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Category: Product Reviews

Tado smart thermostat - Review

Marco

If you’d like to take full advantage of your central heating system and are also interested in tech, smart thermostats may be right up your street as they offer the ability to control your boiler and heating with your smartphone or tablet. A smart thermostat offers you an abundance of features to ensure you’re heating your home efficiently while helping to reduce your energy bills.

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Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Tado smart thermostat, an easy-to-use smart thermostat with some great features including self-learning, a sleek design and a LED interface.

Installation

The installation of the Tado thermostat is straightforward and they make the bold claim in their advertising that it is DIY-friendly, unlike many others, which require an engineer to safely install the thermostat.

To install the thermostat, you simply need to replace your existing room thermostat with the same cabling that’s left behind and install batteries for power. This also applies to the Tado radiator thermostats, which are smart thermostatic radiator valves (TRVS) that can be used in conjunction with the Tado smart thermostat.

Tado is compatible with all gas boiler types, including: Combination, system, and conventional (also known as regular, heat-only or open vent). Unlike other smart thermostats that require power from the previous wiring, the Tado runs solely on batteries, which can last up to 2 years, so you won’t need an engineer to attach this to mains power.

In addition to installing the smart thermostat using existing cabling, the thermostat also requires an internet bridge, which is wired to your router and connects the Tado to the internet. Once the smart thermostat is wired in and hooked to the internet, you’ll be ready to rock and roll. Setting up the thermostat functionality on your smartphone or tablet only takes a few minutes once you have installed the Tado app.

Tado Extension Kit

In some cases, you may need to install the Tado Extension Kit. This kit is required if:

  1. You need to replace your existing hot water programmer,
  2. You have a wireless thermostat installed, or
  3. You have a gas boiler without a thermostat installed.

The Tado Extension Kit is wired directly into your heating system and acts as a wireless receiver for the Tado smart thermostat. However, if you’re just replacing your existing wired room thermostat, you’ll be perfectly fine to use the standard kit that comes with the thermostat.

Compatibility

The Tado is compatible with almost all heating systems including combination, system, and conventional boilers.

As well as gas boilers, the Tado thermostat also supports underfloor systems and air/ground source heat pumps. If you’re still unsure whether the Tado will be compatible with your boiler, our Hometree Gas Safe Engineers can double check your home’s heating set up to make sure the Tado is compatible.

Features of the Tado Thermostat

Design

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The Tado, unlike the Nest’s futuristic circular design, is simply a white plastic square with an LED display. Despite being basic in appearance, the Tado is still a good looking device due to its bright white LEDs. If you are looking for a thermostat that’s a little less retro, and a little more “new kid on the block”, the Nest may be your best bet due to its metallic futuristic design and bright display.

Zoning

It’s quite rare to find heating setups that allow you to control multiple rooms separately without having to install individual room thermostats. Tado, on the other hand, allows separate room temperature controls as long as you have a smart radiator thermostat in each room and one extension kit installed.

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You don’t need a smart thermostat to be installed to control the Tado radiator thermostats, all you need is the app and one or more radiator thermostat installed to set your preferred radiator settings individually.

If you decide not to individually set up each room with a radiator or smart thermostat, the Tado will only control the hot water being sent to all radiators. Therefore, if you wish to switch off some radiators and keep others on, you’ll either have to set your existing TRVs (thermostatic radiator valve) or automate it further using smart Tado radiator thermostats.

Controls & configuration

The physical button at the bottom right of the thermostat is used to wake up the thermostat and show your current set temperature, whereas the up and down arrows are touch-sensitive toggles to increase and decrease temperatures. The combination of both physical and touch-sensitive buttons is slightly confusing, and we’re not entirely sure why the thermostat isn’t completely touch-controlled.

What saves the thermostat is its mobile app, which is intuitive and easy to use when monitoring your home’s as well as individual room temperatures, including any alterations to temperature settings and schedules.

Geolocation

Once you have completed the thermostat installation and WiFi setup, you can set up the geolocation (also known as geofencing) feature available with this thermostat. The Tado app uses your location services to set up an exact geofence radius around your home rather than using an automatic range. This feature uses your home’s radius to track whether you’re home or away, to control your heating and switch it on or off. For example, if you’re on your way back from work and enter the geofence, your heating will start to kick in. On the flip side, if you’re leaving the house and on your way to work, your heating will switch off as soon as you leave the geofence. Geofencing is a great feature if you’d like to avoid leaving your heating switched on and see savings on your energy bills.

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Schedule for your routine

The scheduling for the Tado is a little more complicated than some other models, such as the popular Nest or Hive smart thermostats. For starters, you’ll have to set schedules manually since the Tado lacks the self-learning functionalities its competitors have. For each day, you have to set schedules using the app, with the ability to make adjustments over time. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t offer the ability to copy one day’s settings to the next (or another room if you have more than one room set up). Tado has said that more functionality around scheduling will be released in the near future, so stay tuned. Aside from this, if you are looking for standard scheduling features which you can control through a smartphone app then this thermostat is a fine choice for you.

Summary

The Tado Thermostat is a smart little piece of kit and a good entry point for any customer looking to take a first stab at the world of smart thermostats. Despite its basic exterior design, and slightly less-advanced features compared to thermostats such as the Nest, the Hive and the Honeywell Lyric, the Tado still offers some great features including heat scheduling, control from your smartphone, and geofencing. Like with any good smart thermostat, the ability to control your heating remotely through your smartphone should be high on anyone’s list, especially during the Winter when you need your home to be warm and toasty for your return. Not to mention the energy efficient impact a smart thermostat can have on the amount of energy (and money) you waste.

The Tado is well-designed, easy to use and is an excellent choice for any consumer looking for entry into the world or smart thermostats or looking to upgrade their existing device.

Specifications

 Tado Smart Thermostat
DisplayLED matrix display
SensorsTemperature; Humidity; Ambient Light
Connectivity868MHz, Mesh (6LoWPAN)
ColoursWhite
DimensionsSmart Thermostat: 10.4x10.4x1.9cm; Internet Bridge: 8.1x2.7x2.2cm; Extension Kit: 10.2x15x2.8cm

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