How well does sense detect various Heat Pumps?


My experience is similar, my “Other” category is pretty much just my mini-split AC. I can understand how the variable speed motors might be trickier to detect, but after thousands of samples I have to think that the model must simply not be looking for them.


So far, not so well.

Hasn’t even detected Jacuzzi pumps.


One week in and it’s only detected one fan on three hvac systems. Not so good. I wonder if Sense works better on smaller, simpler homes.


I wish it could find mine. For the first 5 months my Sense was installed it never found the air handler at all. Then I had to replace the system back in September when the old system gave up the ghost and 5+ months later it still has not acknowledged that the system is there despite running a whole lot every day for cooling and then heat the last couple of months.


I have a 3 ton split heat pump system with auxiliary heat strips. The heat pump was the first discovered for the system, meaning the outdoor unit. That unit has a condenser fan, compressor, low wattage mainboard and a reversing valve. I don’t know if it Sensing more that just the compressor but definitely the compressor is included.
It has picked up my heat strips on the inside and they are 15kw.
Nothing else from indoor air handler identified yet.


I have two mini-spit Mitsubishis. They run in heat mode in the winter and cool mode in the summer. Sense cannot reliably report anything about either unit. The signatures of both are complex and highly variable. The fact that Sense can’t detect them is not surprising. I monitor mine with dedicated CT-based Zigbee power monitors feeding my Samsung SmartThings hub. I have up on Sense a long time ago.


2 Tranes. Sense started detecting them reliably ~2 months after Sense was installed.

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Sense detected my heat pump within the first week or 2, then rediscovered each leg of the heat pump about a week later. I wonder if it had trouble because the temperature here in NC has required both heat and AC lately, so the system is operating slightly differently. I have a Westinghouse outdoor condenser and a Nordyne air handler in the attic.


Running in heat or cool mode wouldn’t make much difference if it’s a heat pump, it uses and runs the same components except when it’s running an occasional defrost cycle or auxiliary heat is on.
As for picking up the other leg, this is just common with sense to detect one leg then the other. To verify it is the other leg and not another device. To do that go to each device page and look at the average watts under “stats”. If they are not very close to the same then it’s not the other leg and something else. 240 devices don’t pull more from o e leg then the other, it should be equal.
Keep in mind that your detections could be a single component of your system. My heat pump in sense is the heat pump outside unit that is comprised of the compressor and condenser fan.
It’s an accurate detection running in heat or cool mode. In colder weather the wattage will be lower because the compressor doesn’t ha e to work as hard.


Thanks for the clarification @samwooly1.

I know heat pumps work “in reverse” to get heat or cooling, I just didn’t know if that would look different to Sense.

I can clearly see the heat pump compressor/condenser running, when the aux heat kicks in, and finally when the fan continues to run for another minute or so after the compressor shuts off.


That depends on your system. For example, when my heat pump is in heating mode, it’s driving a radiant heating configuration (multiple zones, pumps, etc), but when it’s in cooling mode it’s feeding an air handler. So while the compressor looks pretty much the same, many of the other pieces are quite different.

Sense sees some of this but not all, so my “Other” gets quite different depending on mode.


Hear pumps don’t actually turn in the reverse direction. Compressors can only turn one way. What happens is a valve switches which way the Freon flow by diverting it. That’s where the term “reverse” comes from


Ah, gotcha, thanks for the correction. Learn something new every day :grin::+1:t2:


Correct @andy about other components. I was talking about only the compressor. The compressor works the same in either mode. When switching between heat and cool, mine gets tagged every time.


After 15 months of Sense finding devices correctly (never our two Mitsu Heat pumps however) and then losing them, only to find them again and give them new names and ID’s, I finally reset the entire thing last week. It even lost my coffee maker that it accurately identified nearly a year ago. My new house is entirely electric. Heat pumps for all heat and cooling, State hybrid heat pump water heater, LED lighting, electric induction range, electric dryer, etc, and 10 Kw of solar on the roof. Our total cost for electricity last year was $600. Despite everything being new and up to code, Sense has not done well. It’s good for the solar monitoring and quite accurate when compared to the actual bills. Not good on device consumption however. Unpredictable and unreliable in my house unfortunately. Of equal importance is the fact that Sense support just replies with “working on it” and then you never hear from them again. I have some friends that also have a Sense in an older house with a much smaller electrical load. It seems to work well for them. Perhaps my house is too complex for it. They also have a Mini-split system and Sense has NOT identified theirs either.


If I had your electric bill, I wouldn’t need sense to save. My last bill was $200 and the one before $275.
That’s for a small all electric 1600 foot house. I’ve actually had two bills that were $600 each before.


Yes indeed. Last year my power bill (we’re in NH, at $0.18/kwh) was just over $2,000, for a 3,000 sq ft home. We’re all electric, including heat, A/C, etc. We do have solar, which covers about 50% of our power consumption.


@andy you and @jgoodnough2 both have
Have some impressive number for electricity
I’ve looked into the solar route but here in Kentucky where I’m paying $.085 a KWH, it just doesn’t make sense.