TADO – Version 2 Heating system review.

Well, welcome back.

Today I’m going to tell you about the TADO system and why I picked this one against the others system such as HIVE, Goggles – Nest,  Honeywell’s Evohome, etc.

TADO Version 2.0

TADO Version 2.0

One of the main reasons for getting these systems besides saving money. Is, that our lifestyle has changed.

It also wasn’t particularly expensive compared to your wages at the time. To have the heating system ticking over.

We all have different timetables nowadays. Depending on what day of the week it happens to be.

Yes, we all know schools still down tools at 3.30pm. However, there are numerous activities that our children get involved in. Either, with our prompting or their own wish.

Football, Computer Club, Dance Classes, Judo, the list goes on…. I can hear the parents gowning from here. :o)

However, whilst the boiler is now hopefully a very efficient one? The basic heating control system that we use to control it hasn’t really changed since the 1970’s. If you had TVR’s on your radiator. It was a major talking point when you had the Jones around for Dinner Party. Yes, can hear you saying when did you last have one of those? To some “What is a dinner party?” It’s, about as far back as saying that Records (Black plastic discs with music on) use to spin around at 45 or 33 1/3 RPM. I can hear quite a lot of you saying what’s one of those as well.

Well, the point I’m trying to make is things have moved on. Where the heating control systems of most households are still in the 1970’s. Looking back at my Electric and Gas bills, we were extremely wasteful of our energy resources then.

Well in 2015, we all know the Gas and Electric bills have never been so high in the UK. So, whilst we have a rest bite in the charges increasing year on year. This is only because the current oil price is being at $45 a barrel compared to the $100+ it was last year.

This can only go on for a period of time. Yes, I know they said that when interest rates went down. But, they had assumed then, that inflation would take off again to come to the Banks and Government’s rescue. i.e. 10 years of inflation at 3% would eat into the debt. Everyone would be happy soon. Well relatively soon to the span of Government.

Well, inflation hasn’t taken off and China has decided that it can’t manufacture the figures any longer. As sensible people have reduced our expenditure. Surprisingly, we have also sat on our money, as we are not convinced that there is anything sensible to put the money into without risk. Bar the buy to Let crew in Property. That is now looking decidedly doggy.

Anyway, that another story for later. Back to the point. Most heating systems nowadays are controlled by a timer of such. So, Monday to Fridays the heating kick’s in at 6:30 am and continues to around 8:30 am and then cuts off until say 4:30 pm and then finishes the day at 10:30 pm or 11 pm for the night owls of our readership.

Saturday and Sunday there will probably slip by 1/2 hour. But, you don’t generally remember to change the settings on a daily basis and heaven’s if you can remember to change the clock forward and back for daylight saving!

Well, you say we have a thermostat which will keep it in check. Yes, you probably have. But, it probably still working with a bit of tin, that when at roughly the right temperature will flick off. The trouble is, these devices themselves have had their day. They are in the same generation as the first Colour TV’s.

OK. Some of you have been keeping up with the current kit. But, this tends to be the technical crew that is a very small proportion of the public. Now, if you talking about the just-released mobile phone such as the new Samsung or Apple that’s different.

However, not using the best systems for controlling your heating is probably costing you £100’s a year!

I choose the TADO system for a couple of reasons. Whilst, the others had the ability at the time to change the temperature and turn on and off the system remotely using the App on your mobile phone. They, at the time, didn’t monitor if you were at home or work.

So, if you did change your schedule. You still had to remember to modify the settings remotely at home. Yep, you’re like me. No chance.

So, the TADO system has the normal settings of turning on and off at certain times of the day. Each can be modified to attain a predetermined temperature. So, you can ask for it to get to the 20’C by 6:30 am. It does that. It also knows over time how long it will need to achieve this goal. The nice feature is that it takes account of the outside temperature and the weather. So, for example, if it turns out to be a nice sunny day (OK I know I’m in the UK) and can take advantage of the natural heat provided by that Sun it does so. It also uses the outside temperature to work out the best way to get that temperature.

The other thing it has is over the top of this. Are you can set the system to monitor if your mobile device(s) is at home or away. So, when the last person leaves the house it stops warming it to the current target temperature. So, if you like me and wander off for 1-2 hours in the morning. It allows for the temperature to drop to 17’C while you are out. If you are working late or the trains are up to the spout again and the heating is set to warm up the house to 20’C and you don’t make it home till later. It will heat the house when you start to get near home. Rather, than heat up an empty house. Again, it works out how long it will take.

The other item of intelligence is the “over chute” issues. Yep, can hear you say “What the hell is that?” Well, most boilers have systems not to turn on and off too frequently. As this wastes energy. Similar to some cars stopping the engine when you are stationary for a length of time. After a period of time, the system knows that it can shut off the heating and the temperature will still rise to the target temperature. As the heat already in the water will pass through the radiators to get to the temperature without any further heating. Most boilers pumps continue to circulate the water for a certain time. When you sign up for the online account TADO asks what heating boiler you have? So, it can take these things into account and adjust its settings to get the best out of the Gas you use. Now because the system is connected to the internet for the system to react to if you are at work or on the way home. TADO can improve the efficiencies over time. How?

Well, one way is that the temperature controller is very sensitive to heat. It works at 0.1’C rather than the normal 20’C ish with most controllers. So, if you have a day that you have set the heating system off while you are out. It monitors how quickly the temperature falls on a given day. For example, it may be 13’C outside and the inner temperature is at 20’C. It monitors the losses that occur over time. So, if the temperature drops by a 1.5’C over an hour on a Windy/Rainy day. It adds this to its knowledge on the heat loss that occurs for your specific home. Clever!

So, the “Big Question?” as Dr Who would say. Has it reduced our heating costs? Well despite us having an electronic thermostat. Which, most of my neighbours don’t. Yes, it has.

Originally, I was more interested in the feature of being able to monitor the house temperature remotely and I didn’t expect a large amount of savings over what is a reasonably old 1930 house. True it does have it’s thermal blanket in the roof (Loft Insulation). However, based on it current savings it will probably save its costs in less than 2 years and this can only grow as the gas bill increases over time.

Any issues? Well unless you know what you are doing. I would recommend getting the installer to install it for you. However, I did manage to complete the task without any help. However, I have already rewired the thermostat before and have the time to read up on these things.

A couple of points, though.

TADO support and I did complete a quite lengthy email support call in the Geo-function. That’s the service to work out if you are in the house or not. It seems that if you are not in a strong area for mobile masts. It can have difficulty knowing that you are home.

However, I think it was probably more to do with the fact that my Samsung S3 LTE was running Android 4.3.  As, when I upgraded the S3 to the Stock German issued Android 4.4.4. It seems to have made the services a lot more reliable. Seeing as the guys haven’t moved the Mobile Masts. It seems reasonable to me that the firmware upgrade did the trick. Now, for most people, you are likely to have a later version of Android on your phone than that. I’m just a Luddite when it comes to mobile phones. No need to upgrade the S3 LTE phone unless I have to. It’s got 4G! what more do you need? :o)

The other thing that the installer will know anyway.  Is to make sure that the TADO Bridge device in the system is not too near the actual TADO thermostat.  It is supposed to have at least 3+ meters distance from the bridge that connects to the router to the TADO thermostat. This is due to the system NOT using the normal 2.4Ghz wireless frequency (WiFi), which will normally now be very busy in most households. TADO system uses a lower frequency in the MHz range. Hence, the recommendation to have at least 3 meters plus the distance between the actual TADO Thermostat and the TADO bridge that plugs into the router of the internet provider ADSL/Cable network you have.

Also, make sure that you take the time to make a note of the Gas Boiler manufacturer and its correct model number. There are lots to choose from when you sign up for an account that the TADO Bridge and Thermostat use. Make sure you get the right one!

All in all. Once settled, the system has worked well for over a year. Like all new items. People do complain first without checking or reading the instructions. If, it was that easy. Then, why would you offer an installation service? Most people don’t have issues, that use the install service from what I can see. Self-install is a learning experience!

You can read more about the system here

Despite what most reviewers state. You can also always override the settings on the Version 2 TADO system to manual if you need to. You just need to READ the booklet that comes with the kit.

Hopefully, this has given you some insight into the savings that you could be getting. I would be interested in your own experiences.

So, feel free to use the comment box to feedback good or bad.

Until the next time. Keep Warm.

About tagware

I've worked in IT for over 30 years. As the owner of one of the earlier AutoDesk Dealerships, when Richard Handyside was the main UK guy in The Cut! We supplied complete CAD, Networks and visualisation systems to Corporate clients such as RIBAS, Channel 4, NHS, BBC, Merrill Lynch, COMET Plc, Morgan Stanley too mention a few. We also developed the graphical ADB system for the Department of Health and a graphically lead Asset system for Merrill Lynch. Subsequently became a contract IT Consultant in both Developement and Production area's for both Large and small businesses. Which is what I'm still doing.
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