Perhaps you noticed the graphs in my last post. One side effect of creating an energy saving house is being watchful regarding our use of energy and any other measure that affects the home environment. I particularly like WiFi connected devices to check in on conditions even if we are not home.
These are the WiFi meters I currently use in our house.
- Airthings Air Quality Meter
- Bluebot water use Meter
- Efergy Electric Use monitors (2)
- We-Mo outlet meters (touchy)
- Acurite home weather station
- Acurite room sensors
- Juice Box Car Charger
- X-Sense Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector
- ICO Ondilo Pool Water Monitor
- Acura Spa WiFi Control
- RainPoint WiFi Soil Moisture Meter with water meter and hub (summer only)
- BroadLink roller shade controller (summer).
- Ring Video Doorbell
The last few devices have already had posts explaining the functions so just refer to those.
- Nest and Ecobee Thermostats
- MOCREO temperature sensors on the Trombe wall
- Tesla Solar
in winter when the house is shut up the radon gets a little high but nothing like the original reading of 27. Both radon fans run 24/7 as does the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) so a small increase is not something I can improve without opening windows in the cold.
We also monitor water use. For that we use a Bluebot which is also WiFi connected and attached to the incoming well pipe.
This device is set to send an email if we use over 200 gallons in a day. Once a toilet was running and we used 900 gallons so I set up the alert.
I just added a second Efergy electric monitor. This brand only measures five sources. I had one on the well, oven, spa, mini-split and the entire garage sub panel. When I added one to measure the new RV 30 amp outlet I had to delete the mini-split. In order to use a second set I needed a second account so I will be switching back and forth. I can measure more circuits with the new Emporia set I ordered for the garage utility box. It has 16 lugs, and I will be installing that soon. I will continue to use Efergy on the remote power circuits.
I have several We-Mo outlet control/ power meters. I gifted several to my son in law and he bought some which he left with me when they moved to Germany. That was five years ago and we have gradually unplugged these when they lost connection. I still have a few plugged in but only two are operational and one still works despite the fact that the app can’t find it. These are lights that go on at night and turn off automatically in the morning. The power consumption data does not seem accurate for the pottery lamp either and the others can’t be downloaded because the app does not detect them.
Our weather station has held up well over the years-nine so far. At one point I had to upgrade the internet hub and occasionally the spa temperature sensor goes offline. I just bring it inside next to the hub and it is rediscovered. I have had no disconnects for the main station mounted on the roof and I have only charged the batteries twice. Over the years I have added a second weather monitor as well aa an indoor monitor for the room sensors and I check the WiFi app daily. I can switch between temperature, humidity, wind, and pressure.
I installed a 40 amp Juice Box car charger about five years ago for our hybrid Chevy Volt. It works basically without thinking about it. We return from an errand and plug the car back in. We have not paid any attention to time of use because we want to keep the car fully charged so the batteries are ready for the next trip.
The app used to be so much more user friendly. About a year or so ago they switched to an app designed to sell their network of power stations and subscriptions for more data. Very disappointing to lose services although the app and the use data are at no extra charge. This app swipes to display percent charged and total miles added.
The boiler has been experiencing some issues with carbon monoxide back flow. Once we woke to the alarms ringing and had to open the French doors to air out the house. The alarms continue until the carbon monoxide level goes down. I purchased a separate WiFi alarm so I could monitor if low levels of the gas were in the utility room. At first in December, every few days there was 110 ppm reading. Then after I took off the boiler cover to monitor the fan there were no readings in over a month. I ordered a new fan because the fan is 10 years old and they supposedly last 7-10 years. Just last night there was another reading for emissions.
The newest meter we’ve had only about a month. It is a pool water quality meter for the spa.
It’s great to have the spa water quality information at my fingertips. But it may not simplify my life. I’m having an issue with the Bluetooth connectivity. It was fine to set it up so I know it worked at one point but trying to update the software it disconnected. Also the rechargeable battery needed recharging after just three weeks and the documentation led me to expect twice as much time between charges. I’ve run through the Bluetooth recommendations more than once and it still does not connect. I charged it for the recommended 10 hours. Actually for 12 and it was only 70% charged. I have it plugged in now. The meter sends recommended type and amount of sanitizer and other chemicals to keep the water at ideal conditions.
The spa also has a WiFi interface to the control panel. I installed it in 2019 and it’s still operating as expected. It reads and can set the spa temperature and it can start a filtration cycle.
Our ash trees need coddling due to the Emerald Ash Borer’s attack on the species. I also planted an herb border in front of the house. In order for these to get enough water I bought a Rainpoint WiFi automatic hose control for the drip hoses and a moisture meter that monitors the soil.
The roller shades to block summer sun are RF controlled but there is also a WiFi interface that is set up using the RF signals. Each shade comes with an individual control but there is an optional one that will control up to 15 shades. The Broadlink interface is a device that supports RF controls. I had experimented with the system but soon I was out of time and summer and fall were over. I’ll reattach the shades in the summer to prepare for when the sun starts overheating the house.
We have had a video doorbell for several years. The battery on our old one wore out so quickly I was changing it almost every week. The software had more information than the Ring and didn’t charge extra for it. I don’t pay for the software so I don’t get historical data. We can see the front of the house whenever we want and the device has a solar boost for the battery so we seldom have to charge it.
It might be nice to have a system that assembles all this data on one set of screens. But I’m enough of a data person that I enjoy looking at each app.