After reading recent threads about some users that were not satisfied with their monitor, I wanted to create a thread, hoping others will add to the conversation about what they would say to someone getting ready to or thinking about purchasing Sense.
I have long felt that the marketing doesn’t fully address everything in a way that reflects what real world experience will be.
Sense absolutely does everything they say it CAN but they don’t do a good job at all about giving accurate expectations. When we are seeing and reading what Sense is capable of doing, for some reason, we expect that is what it WILL do in our homes.
If your thinking about Sense;
You will not get every single device in your home detected and there are no guarantees about how many or which ones will be. I’ve installed Sense and used it for almost 8 months, at which time there were about 28 detections. I reset and two months later, I have 20. Detection can come fast for some people and slow for others. Committing yourself to being patient is just part of it.
While you watch the real time graph and see different things turn on and off, you will know what these devices are. In a sense, you will have detected it but you will wonder “this is east to see, why hasn’t Sense detected it?”. This is a tough one and can be very frustrating. You might have something that turns on and off at exactly the same times every day and think it should be east to detect. We are looking at it from the human perspective and it doesn’t translate over to how Sense works. The majority of devices I’ve encountered like this have eventually detected, but there a few that haven’t and possibly never will be.
The devices that make up the “Always On” value add up to a lot of electricity in most homes (>20% in mine). So this number will probably be important to you. This is where smart plugs are best used. These devices don’t have the on/off signature Sense needs to see for detection and these also use lower amount of energy individually. Using smart plugs for these can lower your frustration level when your trying to find where all your electricity is going.
You CANNOT train the monitor or really help it detect devices or speed up the process. You will likely think of cycling devices on and off many times or at certain times hoping this will net you a detection. Sorry, I’ve tried every single crazy idea to help Sense along but don’t believe it helped at all. There is a way to let Sense know it has identified a device being on that is not on but that’s the extent of our tools to help.
This is mentioned on their site but if you have tiered billing or the day of the month your meter is read changes, you won’t be able to get completely accurate numbers for projected cost from Sense.
One thing they don’t mention is there are certain devices that are so electrically “noisy” that the can make it so Sense can not detect other things in the home. I personally only know of one, a “variable speed well pump”. It doesn’t mean that it will absolutely block all other detections but has limited one user to having only 4 detections after a couple years. Having that few detections is not the norm.
My personal opinion about Sense is I love it and it is hands down the best electronic purchase I ever made. The $300 price tag is very low in my opinion. If Sense did nothing else but allows you to see the electricity being used in your home, you will subconsciously make behavior changes that will lower your usage. You will do things differently than you have in the past and notice things you never though of before. For some, this may drastically lower their bill and Sense pat for itself quickly. For the ones that make minute changes it will take longer, but it will pay for itself.
Your expectations are going to determine your satisfaction in the end. There is a tendency (myself included) to expect too much too quickly. When you get some detections and especially if they come fast or in groups and it slows down to few or none, then we think “that’s it?”. You just have to be happy with what you have for now and do your best to be patient. There are likely more detections coming and even things that haven’t been detected before have a high likelihood being detected as the whole user base grows. Each one of us contributes to each other’s detections.
Patience is a word that should be stressed with using Sense.
I’m not trying to deter anyone from purchasing Sense, quite the opposite. I think everyone should have it. I would like to help others avoid being disappointed in any way with it.