Having wrote about Nest once or twice before, I was surprised to be contacted by rival Tado asking if I would like to receive a Tado Connector Kit in order to test out for a review, which I gladly accepted. It’s has been around a month since the system was installed, and so here is my Tado thermostat and app review.
The process before being sent the Tado system involved various emails to determine if my boiler would support the new device, and thankfully it did, and so the kit was sent out to me, an engineer was also arranged to install it for me.
My boiler already had a wireless thermostat, and so required the engineer to disconnect the one to my boiler and then wire in the box that does away with the thermostat. However, if you have a wired thermostat you can easily install the Box yourself. My guess is that he was here for around an hour or so, as this was the first Tado that he had set up — well someone has to be the Guinea pig.
Once the engineer had gone it was only then that I could spend some time with the Tado system to understand what it was all about. There are three parts to the system, the Box that replaces your thermostat, the Gateway that plugs into your router so that the system can do its thing and the Temperature Sensor.
All three of these devices are white in colour and have a simple, yet elegant design. However, I was told by the engineer that the lead that connects from the back of the router to the Gateway is a bit short and could have done with being longer, as at the moment it just dangles there due to the position of my router. If it were longer it would be able to sit on top of the router.
How the system works — The white Box is the thing that talks to the boiler, and does all the work of a traditional thermostat, and much more, then there is the solar-powered temperature sensor, which can be mounted on the wall or place on a shelf. It would have been cool to have a small stand for it — something to remember for a future model. Finally, there is the Gateway, which I already said needs to be connected to your router, but you will also need to plug it into a mains outlet.
The final piece of the puzzle, and the thing that makes Tado what it is, is the app. Before you even consider getting the Tado system, you need to be aware that while you can get the Tado app for Android and iOS, there is not one for Windows Phone. Okay, you can run the system without an app via the website, but then the system will not know your location, which is the major appeal of this set up.
Now that everything was set up, as well as my new Tado account it was time to familiarize myself with the app and how the system worked. Things seemed rather easy, although this was because of a recent update to the app that allowed for greater control. You will see in the selection of images the settings that are available to you within this app, which at first did take some getting used to.
However, I would like to say that a few hours after the engineer had left the Box had lost its connection because the green light was flashing. I used a pin to press the reset, but nothing, then reset my router, again nothing. The next step was more drastic, as I deleted everything and installed it all again, and since then I have not experienced this issue.
Going back to the app to get your settings right, although you can do this online. When you open the app you are met with a bright orange screen during the day, which has the current temperature of your home, along with what you have your heating set at. It also has a message about the outside weather, and so at the time of writing it says that my home is already warm and so no need for the system to turn the heating on. However, it did inform me that because it was raining outside I should take an umbrella.
You will also notice an image of a house, along with the name of those who are at home, although they need to have the app installed for this to show. It took me a while to understand how to get to the settings, but this is done with a swipe to the to the right, well on the iPhone version anyway.
From there you will be met with a multitude of settings, such as sleep time, temperature, presence detection, and so on. It does take a bit of getting used to; it took me around a week to fully understand how it all works and to get the settings right for my wife and myself. The reason for this is because the temperature sensor seems to be more precise than the one previously installed as part of my heating system. However, things seem to be running smoother and I have noticed over the past month that my boiler does not stay on as long.
Okay, I know that it is now spring and that the heating does not have to work as hard, and so it will be a real test once the colder months come, which doesn’t take long in the UK.
What I really liked about Tado is how I never have to keep turning my heating off when going out, which I am in and out of the house all the time. There have been times when my wife and I go away for weekends and forget to turn the heating down, which meant wasting money. This is now a thing of the past because the moment you step out of your home the system slowly turns your heating down the further you get from home, and slowly rises the closer you get to your home.
There was a time that we had friends stay while we were away, and so we just installed the app on their phone so they were detected in the home. However, there is a manual setting, so you don’t have to install the app on your friend’s mobile devices if you do not wish to.
I can’t really find anything negative to say in this Tado thermostat and app review, and while there was that small issue earlier, that was only a minor problem that is to be expected when setting something up.
Having said that, in order for the system to completely work you will need to make certain that location services is set up on the Tado app, and as a result you will notice that your smartphone battery drains a little quicker, although I am told that this was a lot worse before the most recent update.
Tado compared to Nest — Having not tested Nest it would be hard for me to give an opinion, but based on reviews I have read, Tado seems to be the better system. This is because it has more to offer, and while Google’s thermostat is cheaper, it doesn’t have location detection, something that makes Tado so great.
If you wish to purchase Tado there are two ways to do this, outright at £249 and £50 for installation or you can rent the system for £6.99 per month, and you still have to pay £50 installation charge. For more details visit the Tado UK website.