Back in 2013, I tried to buy a Friedrich WiFi Air Conditioner and failed to find one. Then in 2014, Tado announced they were Kickstarting a “smart” AC controller that would use WiFi and IR to control your air conditioner via a smartphone app. Now finally, just as summer is about to get started, the dream is now reality.
The shipping box contains the AC controller, 3 AC outlet adapters (for US, Europe, Asia), USB cable and USB power plug. Pick the AC adapter for your area, plug that into the USB power plug, plug the USB cable to the power plug, then plug the other end of the USB cable to the Tado box. As you can see below, if you don’t need a long cable, you can wrap it around the back of the Tado box to shorten it.
Next download the iOS, Android, or Windows Phone app from their prospective stores. Next, launch the app and follow the instructions on the screen. It will use Bluetooth to connect to the Tado, and ask for WiFi information (including password), and update the firmware of the Tado if needed (see updating picture below). The Tado AC controller box is very small (about 4″ x 4″) and has LED matrix indicators embedded in middle which shows the status.
Next, place the Tado box with a straight line sight to the AC so the IR can control it. If you have one of the standard listed AC manufacturer, you can select it from a list. If not, you can train the Tado box by pointing the IR remote control to the box, as per their instructions.
When the Tado box is finished with the setup, you can create a “smart” schedule using the app. The first screen below (left) shows the status of the Tado/AC with the current temperature, and what the AC unit is set to. The bottom area shows that you (or your phone) is at home.
The next screen (middle) shows how you can setup different temperatures and settings when you are home awake, sleeping or away.
The last screen (right) shows how you can set different schedules for different days (or the same schedule).
Once everything is setup, you can first test to make sure you can manually turn the AC on/off using the app. For my settings, I have my home at 72 degrees when I’m awake and 75 degrees when I’m sleeping. When I leave, it automatically turns off the AC. If you have multiple people in the house, the app knows not to turn off the AC unless everyone is away.
Although the Tado box has a touch sensitive surface so that you can control it without your smartphone, I have never used this feature. Why should I stand up to go to the Tado box when I can use my phone that’s always next to me?
The best feature of the Tado is the automatic “away mode” so I don’t have to remember to turn off the AC when I am leaving and the AC coming back on as I’m coming back home. It works great. This saves energy and money. That’s cool. Yes, pun intended.
If you have an IR controlled air conditioner, this is a no-brainer. Get one today.
Update July 5, 2015:
Just after posting my glowing review, something weird happened to my Tado and I’ve had a persistent problem now for a few days. For starters, my settings got reset by itself and I cannot change it back to Fahrenheit. When I go to the Tado website, the link to change it is disabled. To top it off, when I try to look at other settings, I get the error you see below. The system is new, so I guess it’s not completely ready for prime time yet.
Update July 12, 2015:
Everything seems to have been fixed at Tado.
Update September 2017:
Recently, Tado has decided to no longer support “dumb” ACs. This means I’m SOL. The good news is they refunded my money. Frankly, I’d rather have a working unit than get my money back.