What's the best way to use a smart plug?


I have only 1 TP-Link HS110 and it has always been my nomadic power monitor to check random devices.
Then Sense came along and it integrated with it, which as I’ve read it is helpful to provide ground truth data, and I currently have it plugged in to a chest freezer for several days straight.
My questions are around how to best use the 1 smart plug I have to help Sense around my house, and at the same time have the smart plug available for myself when I need it for other projects, since I only have a single one.
For example, do I need to keep that HS110 permanently assigned to the chest freezer now, or can I unplug it after a few days of data collection? How much time does it need to collect data on a specific device using the smart plug until it’s got a useful amount to analyze?
If I unplug it in order to measure a different device, do I let it retain its history and just change the “What’s plugged to this device”? Or do I remove the smart plug from Sense entirely and add it again? (In order to wipe the historical data and start fresh when plugging to another device)

I’ve read here in the community that some people use quite a few plugs with Sense for energy monitoring, I only have one so I’d like to make the most out of it.

If you plan to keep on analyzing using just one smart plug, then you, not Sense, have to be the one to determine when you have enough useful data to analyze, because Sense isn’t really going to do anything smart with your smartplug data, except over the long haul.

My suggestion - continue to use your HS110 as a nomad (I call mine my traveller), using this process:

  • use on every plugged device in your house for a week or so, in order of decreasing suspected energy usage
  • log the dates for that device’s usage so you can go back and find the data for each device in the Device Power Meter for your nomad smart-plug.
  • use the week of so traces to determine important aspects of each device - average energy usage, peak usage, always on usage, typical on/off times.
  • of course there are going to be devices that change usage patterns with seasons (lighting, HVAC) so you might want to look at multiple samples in different seasons.

I look at my traveller smartplug as a more accurate Kil-A-Watt that lets me collect data so I can see long-term usage patterns.