Tado° HomeKit Review
Tado° have recently released a long awaited HomeKit bridge for their smart thermostats and valves. This is a write up of my current system, now that I have the new bridge.
I’ve had a Tado° system for a few years now; initially I started with a single thermostat and extension kit in a previous house. When we moved, our new house had multi zone heating with separate thermostats; one for the lounge and one for the rest of the house. I added a second thermostat for the lounge and then soon after that 6 radiator valves. This setup allows me to automatically set each room for optimal comfort. Currently, I have my home setup so:
- The nursery is set to a maximum of 18°, and if required will heat for an hour before my daughter (should) go to bed.
- The bedroom is set to a default of 18° over night and during the winter will call for heat as required.
- The rear bedrooms are off by default as the majority of the time are empty.
- The kitchen only comes on for 30 mins in the morning if required.
- The dining room is also south facing so doesn’t need much in the way of heat.
The great thing about the valves is that you can control them without an app using a single input, just like you would with a ‘dumb’ valve. Turning the top ring will either increase or decrease the temperature, and if required ‘call for heat’ from the boiler. You can also preset each valve to perform an action when manually controlled:
- Until turned off again
- For a set duration
- Until the next automatic mode change (based on the smart schedule)
Upgrading the new bridge was trivial and took about 40 minutes in total. The process was to:
- Add the new device via the Tado° app by scanning a QR code
- Swap the bridges over
- Wait for the devices to connect to the new bridge
- Assign each device to a room within HomeKit
The only slight annoyance was that the default name that was assigned to each device was the serial number, and not the zone it was assigned to. There’s probably a good reason for this, but it made assigning each device to a HomeKit room harder than required. This is probably only an issue if you’ve got quite a few devices. I logged in to the web app, navigated to the devices settings and used that to look up each serial number. You could also use the ‘identify’ feature depending on how many devices you have setup.
I also had to create a new ‘House’ room to assign the main ‘Home’ thermostat. This works quite nicely as I can ask Siri what the temperature in the House is.
Each command via HomeKit is treated as a manual input to a device and will mirror the manual settings (mentioned above) as setup in the Tado° app. This is particularly useful in fine tuning each zone based on the characteristics of the room and then using Home to quickly set that (and also to counter the lack of timers in iOS 10 by making the default time 30 minutes for a boost for example).
As you’d expect, you can ask Siri for the temperature and humidity in each room, and add the most important rooms to the status section of the Home app, allowing you to get an overview each time the app is opened. This is probably one of the main benefits for HomeKit integration for my use case, specifically because every habitable room in my house has a Tado° device in it, and therefore a temperature and humidity reading. In iOS11, these can then be used to trigger scenes, or as a conditional within a scene that may have nothing to do with heating. For example, you could use a temperature range to control a fan.
Overall, the HomeKit integration is solid and does everything you’d expect, allowing you to have basic control over your heating, see the temperature and status for each device and use the temperature and humidity readings within scenes.