Parse out always on wattage manually


#1

I am trying to figure out everything possible contributing to my always on power usage. I put a list below with what I identified - wondering if there is anything else obvious I am missing? Although it’s tough to tell right now with Solar messing up my true wattage - I think my always on measured at night with no solar is about 280 watts - so I’m missing something!

Also, a question - does anyone know how many watts the Sense monitor itself uses during operation? I searched the website and couldn’t find the answer - obviously can’t use the Sense app to check it’s own wattage…

A few things are not here like microwave, coffeemaker, washing machine, toaster oven because I installed “kill switches” at the outlet. I also have smart power strips on my TV and computer areas so things like speakers, AV receiver, subwoofer, Apple TV, etc. are powered completely off when the TV powers off

Fish air pump 4 watts
Radon fan 81 watts
Power line adapters 4.6 watts x 3 = 13.8 watts
Washer off 1.1 watts
#1 clock 2 watts
#2 clock 1.1 watts
Range off 0.7 watts
Rachio sprinkler off 1 watt
Pellet stove 1.1 watts
Plasma TV 0.4 watts
Xbox standby 13 watts
Logitech Hub 1.0 watts
D link switch 1.5 watts
Apple time capsule 8.1 watts
Rack basement switch 10.9 watts
Garage door hub 1.2 watts
TP link basement AP 10 watts
Furnace off 12 watts
Hot tub off 11 watts
DSL modem 6.8 watts
Printer sleep 3.0 watts
iMac sleep 1 watt
Dell computers sleep 2.5 watts x2 = 5 watts
Sense monitor
Oven <1 watt

Total always on = 190.7 watts


Lowest Always-On Wattage?
#2

Sorry don’t know why the formatting got weird on the clocks


#3

Are those spec or measured power numbers for each item ?

A few other possibles that I have in my house

  • transformers for doorbell and thermostats
  • electromechanical timers for outdoor lighting
  • hot water recirculation pump
  • Toto heated toilets (my wife wants hers always on)
  • any hidden lights left on (attic, side yard) - sounds obvious, but I noticed a 200W bump in Always On once, only to find a sideyard light continuously on.
  • lots of vampire wall adapters - typically small with modern adapters but they add up.

#4

Putting a hash tag in front of something is code for bold and big.


#5

Combination of measured with kill a watt and measured using sense, not spec numbers.

Good thoughts, I’ll bet my doorbell does draw a little.


#6

Dont forget the fridge. My fridge has an always on drain of 14 watts.

I tried totalling up all my vampire drains I could think of and I’m still about 100 watts short of what Sense says.

Sense says always on is 249 watts. Using my Kill a watt I came up with 129 watts.


#7

Don’t forget that “Always on” is a 24hr average.


#8

Best way to ascertain “always on” power is to turn off everything you can in the household (especially things that shouldn’t be shut off without powering down, e.g. computers.

Then shut off all the individual breakers in the home (except the one that power’s Sense) while monitoring Sense. You should have 0 watts ideally, but I suspect Sense will pull approximately 5 to 10 watts, so that may be your baseline.

Then turn on 1 breaker and see what the increase in power is and note it. Turn the breaker off and repeat for each breaker. This will show how much power is associated with each breaker. Now, go to the rooms associated with the breakers, and find out the sources of each room that total for that breaker.

Some hard to find items might be an attic fan that automatically comes on, smart wall sockets and smart light switches.

Hope this helps.


#9

Thanks everyone! I did find some more I hadn’t thought of:

Another TV and Apple TV
My garage door opener - that was over 10 watts!
Doorbell transformer
Will test the fridge next, my older garage fridge had no draw while on standby, but wouldn’t be surprised if the newer LG fridge does.

I had though about checking circuit by circuit, but with my network my modem, router and access point are all on different circuits, and if network goes down Sense goes down, so hadn’t done it. Just realized I can connect Sense to my phone as a hotspot though, and then test every breaker except the Sense breaker. I will do that as soon as it stops snowing!


#10

Thanks for the list Gary…
You’re going to force me to look at the non-active power draw of my garage doors. I assumed that would be tiny, but I guess it takes a lot to keep that remote receiver continuously scanning !

I personally think there is a lot of value in the “Always On” bubble and associated exercise - it forces you to do the accounting for a number that’s somewhat tricky to isolate, even with a net meter trace…


#11

I agree - I think there is a lot of value. My goal was not necessarily to find every little thing (which I ended up doing) but to make sure there wasn’t something large, drawing always on wattage that I was unaware of. If it helps anyone else: here is my current list (the doorbell and sense are estimated as I haven’t had time to measure using the breaker method yet):

Always On House Energy

Fish air pump 4 watts
Radon fan 81 watts
Power line adapters 4.6 watts x 3 = 13.8 watts
Washer off 1.1 watts
Broncos clock 2 watts
Digital clock 1.1 watts
Range off 0.7 watts
Rachio off 1 watt
Pellet stove 1.1 watts
Plasma TV 0.4 watts
Xbox standby 13 watts
Logitech Hub 1.0 watts
D link switch 1.5 watts
Apple time capsule 8.1 watts
Rack basement switch 10.9 watts
Garage door hub 1.2 watts
TP link basement AP 10 watts
Basement TV 0.5 watts x2 = 1 watt
Furnace off 12 watts
Hot tub off 11 watts
Office modem 6.8 watts
Printer sleep 3.0 watts
iMac sleep 1 watt
Dell computers sleep 2.5 watts x2 = 5 watts
Oven <1 watt
iDevices 0.5 watts x4 = 2 watt
Sense monitor 5 watts?
Doorbell 3 watts?
Apple TV 0.3 + 0.8 = 1.1 watts
Garage door opener 10.3 watts
LG fridge 7.0 watts (often goes to 14)

Total always on = 220.1 watts

This correlates pretty closely to my Sense always on measurement - although waiting for the solar fix to know for sure as it varies quite a bit daytime to night.


#12

They all add up, eh ? Seems like many of the wall line HVAC and large appliances all have a 10W standby… Just checked my 3 garage door openers and “found” 30W of hidden Always On consumption.


#13

These are some good lists and useful tips within this thread. Thanks guys. Perhaps good enough to parse, consolidate, and maintain this info within the Always On tutorial on the Sense web site.


#14

One more minor surprise - I had thought my electrostatic air filters only turned on when my furnace blower was on. But no, even the electrostatic air filters have a non-trivial standby power draw of about 6.5 watts. Multiply times 2 furnaces, and I have 5% of my Always On power.


closed #15