If you are considering a Sense Energy Monitor, answer these questions before buying.
- -Do you have a consistent 2.4Ghz WiFi connection at the main breaker panel?
- -Do you have split-phase 120/240V or a 400A split-service residential service panel with individual breakers up to 200A.
- -Does your breaker panel have room for CT clamps and the monitor box?
- -Do you have solar installed at your home?
- -Do you need to monitor all household loads?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a Sense energy monitor might be right for you. The technology used in these devices is reliable and has excellent compatibility with the modern-day home.
This article will go over a few but not all things to consider before purchasing one of these monitors, so take a look!
WIFI Signal Strength
Before buying the Sense Energy Monitor, you must ensure that you have a strong 2.4 GHz WiFi connection at your main breaker panel box.
All data collected from the Sense monitoring box transmits via a WiFi Internet connection to the Sense monitoring cloud.
Tip- Download a WIFI signal strength app to your phone. Then, physically check at your install location to ensure a good quality signal.
Once your data is uploaded, Sense will analyze and display found loads within the app. Your energy consumption is available anywhere you have an Internet connection.
The Sense App will run a WiFi signal test strength during the initial install. Ensuring you have a good Internet connection and data can be uploaded to the Sense cloud for retrieval at your fingertips in real-time or pretty close.
Split Voltage Compatible
The energy monitor requires a split-phase 120/240 V or 400 a split service with individual panels up to 200 a.
Sense can monitor all subpanels provided that they are all downstream from the main breaker panel.
Designed for homes in North America with split-phase 240V service, Sense will also work on a three-phase 208 V service.
It’s important to follow instructions provided with your Sense energy monitor to ensure proper configuration with your particular breaker panel in-service voltage into your home.
Plenty Of Room In Your Breaker Panel
There has to be enough space in the breaker panel to fit the sensor clamps with dimensions of 3.375″ x 2″ x.75″ In addition, it has an inside diameter of 1″.
In some breaker panels, the Sense current sensor clamps may not fit around the bus bar.
Also, it’s not a good idea to install Sense in areas of high condensation. Consequently, it could affect the accuracy of household currents.
Do You Have Solar Panels Installed
Is it possible for Sense to monitor my solar production? Yes, but you need to ensure that the electricity coming from panels is fed directly into the main electrical panel.
Typically your solar panels feed into a sub-panel or disconnect; the included kit allows up to 46 inches from your main electrical panel.
It’s possible to buy extension cables In length from 4 feet to 40 feet should your solar subpanel be more than 46 inches from the main breaker panel.
The maximum length is 80 feet between your solar subpanels and your main breaker panel.
There is an option to buy a monitoring kit that includes the solar CT. If you already have the Sense Energy monitoring kit without solar, you can purchase the Solar CT separately for $50.
Household Loads All Or A Few?
If your goal is to monitor your entire household energy loads, this would include AC/Heating, refrigerators, freezers, lights, or anything that uses electricity in your house Saints an energy monitor is a good option.
If your needs are a bit more granular and you want to monitor a plug or a few devices, I would suggest a plug-in energy monitor look at just those energy loads for your particular device.
Depending on how or what you’re trying to accomplish, there are different options for different applications.
I do want to set the right expectation for this device. Sense uses machine learning to identify what exactly is drawing loads from your house. This takes time before Sense proprietary applications recognize appliances and the bubbles start to populate.
Owning for four months, my unit has detected about 60% of my appliances are identified. The rest I’ve identified by watching my app and turning off breakers.
If you are looking for the best Sense energy monitor, I would say that you need to consider all of the above points before buying. I understand it’s a significant investment, and it’s hard to know if it will do everything you need.
Sense does a great job of keeping its website up-to-date and provides easy access to customer service.
I would also recommend trying out one of the Sense Energy monitors. They are very affordable and have excellent features. However, you need to be sure that it does everything you need from a home monitoring device. Also, the device takes patience to learn and identify the appliances in your home. Overall, I’m pleased with my purchase, and I already see a reduction in energy usage.
Lastly, please review the Sense Energy monitoring kit for your needs. Let me know if you would like to see any other articles regarding home energy monitoring.