Time to clean the refrigerator coils

Device: Fridge
Make: GE
Model:
Estimated Savings:

Bought our current home in December of 2017. First this home was our vacation and retirement place as we lived in another location due to my job.
I noticed after 12 months, the refrigerator that came with the home, was on longer than others I’ve had in the past and was not very cold either.
Mostly it seem to us, replacement was needed. The sense device tracking was essential in helping me understand the cause. Of course you can always get an appliance tech to check out but really thought it was more of a situation that it was not opened very often but then we started to use frequently because we actually moved full time into home, 15 months from purchase.
Reading about the problem this could be, an appliance blog suggestions pointed to dirty coils and accurately diagnosed the problem. The person explaining the cause pointed out you would see the refrigerator running longer and not as cold. Exactly what sense was seeing. Story short, cleaned the coils and instantly, refrigerator is now colder and runs a lot less. Sense saved us an appliance tech call out and now going forward, when I see same current timeline from this appliance, I’ll clean the coils.
Of course one could say, clean coils every year and you would not have to go through this but I prefer to use technology to tell me when and not depend on me to remember.
Thinking same type of monitoring could be used to change out AC filters so you could get the full life out of each instead of an interval time.

This is my story
Mark

More “Safety” savings than “Money” savings

Device: Oven
Make: GE
Model: JSP34W0W3WW
Estimated Savings:

My wife & I had just finished cooking baked chicken, and were about to start watching tv. I kept getting alerts that the stove was turning on, and sometimes the oven turning on. I marked the stove alerts as “device not on” because the oven is often confused with the large stove burner. I thought Sense was confusing the heat pump with the stove/oven, then it hit me, we never turned the oven off after dinner was done cooking! We checked, and yup, the oven was still on. It would have been cycling on and off for at least an hour while we ate dinner in front of the TV.

Sense showed that my fridge was overactive

Device: Fridge
Make: Amana
Model:
Estimated Savings:

We’re finishing up a gut renovation of our kitchen. We’re buying a new, smaller fridge for it, but we moved the old one to the basement. The fridge compressor was turning on a bunch, but it is an older fridge and we had only recently purchased the house, so I didn’t know if this was common for this older make and model. I had also noticed that the freezer had a lot of frost throughout it and the light didn’t turn on, but again, older unit and I didn’t remember if the light had worked since we bought the house. Maybe the bulb was just burnt out. I’ve only had my Sense active for a week now, but that basement fridge was one of the first devices detected. I was able to use the power graphs to see that the fridge was on for close to half the day. That I knew wasn’t right. I used this data to really inspect the fridge and discovered that although the freezer drawer would fully close, the rubber gasket wasn’t sealing the top of the unit. I started to push and pull on the gasket and on the drawer itself, and bam! it dropped slightly onto the track. When I closed the door this time, the gasket fully engaged.

15 y.o. water heater replacement

Device: Water Heater
Make: State
Model:
Estimated Savings:

One of the primary reasons I wanted to get a Sense was to see how my 15 year old water heater was doing. After the first month of Sense data, it was looking like the water heater alone was about 15% of my electrical use.
I had already made the decision that when the water heater needed to be replaced, I’d replace it with a hybrid model. As if on cue, and only a month after the Sense was installed, the water heater stopped working.
I decided it would be better to bite the bullet and replace it without attempting a fix. Yes, the hybrid is significantly more expensive, but it should pay for additional cost over traditional electrical water heater w/n five years.

Dehumidifier

Device: Dehumidifier
Make: Haier
Model:
Estimated Savings:

I had an older model dehumidifier given to me by parents that I used intermittently. I knew it was not the most efficient but assumed it would be okay since only used it a couple times a week. Within a few days of turning it on Sense identified it and showed me how wrong I was. That little dehumidifier, for my basement, was the biggest energy hog running, by far! By replacing it with a more efficient model, the energy savings will pay for it in a matter of a few months.

Hot water circulator running at wrong time of day

Device: Water Heater
Make: Rheem
Model: Marathon 80
Estimated Savings:

I use time of day billing with my utility company to get lower rates during off peak hours. I installed a hot water circulator on my water heater to reduce water waste waiting for hot water at the tap. But I set the circulator timer to run 15 minutes every hour during peak rate hours, which caused the water heater to turn on every hour even when we weren’t using hot water! By turning off the circulator during the 8 hours of peak time the water heater only turns on if we use hot water.

Sense paid for itself in 1st month!

Device: Water Heater
Make: State
Model: EDT802ORT
Estimated Savings:

We live in Massachusetts so the cost per kwh is inherently much more expensive than average in USA, hence the higher savings in adopting sense. Our estimated total annual savings will be around $2,500 at current supply distribution rates and our August 2019 vs August 2018 usage. Notably 2018 was much warmer in Massachusetts than in 2019, but as per the sense analysis, seasonality couldn’t explain the delta in savings we achieved… the culprit was the water circulation pump draining the 80 gallon water heater on a continuous basis!

We had been living for one year in our newly constructed home and immediately took issue with our electric bill. Our whole street is comprised of newly built houses by the same builder and all of them were running equally high electric bills yet with no knowledge of the source. We asked for a MassSave inspection and they determined our home to be maxed out in energy efficiency (e.g. appliances, foam insulation, LEDs, etc). We had already turned down the water heater dial to 120º and our Nest HVAC was getting several green leafs, thus we were told our electric bill was the cost of living in a large house with six people and we couldn’t really do much about it.

We installed Sense to try to get a better handle of what was going on. The main culprit turned out to be the water circulation pump which has a small wattage usage but causes the water heater to continuously run. We purchased a Kasa smart plug on put the circulation pump on a timer, which proved to be immediately effective in lowering our wattage usage. However, we realized that the water heater was still running quite a bit during the day so we installed an Aquanta to control for the water heater hours of operation. The end result was a 1st month savings that paid for sense (!!!!).

Everyone tells you that the water heater is one of the main culprits but not even the experts put two and two together. Only with sense did we identify that the water circulation pump was the main problem. Since then we’ve enjoyed calculating other energy savings/costs. For instance, we installed a well which we knew would save us a ton of money in water (and pay for itself in two years as a result) but we didn’t know the cost of running the well pump. Sense didn’t quite identify the well pump yet (b/c it struggles with variable motors) but we were able to see that when the irrigation went on it correlated with a 2kwh spike in sense’s Power Meter. Other benefits have continued to pop us as I now know how long our cleaning service actually vaccums the floors b/c it is its own separate device. We also teach our kids about energy use as sense can tell when they leave their bathroom lights on. The list goes on and on. No doubt there are plenty of opportunities for improvement but it already paid for itself and their customer service is absolutely phenomenal.

Already paid for itself

Device: Other Heater
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

This thing already paid for it self. I just moved into an older home that used only electric for heat and cooking. It was converted to gas. The Sense was put in and three days later it came up with heater 1, and heater 2. It’s still 80 to 90 degrees outside. I went hunting for two, 2000 watts devices. Over 4000 total running all the time.

I found two baseboard heaters running full blast in a remote part of the basement no one ever goes. I was told that the previous owner had electric bills over $500. For a relatively small home with two people living in it.

This could have been going on for years. They never removed the old electric heaters from there when they switched to gas.

Thank you Sense!!!

Sense helped me find overactive AC unit

Device: AC
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

AC was now running 24/7. Even on nights were the outside temperature was at least 10 colder than my thermostat setting. I had an HVAC company come and perform a system maintenance (clean filters, condensers, add refrigerant, etc.). The difference from July 31 (107.7 kWh) to August 1 (77.3 kWh) was dramatic.

Sense helped with faulty Solar Water Heater System

Device: Water Heater
Make:
Model:
Estimated Savings:

I discovered that my solar water heater system was not working properly. I noticed that during the middle of a summer day, the heat exchanger was not circulating water. A bit of YouTube searching pointer to a possible temperature sensor problem and sure enough, the wiring at the roof was broken. After fixing it, the system started working.