Every now and then we encounter a client who is having trouble seeing the display on their thermostat. The old “dial” thermostats had very small numbers and even smaller hash marks. Most of today’s digital models have larger numbers that are fairly easy to read, but they frequently still have very small print for the other programming functions. When your vision is failing it can be very difficult to set the thermostat the way you want it.
Dave, one of our service technicians, was at the home of a client who was having trouble seeing her thermostat. Dave took it upon himself to do some research on this problem and found a company that supplies a thermostat that talks, talkingthermostats.com. They have a series of options available for various types of heating and cooling equipment.
So how does it work?
Pressing one button tells you exactly what the current settings are. Pressing the large up/down buttons tells you what will happen when you press the button, then reports where you ended after making your change. You receive a voice prompt every step of the way to enter the correct settings.
A help button gives a phone number to call for assistance. Large print instructions are provided, as well as a CD with complete audio instructions. An electronic file of the text is included with each thermostat for use with text to speech software.
While not covered by most health insurance policies, many homeowners have received assistance from associations that support the vision impaired in purchasing this product. We always recommend having a heating contractor install any new thermostat to protect your home and verify all connections were made correctly. For more information, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.