This review has been updated a year in, with an improved thermostat with built-in display and touch-sensitive controls, and new fuel-saving figures.
Affordable home automation has been a long time coming. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s the 21st Century and homes still don’t have Star Trek style swishy doors as standard.
But iPhone-controlled heating and lighting is here today. Nest hasn’t yet made it to the UK, so I decided to try out competitor system Tado, which is available in Europe now.
In the UK, it costs £199 if your system already has a wired thermostat, or £278 if it doesn’t. Alternatively, you can rent Tado for either £4.99 or £7.98/month. Looking at my own energy usage before and after, the payback time is a little under three years.
The idea behind Tado is three-fold. First, automation. As well as the programmable timer you have in any heating system, it also monitors the locations of everyone in the household via their iPhones (or Android phones). If everyone is out, it turns down the heating even if the timer says it should be on.
How much it turns it down depends on how far away you are, because it aims to have it back up to temperature by the time you return. Nip out to the local grocery store, and it won’t adjust it much, drive an hour to work and it’ll turn it down a lot … Read more