2 hp fan can draw about 850 watts. Do you know what hp size your fan(s) are?

@dwleckie Just looked up the specs, my outdoor condenser fan is 1/4 hp. Not sure about the indoor circulation fan - I don’t have the furnace model number handy. Will have to look it up when I get home today. Looking at the manufacturer’s catalog, seems like it’s mostly 1/2 or 3/4 hp.

So another weird thing happened. Early this morning, Sense found a “Motor 1”. I thought, “Great! That must be the HVAC fan(s)!” And it is… sort of. When the AC comes on, “Motor 1” is showing 2x as much powers as I expected:

The whole house consumption is ~4k (top left), but adding up all of the devices yields ~5k. How does that make any sense?

Another strange thing is that Sense may have lost track of my fridge. Now it shows ~100W usage under “Other”. I mean it could be something else in the house that’s using ~100W periodically when no one is home, but I don’t know what.

Stranger still is that when the AC kicks on, the Others bubbles disappears.

Any plausible explanation for what’s going on?

I have oh so many ideas. The best thing would probably be to write into the support team and ask for me and I can take a look at that point with your permission. Without knowing what’s going on in the background, it’s hard for me to pinpoint the problem.

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@TylerAtSense - what’s the best way to contact Support and reference this discussion?

I opened a ticket…

Just now the AC came on and power display is again different.

I’ve had this sort of partial-detection with most of my major appliances: gas furnace, electric dryer, electric oven. I think the same is true for my dishwasher and washing machine, though I’ve paid less attention to them. Sense detects the device and identifies it correctly, but it misses out on some of the device’s consumption.

I’ve been watching Sense over the weekend, and it seems like when the AC comes on, the usual behavior in Sense is that both “AC” and “Motor 1” show up, at ~2500W and ~2000W, respectively. That’s obviously incorrect, when whole house load is ~4000W, with ~3500W for the AC (by visual inspection). Then after a short time, “AC” goes away and only “Motor 1” stays, with ~1500W in “Other” like the picture above. This is not always the case, but usually it happens this way.

@lance.robert.brown - My fridge tracking is not completely reliable either. There are times where I can hear it running, but it shows up under “Other” in Sense.

Just heard back from Support. This is what they recommended:

I have been able to take a look into your AC’s tracking and noticed a few things. Considering the data I can see from my end, I can see that the ‘AC’ and ‘Motor 1’ devices are duplicates of each other and are both tracking the same real-life appliance in your home. Duplicate devices like this can cause some strange behavior on your end. Clearly, this should not be happening and we apologize for the inconvenience here. I have been sure to pass along the details of this situation to our data science team so that they may work to prevent similar issues from arising in the future. In the meantime, I would recommend deleting the device labeled as ‘Motor 1’ as it is tracking things less accurately. This should allow for more accurate tracking of your air conditioner as we move forward.