Finding Air Handler when Sense can't see Outside Compressor


#1

Due to a quirk of the way my house is wired, when I connected the Sense back in the spring I knew it would never see the load of either the pool pump or the outside compressor portion of the heat pump. And while that is a disappointment since they are the biggest users of power in the house, there isn’t much I can do about it unless, or until Sense can integrate 2 monitors into one account effectively. Or, if someone has come up with a spreadsheet that merges data from 2 Sense into one report to consolidate, I guess that would work as well.
So my question is, if Sense cannot see the outside compressor, is that likely to increase the length of time it takes for it to detect the air handler which, unless the secondary heat comes on is just a motor for the blower?

Because in a ridiculous twist of fate, I had to replace my entire heat pump system a week or so ago and the air handler had never been discovered after 4 months despite running like crazy in a Florida summer. But then about 4 days after the new system was installed I got a new device alert of a motor being discovered, but that motor hasn’t shown up as operational since the day the old Heat Pump system was replaced so I’m guessing that it did finally think it found the old one after 4 months. I’m concerned that since the new one is variable speed, and Sense can’t see the compressor it will take it absolutely forever before it picks up this one and my Other category will continue to represent 70% of my usage forever


#2

Hey @don1, that does sound frustrating!

Variable speed motors are especially challenging, but integrations may be able to help Sense figure this out in the not-too-distant future. While that still won’t account for your compressor, hopefully it could start to bring down that “other” bubble.

Sorry we don’t have anything immediate for you, and thank you for your patience along the way!


#3

I was concerned early that this investment wasn’t going to be useful when it didn’t discover much of anything in the beginning and I’m finding it to be less and less useful over time. I can’t monitor the usage of my 2 heaviest power demand items in the house because there is no support for multiple sensors in one home. After 4+ months I still have 70+% of the load it ‘can’ see registered as unknown an another 20% as Always On. I’m starting to wonder what the actual value is. When I add the Unknown into what it can’t see due to the inability to see more than one monitor I’m lucky if maybe 10% of my total utilization is anything but a blob or a black hole after 4+ months…
I continue to be disappointed by this tool. It is simply not living up to the hype and does not appear to be getting better on the big load things. Sure, I can see my Hue bulbs but the load they generate is so low it’s barely a blip in the energy usage in the house. It would have been really nice had it picked up the air handler after a couple of months instead of 4+ (if that was even it) so I could see and measure the projected energy savings of the new one, Of course, it would have taken 4+ months to find the new one which would make it winter and the comparative data would be useless.


#4

Good morning @don1,

Have you had a chance to check in with our support team about the devices Sense has and has not discovered? We just want to make sure everything is working as it should, while getting an idea for what the other major consumers are in your home that Sense has not been able to discover.

We are still working towards support for multiple panels and sensors, so hopefully there will be a solution for your unique situation long-term. While this may be little consolation in the meantime, you may be able to get some sense of the difference between each air handler by looking at your whole-home energy use trends for a month or billing cycle with your previous air handler, vs. a month/billing cycle with the new air handler, just to get an idea of whether you’ve been able to save some money with the new unit. Of course there are many weather related variables that could play into that, but since you’ve had Sense installed for a long time, you may be able to do some averaging to help mitigate that.

Sorry again for your disappointment. Please be in touch with our support team so they can offer more help for your particular situation. https://sense.com/contact


#5

I could look at the bill and get my total monthly usage over time; I’ve been doing that for 5 years. When I purchased the Sense, I was hoping to get more discrete data about my energy usage of individual devices as part of an effort to reduce my energy utilization. But what I’ve found is that it ends up being a study in compromises that in the end doesn’t really add much value to that exercise other than a pretty demo.

When it can’t see my primary refrigerator after 4+ months, it sees the microwave occasionally, It has only picked up 1 of 4 TV’s in the house despite all of them being network connected smart TV’s. It never saw any of the ceiling fans. The washer, dryer and dishwasher haven’t been found and It sounds like I should have no expectation that I’ll ever see the new air handler for the heat pump.

I just double-checked a theory and it turns out Sense never saw the old heat pump air handler even after 4+ months. What it seems it picked up was the window air conditioner I bought to survive the 105 degree heat index week that my house AC went out while waiting for the replacement to be installed. It picked that up almost immediately but never found the air handler for the old heat pump that died.

I tried support a couple of months ago when I first felt that Sense wasn’t living up to its marketing message and all they did was tell me I had to wait longer. I’ve waited another couple of months and it’s not actually adding any more value now than it did then. Based on feeling like I got blown off by support the last time, I’m not sure what I expect anything different to warrant another attempt.


#6

Hi @don1.
I wouldn’t say you were blown-off by support. I’m having fair success with sense, but majority of my biggest consumers were not discovered until after 4 months of use. If my success is typical (I have a large family with many active energy usage devices for sense to sort through) then i hope you see devices popping up in sense soon.
The more devices that are active at once, the more Sense has to weed-out the unique signatures.
You probably know the above information, but I wanted to share that it took awhile for some devices I had some interest in.
Sense never found my electric furnace last winter, but I can’t control that energy usage… it needs to run, I set the thermostat scheduling the best I can.
What I can control are the space heaters sense found and see if daughters turned up their temp, sense found my hot water tank so I can see if daughters are abusing long showers or baths, I can control my thermostat with my Nest app for heating and AC if the thermostat is abused…
But refrigerators and car charger just need to run their course to save the food and be charged for the next morning. If the car is an energy hog you won’t toss it away, you’ll charge it during not-peak hours, if your utility company offers savings during that time.
Lastly, anything that can run during not busy times when the house is asleep or the house is empty (like, car charging delay timer, AC, or the dishwasher delay timer) will help pinpoint signatures when there is less energy usage for sense to separate from competing devices.
Let me know if any suggestion was helpful, again you may have already known all this and tried all these during the past 4 months.


#7

Hi @don1, very sorry for my delay in getting back to you!

I assure you, it was not all the intention of our support team to blow you off, and I’m very sorry it felt that way. Please get back in touch, either through a DM to me here or by contacting the support team directly (via sense.com/contact) se we can find a way to make this right.

Apologies again for the frustration. Enjoy the weekend nonetheless!


#8


On June 12th, I got this response.

The whole middle of it was just a copy and paste of a blog post.

"Thank you for reaching out to us, and I’m sorry that you’ve been experiencing device detection issues with Sense. When checking over your monitor, we noticed that your monitor appears to be in the early stages of device detection in your home. As this is the case, we expect that Sense will be able to learn more of your devices as it has more time to gather information on their specific usage patterns in your home. To explain why this is the case, I would like to first explain how Sense’s device learning process works in greater detail.

Sense learns devices by using models and algorithms of a device’s electrical signature, and will only add a device to the devices list after it has been identified with 98% accuracy from the other signatures in your home, while still in context of the other devices in your home. In homes where there are usually many devices running at once, it can be more difficult for Sense to separate out the individual devices, which can increase the amount of time it would take for Sense to learn a device. When Sense is in the progress of identifying a device, this device is placed into the Other category until Sense is able to confidently detect this device. Because Sense needs time to see the the patterns of your devices running in your home, it is normal for Sense to take more than a few days in order to identify all of the appliances in a home, and could potentially take weeks worth of data to form reliable models that would make the detection devices accurate. It is also important to know that even when Sense has already discovered a device, the detection algorithms are always taking newer data into consideration so that the accuracy of detection can be improved over time.

We highly encourage giving Sense more time to learn the devices in your home. …"

To me, that is the very definition of getting blown off.

I have re-opened the case and hope someone will actually engage this time instead of just pasting a portion of a blog post into their response.