My First Week With Sense


I purchased Sense last week, and after 7 days, I thought I would share my experience thus far. As you all know, device detection is slow, and yes, I do get excited when a new device is detected. So far, I only have six devices: Deep Freezer, Fridge, Garage Door (the last one to detect 3 days ago), Microwave, and water heater. Will keep fingers crossed for more soon.

So far, I like the product. But I’m really a nerd… When I got my Roomba, my wife didn’t see me for a week and said I spend more time following it around the house than her. Sense is like Roomba on steroids because I can literally stare at it all day. It has some quirks, but that is part of the fun, isn’t it??

My Oven hasn’t been detected yet, although Sense confuses it with the stove top burners sometimes. I have one of those stoves that can have up to three rings turned on individually, so that difference in wattage throws it off. I’m sticking to two rings until I am sure it has learned everything.

I had to power cycle Sense one time, yesterday. It never received an “off” signature or something, and thought my stove was on all day, when it wasn’t. I tried to trick it by turning the stove on and off, but after 5-15 minutes it would just come back. Power cycle solved it.

It would be great if users could enter their own findings of devices. Or if Sense made broader guesses and let the end user answer yes or no. I bet discovery would go a lot faster.

I’ve also been tracking down my always on, which is a low 195 watts. But I can’t seem to find about 80 of those watts. I’ll have to wait for the wife to go on vacation to really start flipping breakers and running around the house.

I did find one interesting thing that may help you if you have a very new refrigerator that uses induction cooling. Every 5 minutes, like clockwork 24/7, the fridge will use about 10-20 watts for about 2 minutes. I’m guessing that part of the cooling process. It also cycles like a normal fridge, but Sense hasn’t discovered or told me about that 5 minute cycle. When it does, at least I’ll know that is the cause.

I’ll post again after 30 days. I am on a TOU rate with electric company as well as a demand factor. So, I’ve been working more on demand as that is the big chunk. I put a wifi timer on my hot water heater and that has made a huge difference. When my clothes dryer and water heater ran at the same time, it was 12kw… Now, I just set the water heater in away when I start the clothes dryer. As long as I don’t do three loads in a row, they’ll never run at the same time.

Take care Sense users…

Jeff T.

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TOU with Demand charges - you have a good reason for using the real-time load visibility of Sense ! Also seems like you are getting a reasonable number of detections. My advice, as long term user, is to have patience and avoid trying to coerce Sense to be more accurate or to find new detections. If a device/model has really gotten lost you can delete the model. And if a big consumer in your house seems detection-resistant (as most electronics and DC motors are), use a supported smart plug or Flex Sensor on that device.