Need some pointers on device detection


#1

I just recently installed Sense, so I apologize if this seems trivial…

Sense found a device and called it Heat 1. According to the app, about 38% of the community named it HVAC fan and 9% named it Furnace.

That said, I noticed that Heat 1 pops up when my heat comes on and it disappears when I switch my heat to off, so I was inclined to name it Furnace. During my testing, I also noticed that Heat 1 would pop up when the fan was on (set to on instead of auto) even with the heat turned off. So maybe Heat 1 is really the HVAC fan?

Then again, the furnace/heat doesn’t operate without the fan running (if it does it would be a mute point). In this case, I left Heat 1 as Furnace. Is that the right decision?

If I had chosen HVAC fan, would Sense eventually pick up the Furnace as a separate device?


#2

Many of the systems in our homes include multiple components, and Sense often (usually in fact) detects the individual components rather than the whole system. That’s why the Sense app added the “merge” function.

In my case, my Geothermal hvac includes a deep well pump, a heat pump compressor, radiant heat circulation pumps, a/c blower, etc. Sense has found some of those, but by no means all, and thinks of them as separate consumers of power, each with it’s own distinctive signature. It’s probably too much to ask for Sense to deduce all of those making up one device we think of as our heating/cooling.

I’d be delighted if it could at least detect the separate components, but in more than a year it hasn’t been able to.


#3

Hi and welcome.

I’d call it HVAC fan, because that sounds like what it is. Have a look at the power consumption. Mine is around 1kW.

Assuming your furnace is not electric, the rest of it will be picked up in bits and pieces, an ignitor and a valve or two.


#4

Okay, I renamed it HVAC fan since it would be silly to have the furnace showing around +800W when heat is on. That’s some energy efficient furnace :slight_smile:

Since I’ve changed it, I got to thinking about the warmer months. I have a programmable t-stat that can switch between heating and cooling depending on the temp. It makes sense to name it HVAC fan to know when the fan comes on whether the house is being heated or cooled.

That said, I’m hoping that Sense would eventually detect the furnace and the AC so that when HVAC fan pops up, I can at least know if the house is on heat (furnace pops up) or if it’s on cool (AC pops up).


#5

I have similar setup - two natural gas furnace units with A/C condensers connected to heating/cooling thermostats. Today my Sense is smart enough to pick up two separate components of the HVAC - the main blower fan and the AC condenser for each (each is sized differently, upstairs smaller than downstairs). I have chosen to keep them labeled and separate rather than merging, because the main fan is used for both heating and cooling. Still have not detected igniter/blower/solenoid associated with gas heating, but that’s in the noise from an energy perspective.


#6

Just wanted to continue this discussion and learn what your strategies are for verifying the devices that are detected by Sense…

For example, I woke up this morning to find out that Sense detected a microwave. Sense also showed that 100% of the community named it microwave. So I turned on the microwave expecting a bubble for it to pop up, but the Other bubble got larger instead. I guess it’s not as simple as turning something on and off.


#7

Afraid not. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what Sense is doing, and most of the time it takes a while for Sense to figure out what its doing. After more than a year, sense still hasn’t managed to reliably detect and report most of our devices.


#8

Once sense detects a device, the first thing I do is look at the suggested names for the device. From there, I also look at the times said device has been popping on and off. Between those 2 things I can usually nail it down. At that point, it’s mostly a matter of turning the suspects on and off a couple of times. If nothing happens, then I just set the app to alert me when the device turns on and off and that’ll usually get it figured out. I only have 1 identified device that I haven’t nailed down 100%.


#9

Hey, good point on using the on/off alerts to help with the detection/identification.