Tado V3+, analysis: control almost any air conditioner with HomeKit
HomeKit’s home automation was something that many didn’t even think about: the different protocols and the difficulty of setting up a switchboard (both by knowledge and perhaps by budget) made this world beyond the reach of many. However, in recent years Apple’s protocol for controlling smart devices is attracting a lot of attention.
The popularization of these devices already goes beyond the well-known color-changing and remotely controlled bulbs – and automating – today: today we have an incredible variety of opportunities to add one more step in the intelligence of the home, which go from presence controls, camera bells connected or irrigation system control.
Apple will continue to bet in recent years to take its integration ecosystem further, adding new protocols that provide more security – for example – such as the coding and secure control of video streams in the case of video surveillance cameras. To this we must add the new devices that appear and that facilitate on many occasions this control turning into «smart» devices that we already have at home: it is the case of Tado, a company specialized in intelligent climate control solutions for the home, from which we already knew its thermostat for heaters and who now also wants to help us in summer with the airs aconconado.
-Apple is committed to HomeKit and new devices coming to the ecosystem bring more and more possibilities-
Simple and practical setup
Without a doubt one of the most used devices at home in summer is the air conditioning (even the heat pump if we use it in winter), and many of them have remote control. However, i’m sure you’ve ever thought – like me – just before I came home that I wish I could already activate the air conditioner to find me the cool house.
In the coming years we may see some models that already include the factory protocol, but it is still always a hassle and a cost of money to replace one device of this type with another only for home automation control. Tado launches his V3+, a small device in the shape of a square panel the size of a mobile to control the air conditioning that we already have at home.
The setup is much simpler than it may seem, and served to convince a skeptic at these controls like me after thinking about how many manufacturers of these products exist. What we have to do is simply scan with the Tado app the QR code that is on the back and then select what kind of remote control we have: the product will only work with the remote controls that have screen, and if we have in each an ai we will also need to have the control that controls it to program the Tado.
Once selected, the app itself asks us to point this controller against the device with which it will be programmed properly, selecting the manufacturer. The more modern the controller, the more control possibilities we have. The one I used for this review was not very modern (you can see the photos) but the V3+ detected it without problems. Once configured this way, the Tado app already showed me all the control information.
Complete energy efficiency information
The most common use of tado V3+ is without a doubt the ability to turn on, turn off and program our air conditioning with our mobile, whether or not we are at home. The Tado app concentrates a good amount of information in a simple but powerful interface, with clear graphics and very well designed. Once it is set up, simply swiping over the thermostat will be enough to change the temperature.
The location of the device at home is also very important: we must locate it near the split of the air conditioning, where the optimal situation is to look at it front or from below. Tado sends the orders we send you from the application by infrared, so it is convenient to have it close. The device is connected via USB to the power, this being one of the best possible points of the product: it should have had a battery or even the possibility of being powered by batteries, so that we can put it at home without relying on counting plugs close or having wires in sight.
-The Tado V3+ even includes an open window detection mode that will alert us to save energy-
An important point that the V3+ offers us is the detection of open windows: in the manufacturer’s instructions we are advised to put it in a place where there is air current with the windows open, to improve the detection of them. In my tests, despite being located in a corner of the room, the product instantly detected that I opened a window and sent a notification to the mobile to let us know. Very useful to not waste energy.
In this line, Tado has worked so that this model also automatically adapts to the weather and cools taking into account the outside temperature when we activate it, adapting the starting temperature when connecting it depending on the heat outside the housing: he will be the one who proposes us a temperature «of serve» that then of course we can change by reviewing the environmental conditions.
It also uses geolocation to ask us when we approach home if we want to activate the air conditioner before our arrival. It works quite precisely, and the truth is that it is useful not to forget to find the house at our favorite temperature or to always have the air at the same values without taking into account the energy efficiency regarding the climate.
HomeKit and Siri
As you can imagine, the integration into the Casa app is also done automatically as soon as you set up the device: you can use the V3+ from the Tado app itself – which as I said is very complete – or rely on Apple’s home automation control app where ap It will be as a new smart device associated with one of the rooms of the house, with a temperature control interface very similar to the manufacturer’s app.
Of course, Siri is also available: with Tado we can now ask you to connect or disconnect the air conditioner, or change the air temperature to certain degrees – being very comfortable when we go in the car or we are on the couch and we do not have the close command. Here it would have been a good idea if Siri would offer us more information, since this V3+ also measures the indoor air quality and shows it to us in some great reports within the app, with a design very similar to the one we have in the Apple Health app , with cards.
All these features are available from the moment you open the product box, but if you want to automate all this, you have to hire it. That is, if instead of receiving notifications for us to close the window, let’s turn off the air conditioner when there is no one at home, etc… we want the System to act automatically, Tado offers a subscription plan of 2.99 euros per month. It’s not expensive, but if we don’t want to pay for one more subscription per month, notifications are more enough to enjoy and take advantage of Tado with all its power.
The Tado V3+ package costs 99 euros, and offers much more than changing the air conditioning values: air quality, window detection, geolocation to adjust energy consumption… the design is also discreet with a clear LED display – visible even in outsiders – where it shows us the current air setting, or the feature we are changing. This V3+ is a product very well thought to go beyond the control of the air conditioning of the home, designed with very good style and with extra functionalities that round the product.