Saved $100/mo with a new well pump

Device: Pump
Estimated Savings:

Sense identified my well pump and with a generic name (heat source). 

The pipe that was drawing water in the well had a hole rusted through. The pump would only get up to 32 PSI and never shut off. I didn’t realize it because I still had water pressure to all my sinks. I had to replace 100 feet of pipe and at the same time I replaced the pump. It was 22 years old. Sense shows the energy usage before the pump was changed (running 24 hours a day) was about $5 a day. Or, $150 a month. Now after it was changed about $0.50 a day. Or, $15.00 a month. We knew our electric bill was much higher for six months or longer, but it was hard to pin point. Now, with Sense connected we will now save over $100 a month. 

“Fast Start” mode is expensive!

Device: TV
Make: Hisense
Model: 50R7050E
Estimated Savings:

My Hisense TV consumes ~30W more in “fast start” mode vs. not in fast start. I had no idea the difference would be so large! The main benefit to Fast Start, besides saving a few seconds when turning it on, is being able to reliably turn the TV on via my iPhone’s Roku app… the realization that this was costing me ~$5/mo made me realize I’d be better of just using the regular remote!

“Circulating the air” is not worth the price

Device: Furnace
Estimated Savings:

I had my thermostat set to run the furnace fan for 15 minutes every hour. In my mind it would help circulate the air, in summer it would bring cooler air from the lower level upstairs, and vice versa in winter.

I of course knew there was a cost to this, but I didn’t know how much power the fan consumed. It was a decision made in haste when setting up the thermostat, and because the fan is so quiet there wasn’t much to make me question that setting.

Sense saved my heat pump from self-destruction

Device: Heat Pump
Make: Trane
Model: XR17
Estimated Savings:

While I’m away from home, I like to check in on what’s happening at home using the Sense app. One such time last year, I was having a beer in Mexico City while my house was sitting empty back in the US. Expecting to see few devices running back at home, I was surprised to see a large amount of power being used, to the tune of 5kW. The pattern of power usage showed a large device turning on and off. This seemed very strange, so I looked at the usage pattern closer. A large device would turn on, increase in power usage linearly for a minute or two, then turn back off, only to repeat again a few minutes later. I concluded that this must be the heat pump based on the size of the power use and the ramping-up behavior, and that a safety cutoff must be activating to turn the unit off every now and then. A call to my next-door neighbor confirmed my theory, and he temporarily solved the problem by pulling the cutout.

Ultimately, my Nest thermostat was the cause of this problem, as it had commanded the heat pump compressor to turn on constantly, without turning on the indoor blower. This caused an overpressure condition that cycled the compressor on and off as the high pressure switch activated and deactivated. I was glad to catch it in time that my compressor didn’t burn out!