Opinions on Accessible thermostats that work with home kit?

Hardware and Accessories

Hello all
My wife and I recently purchased a home and are able to get a $100 rebate deal on a wifi/smart thermostat from Nest, Ecobee or honeywell. We would like to purchase as soon as possible as current thermostat is 14 years old.
In looking at the many models, am still quite confused on what to purchase.
Nest: sounds pretty good but is quite expensive. Doesn't support home kit. The app doesn't appear to include a demo mode. An article in an older issue of AFB Accessworld said the app mostly works but has unlabeled buttons and a couple other inaccessible areas.
Ecobee: There are 2 models, the Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 3 lite. The normal 3 includes a remote sensor which from what I understand tries to regulate the temperature in whatever room you place it in. Sensors can be purchased separately as well. The cheaper lite model doesn't include the sensors but are they really needed/just a gimmick? We have a 2200 square foot one level home. It works with home kit as well as amazon echo/alexa.
Honeywell: Has a model similar to others but also a newer model called Lyric which just got updated in October but doesn't appear to have a color screen. The lyric app didn't have a demo mode. It does work with home kit/echo though.
I assume the home kit app can be used in place of each thermostat app in order to set temperature, perhaps set schedules ETC with it being mostly if not fully accessible? That is the main reason we are looking at home kit support. We have 2 apple tv 4th gens which I assume will let us manage the thermostat remotely? We also have a sighted person living with us so I would like to make sure the thermostat touch screen or non touch interface itself is pretty easy to use.
To make a long story already longer, looking at Ecobee mainly. Would like to save money if the remote sensors may not be needed.
Any thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated, thanks.



Submitted by Musicruz on Monday, November 28, 2016

The remote wireless sensor does not require for the Ecobee to work and use it with Homekit, however if you want to maximize your saving, you would want to spread them around your house rooms. In addition to the saving, the really cool feature of the ecobee3 sensors they know which room you guys are, and it will just use that temperature, so heating unoccupied rooms won't be an issue.

when it comes to accessibility of setting them up, you are going to run into a lot of issue because the Ecobee3 app is inaccessible. You are going to really need to have a sighted assistance to tune things up to your liking, but after setting your preferences up you can just adjust the temperature using siri or Alexa. You can also just add the widget on the Notification center, so you can get the tempture reading in every sensors that you have.

Don't lose hope though, if you really need to change something and you don;'t have anybody to help you out for a moment you can try to use the web portal for Ecobee; it's usable enough to do some changes for example to change your system to heating, cooling or turning it off completely.

Despite of this inaccessibility issue, I would still highly suggest Ecobee3 amongst the three Thermostat you have mentioned.

If you have anymore question feel free to ask them.

Submitted by carlos on Monday, November 28, 2016

Hi its Carlos,
I have a Honeywell rth6580wf and its great.
it has buttons you can push on the screen,
but the internet app is very simple to use.
Its also the most inexpensive one out there I paid around $100.00 at home depot.
I would suggest that one for sure.
I'm totally blind the only thing is the app does not show me the indoor temperature,
but you can talk to the app and it will speak the indoor tempurture.
also if you log in to Honeywell connect on the web you can see the temperature.
the app also has a demo mode to try it.

Submitted by ftealucard on Monday, November 28, 2016

Regarding honeywell, there are 2 thermostat apps. Total connect, an older app that appears to be thermostat only and total connect 2.0 which will allow control of both thermostats and other devices like security systems. TC 2.0 demo of thermostat area seems to be reasonably accessible. Looks like you can control heating/cooling/fan at least. The older app also seems to work ok.
The lyric thermostat models as stated above have their own app and do not appear to include a demo.

Submitted by david s on Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Another thing to consider when shopping for your thermostat. Does your existing thermostat have a C wire? This is a power wire that is required by most wifi thermostat. Sadly, there is no way to tell if it has a C wire unless you pull out the existing thermostat and check the wires. If you don’t have a C wire, you can get it installed or find a wifi thermostat that runs on batteries. While it’s not difficult to install a C wire, it is electrical and contractors charge accordingly.

The remote thermostat sensor is a great idea but I chose not to go this route. The sensor is a remote and as with most TV remotes, it can get misplaced. Another reason I chose not to go this route is there are three of us in the house and one part of the house gets warmer than the other. If I took the remote to the living room where it’s warm, my wife will complain that the bedroom is freezing. IF I got multiple sensors, I would still be in the same situation. The sensor in the living room will tell the system to turn on the AC while the one in the bedroom will tell the system to turn off the AC. I only have one HVAC system so it’s either going to be on or off. If you have this issue, the best thing to do is to contact a HVAC contractor and let them figure it out.

The thermostat you choose will depend on how simple or complex you want it to be. I wanted something simple and reliable. I have a Honeywell 6580wf. It does not use the home kit but it does have it’s own app. The total connect from Honeywell isn’t the fanciest but it is accessable, simple and lets me do all the things I need the thermostat to do. It also have a voice recorder feature which allows you to do basic functions like tell you the temperature, turn on or off the AC or Heater. The thermostat itself is bright and easy to use according to my wife and 11 year old.

HTH and good luck.