Working for People with Sight Loss

Controlling your home heating with the accessible Hive Thermostat

 

Using a smart thermostat is a good way for you to access your heating controls. There is a number of these thermostats available and the one you choose can depend on some different factors including the type of heating system you have.

Many of these smart thermostats can be made accessible through the use of a smart phone app or desktop app. The one we are going to focus on is the Hive active heating smart thermostat with the Hive hub. This thermostat is suitable for people that have oil or gas boilers. It can also be set up to control the different zones in your house such as upstairs, downstairs and hot water.

It will need to be installed by a professional installer. Some retailers offer installation as a free incentive when purchasing the product. You get 2 wireless thermostat sensors with the device so you can put one upstairs and one downstairs to monitor the temperature in the house. These attach to a little holder that you need to screw to the wall. The thermostat has frost protect built in, so your house temperature never falls under 7 degrees. You can also set up Geo location in the Hive app so you can get alerts when you have left the heating on when you are away from home.

Works with TalkBack and Voiceover

There are a few ways the Hive smart thermostat is accessible. One way is through the app.

After the hive thermostat is installed you will need to set up a hive account and download the Hive app to your smart phone and connect your phone to the Hive hub. TalkBack and VoiceOver will read all areas as you go through each step of the setup. There is also an area in the Hive app where you can adjust text size.

Once setup is complete you can go to the home screen of the Hive app and you will be presented with options like zone1, zone2, and hot water. As you swipe through these it will announce if your boiler is currently on or off and it will tell you the temperature in that zone.

If you are a TalkBack or VoiceOver user, you can go into any of these zones by double tapping and then you can boost your heating or change the temperature or even set a schedule.

You can also access the Hive Thermostat via a PC or Laptop through the online dashboard, and for those that don’t use a smart phone you can send text commands to the thermostat. Note the text command service does not work if your heating system is split into zones.

Access your Hive Thermostat using your Smart Speaker

Another great feature of the Hive smart thermostat is that it can be linked with your smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. This makes controlling your heating a fully accessible and hands-free experience and may be the best option for some people.

Go to the Google Home app or the Alexa app on your smart phone and put in your Hive username and password and follow the on-screen instructions. Note with Alexa you need to enable the Hive skill. Then ask your smart speaker to discover devices.

To show an example of the commands you can use we will use Alexa.

“Alexa, ask Hive to Boost the heating Upstairs”

“Alexa, ask Hive to boost the hot water”

“Alexa, ask hive to Set downstairs temperature to 22 degrees”

“Alexa, what is the temperature in the house”

If you have a gas or oil boiler the Hive active thermostat is a good option and can be accessed and controlled in a number of ways. We are not recommending it over any other thermostat, and it is a good idea to get advice from your plumber to check if it will suit your system.