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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

HERO SUPPORT PACKAGE

What is the website’s Hero Support package?

Our Hero Support package is a breakthrough new service, launched in 2020, that takes all the hassle out of selecting the best and right boiler for your home and connects you with an installer from the top 1% in the country.

A boiler is only as good as the installer that fits it and our research has found that 99% of installers do not know how to setup a gas boiler to run at its A-rated efficiency.

We have developed the Hero Support service to help consumers save money by ensuring that they select the most suitable boiler for their needs and that it is installed correctly by one of our Elite Installers to achieve optimum efficiency.

For a one-off fee of £120, we support consumers through the entire process, from initial research into the best boiler for your home through to providing an independent, expert recommendation, and arranging for an Elite Network to carry out a survey and install one of our shortlisted boilers.

Who is The Heating Hub’s service targeted at?

Everyone has a right to benefit from the boiler efficiencies stated on-the-box and an installer workforce capable of setting up boilers to run the way they were designed to. There is a huge efficiency gap and skills gap in the domestic gas boiler market that means this rarely happens and the cracks are starting to show in the UK’s high rates of boiler replacement.

The Heating Hub specialises in helping consumers select the right boiler for their homes and connecting them with a highly competent installer. 99% of installers have not undergone the necessary training to understand the setup requirements for a modern boiler. Our Elite Installers are from the 1% that have.

Homeowners who are planning to install a boiler in the near future should contact The Heating Hub for an expert recommendation on which boiler would best meet their household requirements. We work to all budgets and even those on a tight budget can make their money go a lot further with Hero Support.

What else forms the Hero Support Package?

An expert from The Heating Hub will discuss your home and heating system requirements with you before recommending the best boiler for your home from our shortlist of boilers and heating controls. We will make bespoke specifications based on spec and price so that consumers have a good range of options to choose from that are suitable for their homes.

Every specification by The Heating Hub has been vetted by our Expert Panel against a stringent set of criteria to ensure only the best, most cost-effective, reliable and energy efficient boilers are recommended.

We will pass our specification to you and a member of our trusted Elite Network of expert installers, who will then conduct a survey, either by visiting your home or by video. All of our installers adhere to the company’s exceptionally high standards as set out in our Healthy Heating Standard and have gone the extra mile to reach the levels technical competence needed to fit high efficiency boilers correctly.

The Elite Installer’s quote is checked by The Heating Hub to ensure that is meets with our Healthy Heating Standard before being approved for release to you. Once you have agreed the quote, you will work directly with the Elite Installer to arrange and carry out the installation. Your Elite Installer may ask for up to 50% in advance of the works as a deposit.

We will be kept informed of any changes to the specification that are made during the works to confirm they continue to meet with our Healthy Heating Standard. When the works are complete, we ask for evidence that the Elite Installer has registered the boiler warranty, notified Gas Safe and completed the Benchmark form.

What contact will I have with The Heating Hub throughout this process?

The Heating Hub will provide you with a thorough and impartial recommended specification about which boiler and heating controls we believe will best suit your needs. The Heating Hub will also recommend one of its vetted, Elite Installers in your area and put you in touch with them to arrange the next steps (surveys etc).

After this point, the agreement is between the consumer and the installer we have recommended to carry the job out. Our Elite Installers like to maintain their business independence and do not subcontract for us.

If any changes are made during the works, The Heating Hub will review them to ensure the installation still meets with our Healthy Heating Standard.

The Heating Hub will also check back at the end of a job to ensure work has been carried out to our stringent set of standards and ensure the work has been certified with Gas Safe and the manufacturer warranty has been activated.

I have to pay £120 for a recommendation report. How will the Hero Support service save me money in the long run?

Our research shows that an incorrectly installed boiler will cost the average UK household £418 per year, which equates to £9.200 over the course of 22 years. The UK has one of the highest replacement boilers rates in Europe as homeowners are forced to replace their boiler too soon due to poor advice and/or incorrect installation.

By installing our recommended boilers correctly, your boiler should last much closer to the manufacturer-recommended 22-year lifespan, costing just £106 per year or £2,350 over 22 years – that’s a huge difference!

The good news is with the right knowledge, our Hero Support installations do not need to cost any more to fit than poorly specified and incorrectly set up systems.

I have decided to go with the recommended boiler and engineer as set out in the Hero Support recommendation report. When will work begin?

Once a recommendation report is issued to a customer, all work should be carried out within a maximum timeframe of four weeks. Once we have checked that the quote meets our Healthy Heating Standard you can work with your Elite Installer directly to arrange the works.

I’ve used the service, but I don’t want to take any of the recommendations listed... will I get a refund?

No. When a consumer consents to use The Heating Hub’s Hero Support service, the agreement is that we provide a full recommendation report. Once the recommendation report is sent to the consumer, The Heating Hub has fulfilled its terms of service. In the event you do not wish to use one of our Elite Installers, you can give your specification to another installer you have chosen, however we cannot be responsible for any shortfall in their installation standards nor can we continue to support you through the installation process.

Why has the Elite Installer recommended a different boiler to the one The Heating Hub suggested?

Once surveys have been completed, the Elite Installer may well suggest a boiler that was not on the original recommendation, but it will always be one on our shortlist. Where possible consumers are provided with a range of appropriate boilers with different price points, however boiler selection may sometimes be determined by which boiler manufacturer your local Elite Installer prefers to fit. Rest assured that Elite Installer preferences around manufacturer choices will always be based on technical reasons rather than loyalty perks.

I’m not happy with the service I received from my recommended installer. What do I do now?

Our handpicked Elite Installers work to their own high standards but must also adhere to our Installer Charter, which covers customer satisfaction and good conduct as well as meeting our higher technical standards. In the vast majority of cases where incidences occur, your Elite Installer will go out of their way to deliver customer satisfaction.

If however, you are unhappy with any aspect of the works and you have not been able to resolve this directly with the Elite Installer, we run a dispute resolution procedure that you can activate. Customer satisfaction is our priority and we will work to resolve any problems to everyone’s satisfaction.

My boiler has broken down shortly after installation, who do I contact about this?

In the first instance you should contact the installation engineer who carried out the work who will be able to re-visit your home to investigate the problem. Any problems with the boiler will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Which areas does The Heating Hub Hero Support service cover?

The Heating Hub can make recommendations about boilers to anyone in the UK. Our network of Elite Installers spans England, Wales and lower Scotland.

What about repairs and servicing after a boiler has been installed. Does The Heating Hub co-ordinate this?

After installation, consumers are responsible for the maintenance of their boiler and are encouraged to contact the installer who fitted it to ensure the boiler is serviced and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance. Consumers should be aware that their manufacturer-backed warranty can often be invalidated if they do not have their boiler serviced every year.

Do I come back through The Heating Hub if there is a problem?

All of our Elite Installers are thoroughly vetted and are obliged to work to our Installer Charter of standards and deliver best practice and outstanding customer service, so we are confident that consumers will receive a top-class service.

However, we appreciate that sometimes discrepancies occur and we have a robust dispute resolution policy in place should it be required. Any arbitration process would be managed through The Heating Hub if a problem occurs during the installation process that cannot be resolved by the Elite Installer.

I am building a passive/eco home. Will the Hero Support service be of use to me?

Absolutely. The Hero Support recommendation report will fully assess the type of eco home being built and select a suitable boiler and installer with experience in eco homes to carry out the job. If your home is under construction or still at the planning stages, we can work from your energy report.

THE HEATING HUB EXPLAINED

What makes The Heating Hub different?

The ethics of The Heating Hub are focused entirely on getting consumers a better deal in a market that has shortchanged them on efficiency and lifespan to sell more boilers.

The Heating Hub’s female founders have a track record of supporting customers in the residential heating market and actively campaign to improve standards and choices for consumers across the sector.

There appears to be other companies offering a very similar service (e.g. The Green Age, Boiler Guide, BOXT). Why should I choose The Heating Hub over one of your competitors?

Unlike online boiler installation companies and comparison websites, The Heating Hub is an impartial, expert one-stop-shop for all residential heating system requirements and thus our offer is not directly comparable to those of our competitors.

Online boiler installation companies work on high volume, fast-track boiler sales and tend to be affiliated with just one or two manufacturers. The sale is made without a home visit and without any of the steps needed to specify and correctly fit modern high efficiency boilers. Their boiler recommendations are based on affiliations with boiler manufacturers and not on an independent technical assessment of the boiler or the needs of the consumer.

Comparison websites tend to collect consumers’ details and sell them onto local installers who are not vetted on their technical competence. For consumers there is no valued added to their purchase of a new boiler in exchange for the sale of their personal details. In short, consumers can never be sure they are getting a good boiler for the right price, that they can rely on for a number of years.

Why would I visit your website for advice on boilers, rather than using an established independent review website such as Which?

Consumer websites such as Which? will only provide a product review of what is available on the market and are not able to specify heating systems for particular households based on their requirements.

Whilst Which? reviews and Which? Best Buy Awards are very useful for simple white goods such as washing machines and Fridges, a boiler is much more complex. Firstly, there is a big difference between low-tech and high-tech boilers and without a technical assessment it is impossible for Which? to make the distinction.

Secondly, Which? fails to recognise that a boiler’s performance ‘in the home’ hinges of the competency of the installer to set the whole heating system up correctly, so that even technically ‘the best’ boiler will not run optimally if setup poorly.

The Heating Hub is a niche website for domestic heating with a panel of industry experts who are at the forefront of testing and understanding correct heating system design and installation.

We provide a recommendation based on the specific heating requirements for your family and household and apply our expert knowledge of boilers and heating to identify the best products and deliver the best solutions.

How is The Heating Hub funded?

The Heating Hub:

  • Is fully independent

  • Does not accept sponsorship from any industry operators

  • Carefully selects advertisers that meet our stringent quality standards

  • Provides an affordable solution to save customers £1000s.

In order to fund the free provision of our in-depth, impartial guidance via the Help Centre, we allow associated home and heating product manufacturers and retailers to advertise on our pages.

Our advertisers are carefully selected and in keeping with the interests of our website visitors. It is important to note that this is not a blanket acceptance of any product. Where associated heating products do not meet our minimum standards for efficiency, we do not include them on our advertising shortlist.

We do not allow gas boiler manufacturers any general advertising slots, but we do allow them to provide some more information about their product where they are awarded a ‘best buy’.

Boiler specification and setup is a bespoke process and due to the complexities of the market it currently takes time and a deep level of expertise and knowledge to get it right. This simply cannot be achieved via the current one-size-fits-all, fast-track, online boiler installation format.

We charge a small amount of £120 to help save our customers £1000s long-term.

In order to deliver correctly setup boiler installations, we need to maintain a network of the top installers. We vet, assess and support a network of elite engineers and assist them in their delivery of high quality boiler installations. We charge them an administrational fee for each job that goes ahead but this is not added to the cost of the job, rather it forms part of the Elite Installer’s existing overheads.

THE HEALTHY HEATING STANDARD

The website claims it saves customers £1000s with the Healthy Heating Standard – what is this and how does it save customers so much money?

Modern high efficiency boilers became mandatory in 2005. Since then around 20 million boilers have been sold, but no corresponding investment has been made to upskill the workforce to fit them correctly.

In the vast majority of UK homes we find an oversized boiler, incorrect boiler setup and ineffective controls, including many smart controls. So little is understood about the damage this causes that we have come to believe a boiler will last on average between seven and 12 years, when it should last 22 years. As a result, we have one of the highest boiler replacement rates in Europe.

Whilst a high turnover of boilers is good for boiler sales, it is not good for consumers. Premature replacement and low efficiencies cost households thousands of pounds compared with correctly specified and set up boilers.

We have developed our own higher design and efficiency standard - the Healthy Heating Standard - to deliver properly designed, set up and installed heating systems, meaning boilers are more efficient and last longer, thus saving consumers £1000s over the lifetime of their boiler.

What criteria does a boiler need to satisfy in order to make it onto your list of recommended boilers?

The Heating Hub’s Expert Panel has reviewed all boilers available on the UK market to find the best, most reliable and efficient heating systems. Only those boilers which meet our stringent efficiency criteria will make it onto our recommended list.

Are there any boiler manufacturers The Heating Hub will not recommend?

The Heating Hub will only ever shortlist boilers that meet our strict quality and efficiency guidelines, irrespective of brand strength. Rest assured that every boiler has been reviewed by our Expert Panel to ensure that, once fitted correctly, will offer the best efficiency and cost-saving measures for a home. We will always provide consumers with a choice of boilers suiting different price brackets.

I’m less concerned about efficiency than reliability. Do you also factor reliability and longevity of boilers into your selection criteria?

All boilers available to buy in the UK meet EU regulations, however some manufacturers have invested heavily in developing more technologically advanced boilers with a greater efficiency potential, providing the installer knows how to configure them.

Reliability and longevity are dependent on selecting the right boiler for the property, selecting the right control for it to run optimally and the installer setting it up correctly to prevent premature wear and tear.

How regularly does the Heating Hub conduct a review of all the boilers on the market?

Our Expert Panel and installer panel review the Healthy Heating Standard twice a year and review new boilers as and when they are released.

THE EXPERT PANEL

What credentials does The Heating Hub have to consider themselves experts in this sector?

The Heating Hub is the brainchild of its Founder, Jo Alsop. Jo spent more than a decade running her own local heating business, and in a bid to provide more consumer-friendly guidance about boiler choices, she began researching and writing blogs on boilers and heating systems which were very well-read and received via the website. Recognising a gap in the market, she went on to set up The Heating Hub to provide consumers with honest, impartial advice and recommendations suited to their specific requirements.

The Heating Hub’s Expert Panel has 119 years’ combined experience in the UK domestic heating sector, ensuring they have the knowledge and competence to objectively analyse boilers against a set of stringent performance criteria. Their expertise spans every aspect of correct heating system design and they are advisors on many industry and government panels.

You claim that 99% of boilers are not correctly installed. How can you justify using this figure? What research did you conduct to establish this figure?

Knowledge of ‘hydronics’ (aka heating system design) and ‘modulation’ controls are essential to ensuring that new boilers are set up correctly and operate at peak efficiency. However, just 1% of registered domestic gas engineers (less than 1,000 out of the 108,000 in the UK) have attended training in heating system design.

How do we know this? There is only one such course currently available. Compiled and run by our Expert Panellist Kimbo Betty at his Heating Academy in Northampton, his pioneering training has opened the eyes of 100s of installers who are astonished to discover the gaps in their knowledge. Kimbo, a talented heating engineer with an R&D background, had to work hard to find out correct heating design principles for himself over the course of his domestic heating career and after retirement put together his hydronics design course to pass on his knowledge.

Statistics from Kimbo’s Heating Academy course show that:

  • 98% of attendees questioned said they had not undertaken any other heating system design training prior to Heating Academy’s course.

  • 51% said they had felt confident to implement all of the principles of hydronic design after the training and rest said they felt they needed more help.

  • 86% of engineers said they felt “let down” that heating system design for condensing boilers had not formed part of their training at any point.

How has this happened? The switch to condensing boiler technology in 2005 was not accompanied by any investment to upskill the workforce to understand and setup the technology correctly. We now have a huge skills gap and a nation of gas boilers not running as they were designed to.

ELITE INSTALLERS

How can you be sure that the engineers that form your Elite Network are the best installers in the country?

The Expert Panel has used its decades of industry experience and connections to identify heating engineers who are among the best in the country. All of our installers understand the principles of correct heating system design and operate in accordance with our Healthy Heating Standard, which ensures the highest quality of installation. They have also gone through our own internal vetting and technical assessment process to ensure they can meet our standards.

Are any of your installers affiliated with a particular manufacturer?

For time and familiarity purposes, some of our Elite Installers specialise in particular boiler manufacturers. Rest assured that any recommendation they make will be from our approved shortlist of boilers and will always be reviewed by us.

Elite Installers that work with just one or two manufacturers must make their choices based on sound, technical reasoning rather than because they receive perks from a particular manufacturer. In many instances, manufacturer accreditation does bring other consumer benefits such as an extended warranty.

Surely it is better to use an expert installer who just specialises in one brand, rather than a generalist who can install any manufacturer’s products?

There are many benefits to installers specialising in one brand because they become expert in setting up those boilers. We are happy for our Elite Installers to stick with their preferred brand providing their boiler selections are on our shortlist and meet a consumer’s requirements. This does, however, limit consumer choice. We encourage our Elite Installers to undertake manufacturer training in other brands in order to expand the models we can specify.