Last updated on December 6th, 2022 at 03:55 am
After owning it for several months, I wanted to share my Sense Flex Home Energy Monitor Review.
Opening the electric bill every month became a painful chore. Regardless of what I did, which included keeping unnecessary lights turned off, shades closed in summer, and intelligent thermostats, it still seemed my electricity was through the roof.
Consequently, that did not yield the results I was hoping. I did some quick research on the internet and realized several energy monitors. Most of my research on home energy monitors still left me wondering, Does the Sense Energy Monitor Work?
They say knowledge is power, and I was looking to gain more knowledge of the source that uses so much power in my home. That search leads me to the Sense Energy Monitor. In basic terms, the device lets you see how much electricity you’re using. I’m writing this review based on my hands-on experience.
What is a Sense Flex Home Energy Monitor?
Sense Monitor gives you real-time information regarding your electrical consumption. Sense monitoring takes advantage of the fact that every electrical device has its unique signature. Sense has created a unique way to display and detects the amount of consumption in your home or cabin consumes.
When you turn on an electrical device in your home, the device will capture the signature, and then Sense will analyze and compare it against a database. I know it’s a simplistic overview, but it is more complex than it sounds. False or duplicate identification of devices occurs and will annoy at the beginning. The machine learning algorithms get better with time.
Analyzing could be faster. The app identified its first appliance, the refrigerator, three days after installation. Then, slowly, more loads came into the app.
Sense allows you to confirm the detected electric load based on the probability it has the right one.
The unit will display that information using interactive bubbles in an app. In addition, one can see the wattage your home is drawing from electricity usage in real time.
Sense Monitor offers additional CT as a separate addon or as part of their Sense Flex package to monitor your home’s
Install Sense to Electrical Panel
I am not an electrician, but installing Sense requires the removal of the breaker panel cover. The household wiring runs to the individual breaker for the dryer, water heater, and lights with the panel off.
I have a healthy respect for electricity. If you need to learn the difference between a Phillips or flat-head screwdriver, get some help. It is not a difficult task for most DIY’ers.
The instructions are straightforward, and the support from Sense is excellent, from my experience. The one thing I’ve read is to make sure the CT clamps fit securely around the main power leads from the utility connection.
It can get cramped in some breaker panels. Also, the Sense capture box and CTs installs on the main breaker panel, not sub-panels downstream. All data gets transmitted via Wi-Fi, so the main breaker panel needs a decent signal from the wireless router.
Detecting Home Power Usage In Real Time
Once I downloaded the app and created a free account, I was good to go. Sense has a bake-in time before identifying loads from the grid. The process took at least 4-5 days before notifications showed on the app. Once an electrical load is detected, you will receive information on your phone. For example, Sense has detected a dryer. You confirm the event, and the load will show up in-app.
Sometimes, it was spot-on in detection. My wife was annoyed with me, asking her if she had turned a light on or run the dishwasher. It is all part of the process to see the different loads of electricity consumed.
The detection is OK. But not great. Sometimes. It would detect but then never show up again. The summary will assess how much electricity each appliance uses. There’s also a real-time graph that will show your current energy usage.
How To Use Sense To Save You Money
Now that you have an understanding how much energy. How can it help you save on electricity? You can combine the Sense home monitoring with smart plugs from Wemo and Kasa. The Sense detects the load source for the outlet plug.
I noticed a spike of 500 watts every 30 minutes all day. With the help of the Sense unit, I soon realized my water cooler’s hot water switch was on. Over 24 hours, it was almost 10 kwh a day.
Another example includes evaluating energy usage from phantom loads such as TV, chargers, nightlights, and other electronics., I can get an idea of energy consumption and find energy hogs.
In the smart plug app, it’s possible to schedule these plugs off when not used. I have a smart plug on the big screen TV to turn off overnight most of the day.
It may not seem like a lot, but I can add up over months and years to keep a status light-lit. If your TVs have an energy savings mode, consider using it.
Another energy use hog I found using Sense identified my 55-gallon electric water heater. It was getting old, and combined with our hard water; it became highly inefficient.
I could replace the unit with an efficient EnergyStar-rated model before leaving us without hot water.
What Are Some Features Of The Sense Home Energy Monitor?
- Appliance Recognition
- Detects Individual Devices
- Sense Labs
- Mobile App
Sense also offers many great features for reducing that pesky electricity bill. The energy monitor has built-in modem to work with your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to monitor energy use when the Sense app connects to your iPhone or Android device.
It’s great for smart home integration with a whole home energy monitor.
Sense owners can easily track energy consumption usage by the appliance and compare between devices.
It also takes a daily snapshot of each device’s usage, creating a historical timeline of energy use. This allows homeowners to keep track of their energy use and identify patterns in some appliances or devices that might be causing higher-than-usual power bills.
Check Out The Sense Energy Monitor Labs!
A motor is one of the most prevalent components in many electronic devices. An electrical motor powers the sump pump, for example. Some of the most important motors in your home operate vital appliances like an HVAC pump or sump pump.
Even if there is enough voltage at terminals when a stall occurs, the motor does not turn; this can serve as a warning the failure of the motor is around the corner.
Luckily, the Sense Labs feature monitors these stalls and can send alerts to your smartphone if a motor stalls. When a stall occurs, look at the motor to see if there’s anything wrong!
With Sense Labs, you can get proactive instead of reactive with your appliances. This is important because it can extend your device’s life and save you money on repairs.
Solar Generation With Sense Flex Solar Power Monitoring
If you have
Sense Flex can be set to maximize energy use by working out the best time of day to charge and slowing down the AC as needed.
Smart Home Integration Compatibility
Sense energy monitors can integrate smoothly with smart home devices such as Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT.
Ask Alexa, Alexa, and Sense how much power I use.
Energy-saving smart home devices such as Philips Hue lights or TP-Link Smart Plugs can be monitored with the energy monitor energy devices for a high-tech, energy-efficient home.
Real-Time Energy Use Tracking With Energy Goals
The energy monitoring system can set goals for energy consumption and track how you are doing against them.
You can also see how much energy is consumed by the month, week, or day, which helps you identify when high or low usage. It shows electricity consumption, but you can see how much energy was generated in a period if you have
The Sense Energy goal is selecting what you want to track. You can see if your home uses more or less energy than it did in the past month, week, or day. If this seems confusing, you’ll have the option of just “setting things up.
How To Setup Goals?
To set up goals, go to the Goals section on the Dashboard and click “Add New.” Next, select what you want to track, such as how much energy you use or the total of all your
For instance, if I try to reduce my energy consumption by 10% next month, I would enter a reduced kilowatt amount and the date range.
You can use either a daily, weekly, monthly, or a particular cycle time frame for setting up your goals, depending on how often you’d like to check in on them.
Once you’ve set it up, you’ll be able to see where you’re at as far as meeting those goals, and if you haven’t hit them, you’ll have a chance to turn things around.
Sense Flex Home Energy Monitor
Is Sense Home Energy Monitor worth the money? In my case, yes, for a couple of reasons. Sense provides helpful insight into my home’s energy consumption.
I was able to take tangible actions to curb usage and verify via my electric bill’s usage comparisons to years past. In addition, I caught a faulty water heater in time before going out.
How does sense flex work?
The Sense Flex Home Energy Monitor is a great way to save money and energy in your home. This innovative device combines the Sense Monitor and Flex Solar Sensors, allowing you to monitor energy use for two 120V/240V circuits. With real-time data through a smartphone app on iOS, Android, and web apps, you can track your energy usage.
Does sense have a monthly fee?
No, there is no monthly fee to use the Sense home energy monitoring system. The Sense Energy Monitor will simply provide you with data about your energy use, which you can track on your smartphone or online.
Can I install sense myself?
Yes, the Sense Energy Monitor is easy to install for both DIY and professional users.
How long does sense take to identify?
The Sense Energy Monitor uses machine learning to use a proprietary algorithm to identify loads on a circuit. This process takes time a week or two. Sometimes longer.
How does sense save you money?
Sense monitors energy use and provides alerts for critical loads, helping homeowners avoid costly disasters.
Can sense be upgraded to solar?
Yes, there is an add-on solar panel that works with the Sense Home Energy Monitor. If you already have solar panels order the Sense Flex.
How accurate is Sense?
The accuracy of the machine-learning feature is not 100%. Some items such as LED lights and phantom load might not be detected. The Sense has detected most of my bigger loads like a water heater, water pump, and coffee maker.