Heat your home can be costly. With gas prices soaring, systems like Tado’s Smart Thermostat V3+, which offer greater control and insight into your heating, look increasingly appealing. Use a few Tado Smart Radiator Thermostats and you can create a zone heating system that only warms the rooms you’re using. You can control everything from your phone and receive notifications when no one is home or when the windows are open, so you can turn off the heating to save money.
While Tado’s system offers the flexibility and control to set individual room temperatures, I’d still like to see how well it performs and the potential savings versus cost. I installed the Tado V3+ Start Kit Wireless Smart Thermostat (£200) and a bunch of Smart Radiator Valves (£200 for 3 packs) in my four-bed detached house to find out.
Note: The Tado heating system is not currently available in the US, although the German company offers smart AC control in the states. Ecobee Smart Home System (9/10, WIRED recommends) is a good alternative.
The Tado V3+ Starter Kit includes a wireless smart thermostat (available in black or white), a wireless receiver, and an internet bridge. I have also installed smart radiator thermostats in most of the rooms in my house (nine in total). After reviewing my heating system photos, Tado recommended a professional installation and scheduled an electrician. With some systems, the installation is simple enough for you to do yourself.
The wireless thermostat will replace your current thermostat and you can move it. Then there’s a wireless receiver that connects to your heating controller (this was the potential complication that required an electrician in my case). Finally, have an internet bridge that plugs into your router via an Ethernet cable. You can save a little money by choosing a Wired starter (£180).
Gas central heating is standard in the UK, where I live, but most systems are limited to a single thermostat (usually in the hallway) and the option to schedule heating for both. home. Individual radiators have numbered valves that you can use to manually increase or decrease heat in most rooms. It is not a very flexible system. For example, I only want to warm up in the office during the day and then warm up in the living room in the evening. I would have to schedule the heating to run at certain hours and go around adjusting the radiator valves manually.
After installing the Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat, I was able to call up heating for individual rooms and run a schedule that only heats the parts of the house that I need to heat. I installed the radiator thermostat by unscrewing the existing thermostatic valves (TRVs) and screwing in the new thermostat. You can scan the QR code on each to link it to the system and it runs through a short calibration process. The process was not complicated for me as the calibration failed on some radiator thermostats and I had to reset the old valves and screw them a few times and then start the process again. (Keep your old TRV handy.)
Tropical on demand
Once the system is up and running, you can see the temperature in each room using the thermostat and set your own schedule for heating. The system will activate the boiler as needed to reach your target temperature at a specific time. (So if you schedule heating from 6am for two hours, for example, it might turn on a few minutes before 6am). You can disable this Early Start feature to limit heating to scheduled time. Unfortunately, the radiator’s smart thermostat makes a small mechanical sound that can wake light sleepers.