HeatMeter: genius sensor for monitoring energy consumption
In most modern cars, the efficiency of your gas mileage is displayed on the dashboard, giving you an idea of how your use impacts your miles per gallon. While there are electricity monitoring tools, HeatMeter claims to be the first energy monitor that works with natural gas, propane, and oil home heating systems. The tool is a simple sensor that attaches to the heating system with magnets, requiring no professional installation, and reports via wi-fi, working with all smartphones.
HeatMeter tracks energy usage, offering instant insight into how your behaviors alter your use, and in viewing the app, your use is compared against similar homes. Much like a fitness app, you can set goals, and track them, and is an extremely useful tool for people who own multiple homes and may not be present at all times. Think of it as curbing possible surprises – no shocking bills, know when your tank level is low (for oil and propane systems), and know when it’s time to service a unit.
The HeatMeter is fascinating in how it works – rather than cutting into your gas lines or installing something inside a radiator, it detects when the flame in your heating system turns on and off. It sends this information over the internet through your home’s WiFi connection, where it gets combined with some basic information about your home. When setting up your HeatMeter, you type in your home’s square footage, zip code, and heating system model. This all gets processed and sent to your smartphone or computer.
The company says their system is more accurate than a smart thermostat because of its ability to time the duration of the flame directly, and because it offers two-way communication. A thermostat can only know how long it commands the heating system to turn on, but can’t know exactly how long the flame was on and how much fuel was consumed.
The company says, “We want to help reduce the amount of fossil fuels that are burned each year for residential heating (natural gas, oil and propane). Awareness inspires action, and we are now able to provide homeowners with key efficiency metrics that were previously very difficult to get. This allows people to make better decisions on improving their home, reducing their energy use and saving money as a bonus!”
Additionally, they cite studies on the impact of energy monitors for electricity which have shown a reduction of up to 17% across hundreds of homes, from homeowners simply being able to see a live dashboard of their energy consumption and tracking the impact of their behavior.”