Multiple HVAC units

I’ve had my sense up and running for a little more than a week.

The first device detected was an AC unit. There are 3, they are all WIFI enabled so I can see exactly which one turned on and I labelled it “AC - Casita”. A few days later the one in the living room was detected and I labelled that one “AC - Living”…so far so good. The one remaining unit was lumped into the “unknown” bubble and I was pretty certain it would be identified soon. Yesterday I noticed that the 3rd unit was now being tagged as “AC - Living” as well. It’s the exact same model of AC unit but the steady state usage is slightly higher than the other similar unit and the spike when it starts up is quite a bit different.

Is there a way to resolve this or will the 2 units forever be intertwined?

They’ll probably be confused for the foreseeable future. I see the same thing with stove-top burners, others report the same for items as unrelated as a coffee maker and vegetable steamer.

IMO, they need to fix this or have some way for me to manually fix it. There’s still time but if they cannot fix it then I don’t really see a reason for keeping it and will probably return it before the 60 days is up.

Everybody has their reasons for investing in this device, and some have reasons for returning it.

My reasons for buying and keeping are that it provides me ongoing, real-time data on my energy production and consumption - something very few devices do, and do as well as Sense. The ability to detect specific devices is just gravy, and has allowed us to preventatively identify a failing fridge and water heater. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good and again, something other products can’t do in the same simple way.

Assuming you have an ecobee or similar unit, my thermostat and A/C is something I haven’t touched or even looked at in a couple of years, except to figure out what time it was. These new thermostats are remarkably advanced and self-sufficient. Sounds like you have a much more complicated home than I, so I hope that if Sense can’t give you what you need, you’re able to find a more suitable solution.


I have an identical situation. Two air conditioner units that are nearly identical. Whichever unit comes on first is identified as ‘Air Conditioner 1’, but if the second unit comes on at the same time that the first unit is on, then it goes into the ‘Other’ bubble.

Frustrating…since air conditioners are by far my highest usage item.

Maybe @HilarioAtSense can suggest something for us…

Indeed. My entire reason for investing in Sense was to get detailed device by device consumption information. I already had an excellent (and actually more accurate…calibrated to the revenue grade metering) system provided by WelServer. What I wanted was to know was exactly how much of my power bill was being caused by each of the larger users within my home. Unfortunately, due to my “noisy” constant pressure well pump, Sense wasn’t able to provide much additional information, even after working for months (and replacing a Sense unit) with the folks at Sense support and engineering.

So, for some users it provides the expected value and for some of us it doesn’t. I keep hoping that their data scientists will develop more sophisticated algorithms over time and to unlock the potential of Sense for my environment…it’s NOT a simple problem technically.

They are different. I would still utilize Sense’s button “Device is not on” when the 3rd unit lights up “ac - living”

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I didn’t even know that was an option and after having a look around I cannot locate it. Where does it live exactly?

Our two AC systems are a mess. Each has an air handler and a condenser. Same make/line but slightly different capacities and motors. One system has the condenser and air handler detected, the other system only has the air handler detected. One of the air handlers will say its on when it is the other one on and the detected condenser will say it is on when the un-detected condenser is running. However if both condensers are running the undetected one’s usage is under ‘other’ and the detected one’s usage is under the proper device. I’ve clicked “Device isn’t on” endless times hoping to see a change.

Click here to find device not found button

It’s an unfortunate issue with similar devices devices like this. I believe there’s members on here are have run into like problems with garage door openers. Have you reached out to Support at all? They can lend better guidance than I, since they can actually look at your data. That said, a week is a pretty short amount of time in “Sense-years” (I’m going to coin that). The machine learning process is slow and needs to see a lot of data, so these detections may improve in time.

I do have a support ticket opened. In order to properly evaluate the unit within the seemingly generous 60 days, I would hope that it’s detected everything by that time. If not, perhaps there’s some leeway to extend the 60 day trial period…maybe 60 “sense-years” would be more appropriate?

I shot you a PM.

For everyone here: I spoke to the DS team about the AC conflation that’s happening in this thread. Let me summarize that convo.

As you can imagine, AC detection in houses with multiple ACs is challenging because our algorithms have to associate each on-off AC cycle with the correct AC. Since we use differences in the patterns of AC power-consumption to do this association, the process of association gets harder when you have multiple identical units. The ‘more identical’ your ACs are (slight differences can exist between identical models), the harder it is for us to get them all accurately. Exactly identical ACs would be impossible to disambiguate, but this is rare.

That said, we are constantly working to improve our algorithms for cases where the ACs are nearly but not exactly identical. For example we recently released improvements to disambiguate ACs by looking at whether the air handler is on a different 110V main and many Sense users should start seeing better detections soon that reflect that.

We’re faced with a lot of challenges here, and this is just one of them. But we’re working on it…really. Hopefully, those of you who tuned into the webinar can attest to that. I’ll let ya’ll know when I have some more updates.

Are there many air handler that aren’t 240V? Or do the handlers have internal components which only run on 120 even though the main motor is 240?

In my home, both the furnaces which house the gas firebox, heat exchanger and HVAC blower/air handler, run off of 110V. It’s only the AC condenser units that run off 220V. Fairly standard based on what I have seen of natural gas fired systems.

Our home here in New England has an oil fired boiler for heat via forced hot water radiators. The heating system runs off a single 120V breaker. Later in the home’s life two AC systems were was added for the 1st floor and 2nd floor. The two AC systems, each having an air handler and a condenser, run off four 240V breakers one per component.

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Thanks for the insight. I can see an AC retrofit sticking with 220V for both.

@2uskiwis, do you know what your air handlers and condensers look like from a 110V / 220V perspective ?

Agree completely.

I do not but I do know that I can see the difference as one of them spikes a lot higher on startup than the other…that’s the tell tale.

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