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Preheat Before Arrival and working close to home

I understand the idea behind Preheat Before Arrival, but I need to understand some details because I am struggling to make it work in conjunction with a house member who works relatively close to home.

From the graphic in the Smart Schedule Away settings, it appears that Eco, Balance and Comfort steadily increase the distance from home that the temperature will be raised. No details are provided, I can find no indication in the Tado app as to what those distances might be.

I need to know more, here's why:

One member of my house works 2.5km from home. I have set my Home Area at a radius of 500m, so my Tado correctly sees her as Away when she is at work. However, how does her work location play with Preheat Before Arrival? Will Preheat Before Arrival assume that she is on the way home when she is actually at work? Will my heating ever turn off if I have Preheat Before Arrival enabled?


Best Answers

  • Answer ✓

    "If you work only 15 km from home ... it will not allow the temperature to drop below 0.75°C under the target temperature of your Home schedule"

    So, for people who live and work in the same City, the Preheat feature is of no use whatsoever because it all but overrides the Away settings.


  • Answer ✓

    May I suggest that you acquire a bicycle?

    I can walk 2.5km in about 30 minutes, cycling in a fraction of that. I have lived and worked in London for >30 years. Only madmen drive in London by choice (and there are plenty of them). :-)

    The problem here has nothing to do with your velocity, and everything to do with your proximity to home. If you are working close to home then Preheat assumes that you are actually in the process of returning and will heat your empty home all day.

    It will also do this when I am at my office which is 15km away (about an hour by bike). While I spend the day at the office, Tado spends the day (and my cash) warming my house because it thinks that I am on the way home.

    In short Preheat Before Arrival is a fairly useless feature unless (a) you work a considerable distance from home and (b) your average speed is consistent with Tado's mostly secret algorithms.


  • JuliaJulia | Moderator

    Hi Charlie35slr,

    Thank you for your question.

    When you have chosen comfort, balance or eco in the Away settings (Preheat Before Arrival), your tado° will automatically assume that you are on your way home when you are within a certain radius.

    By default, tado° assumes that you will need about an hour for the last 40 km. We can change that for you, but for a distance as short as 2.5 km it does not make sense to activate Preheat before Arrival at all. Seeing that this person will always be home within a matter of minutes, your heating will not achieve that much of a temperature difference between her starting home and her arriving there.

    What you can do, however, is exclude certain time blocks in your Smart Schedule from Geofencing. You can determine for those time blocks when she is at work that your heating should simply follow the schedule instead of going into Away mode, and then set a target temperature that is as low as the Away temperature.

    In all those cases where you do need your heating to start during those times, you can simply override that setting using Manual Control.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you very much for your reply, Julia. Two questions:

    > By default, tado° assumes that you will need about an hour for the last 40 km.

    1. On which setting? There are three active Preheat settings! Please explain Preheat's behaviour in Eco, Balance and Comfort modes.
    2. I also need to understand how what causes Preheat to activate. Does it fire when a user crosses a line (when they enter the 40km radius you mentioned) or does it fire any time a user is < 40km from home?

    The schedule hack you outlined is not acceptable to me because it affects every user in the house. Disabling Preheat has less impact, I think.


  • Any chance that somebody from Tado could answer my questions? Thanks.

  • JuliaJulia | Moderator

    Hi @charlie35slr ,

    Your tado° will always assume that you will need about 1 hour for the last 40 kilometres, but depending on the setting you choose (off, eco, balance or comfort), it will start earlier or later to preheat your home. Depending on how quickly your building can heat up, a different setting might be suitable for you. Generally speaking, Comfort will make sure the target temperature has been reached by the time you arrive home, while Eco means that it will only start your heating when you are almost home.

    The preheat function will activate depending on your current location. As soon as the first user is within a radius that you can modify by choosing the right Away setting, your heating will start.

    For your special case, it seems that disabling that function would probably most advisable, though, because at a distance of only 2.5 km your system will never allow the temperature to drop much.



  • edited March 2019

    I still have little idea how this system works!

    Let's try another approach. Please imagine this scenario:

    • I am the only person living at my home.
    • My Home Area radius is 500 metres.
    • I work 15 km from home (many people in London will look something like this: work is a few kilometres from home).

    Please answer these questions

    1. How does Preheat Before Arrival behave when I am at work (please provide details)?
    2. How does Preheat Before Arrival work if I am returning from a visit to friend's home 100 km away?
    3. How do the Eco, Balance and Comfort options affect the behaviour (in both cases, please be precise, provide the size of radii, etc)?

    This comment has me really confused:

    "The preheat function will activate depending on your current location. As soon as the first user is within a radius that you can modify by choosing the right Away setting, your heating will start."

    The away radius is the distance I have to be from home before Tado considers me to be Away. What has this got to do with the Preheat Before Arrival option? Are you talking about another Away setting (i.e. separate to the Home Area radius)?

    Do you have a complete and detailed manual anywhere that I can read? The only one I can find is related to the hardware.


  • Please advise which city where working 2.5km away means you will be home in a matter of minutes? Certainly not London

    can take 1 hour or more sometimes, and yes can be quicker to walk

    personally ive had to turn off all the preheat before arrival off for this reason

  • edited March 2019

    I have lived and worked in London since 1983. I can get to my office 15km away in under an hour at peak traffic on my bicycle. It takes a little bit longer by public transport (a combination of train, tube and bus/walk). My wife's 2.5km commute takes her under 10 minutes by bicycle. Waterloo is 25 minutes from the SW outer suburbs by train. Etc, etc, etc.

    Next time you visit London, rent a bike or try the CityMapper app. Anything is better than sitting stationary in your car. You need never travel at 2.5km/hour again. :-)

    Back to the issue:

    The problem with Preheat is this: if I spend the day at my office (15km from home, less as the crow flies), Preheat will spend the day keeping my house warm because it thinks that I am on my way home (I am within the radius). It thinks this at 09:00, when I arrive at work, and it keeps thinking this all the way through to 18:00, when I leave. This is a waste fo energy/money, so I have turned off Preheat.

    From the answers given to my questions, it would appear that preheat is only of any benefit if you work > 40km from your home, although that might be wrong because the answers were far from comprehensive. Your speed of travel might come into it too, who knows.

  • One problem with the distance/time formula is that it assumes external factors (traffic conditions) are constant. Unfortunately, this is a flawed model. My wife works 3 miles from home but it sometimes take her 40 minutes to get to work or home, I work 43 miles away which takes 1hour. Does not make sense, but that is the nature of the roads.

    An excellent example of a model that adapts to constantly changing variables, is google maps which, when used for navigation with an internet connection, can take into account of traffic conditions.

    I believe a fantastic solution to the preheat/distance solution would be to incorporate the ability to record your place of work. Then, through repeatably mapping the journey home, it would be possible to develop a unique route and time taken formula. This travel time can then be updated from the google maps system to identify unexpected delays, such as a traffic accident, to adjust the arrive home time.

    This would be a fantastic upgrade. After all, in all the large cities of the world it can take a long time to travel a relatively short distance.

    It could also be done for a couple of destinations, as after all, we are creatures of habit!

    I look forward to your response to this idea TADO 🤔

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