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Do you have a Rayburn? Is it worth it?

(30 Posts)
JoyofSpring Sun 01-May-16 07:23:37

We will be installing a new kitchen and by chance our boiler has died at the same time. I have always like the look of an Aga or Rayburn and Rayburn can do the hot water and central heating too! So no need for a new boiler if we get that... We would get a gas fired version.

However, they are insanely expensive and I've heard they tend to burn money / not great for the environment. We would probably get a separate oven and hob as well just for speed and ease of use but I would plan to use the Rayburn as much as possible.

Please tell me your experiences! Do you love or loathe your Rayburn?

grannycake Sun 01-May-16 07:34:06

I have a Rayburn Gas fired and runs central heating and hot water. Was in the house when we bought it (reason I bought the house if I'm honest). I do love it BUT it is expensive to run and it takes a while to heat up. Also takes a while to get used to cooking on it. A timer is your friend as you wont smell burning! However i don't have to worry about drying washing as have a sheila maid above it. I'm a keen cook and love using it but my son (Michelin starred chef) hates it and wouldn't have one himself. If you don't like it you have to not only replace the cooker but your boiler as well. I don't have a separate cooker but do have a microwave, slow cooker and portable induction hob for the odd day when the weather makes the rayburn unbearable - not often here in Wales

Ifailed Sun 01-May-16 07:35:01

Rayburn! That takes me back, I grew up in Herefordshire in the 60s and it seemed like every kitchen had a Rayburn. Not sure how much they have changed, but they only had a small back boiler so not enough hot water for more than one radiator, and certainly not for a bath. This involved a big ceremony whereby the magical immersion heater was turned on by my dad for just enough time, measured in minutes, for everyone to have a quick sunday bath. We must have stunk the rest of the time.

JoyofSpring Sun 01-May-16 19:05:18

Thank you!

My parents have one so I'm OK with cooking on it but I think we will have a back up hob and oven.

Is it very expensive to run?

Sadik Sun 01-May-16 19:24:52

Our house had a gas rayburn when we moved in, we got rid of it and replaced it with a wood fired one because it burned an awful lot of gas.

Our 'new' (1980s vintage Rayburn Nouvelle multi-fuel) very happily runs the radiators to heat our 3 bed semi and produces vast quantities of hot water, so no issue with daily showers smile

Sadik Sun 01-May-16 19:27:20

We have a gas cooker as well as the Rayburn, IMO the Rayburn doesn't cut it for baking, though it's great for the hob & for slow cooking.
Also, we don't light the Rayburn every day in summer, our tank is well insulated so a couple of hours fire every other day gives us plenty of hot water for three.

JoyofSpring Sun 01-May-16 19:33:59

Thanks Sadik. That's interesting! I hadn't considered wood fired!

Does it need a lot of work like cleaning out the place where the wood burns? And does it burn a lot of wood? I.e. Do you need a massive supply?

Sadik Sun 01-May-16 19:50:14

Cleaning out isn't much of a problem - we empty the tray that catches the ash every 3-4 days, and then the chimney needs cleaning once a year. The kitchen also needs a quick sweep around the rayburn at least once a day to pick up dropped bits of bark etc.

Wood - atm we're burning softwood because we have a lot of offcuts from a building project, which means we do go through quite a lot, maybe 2 decent sized tubtrugs full per day for heating + water when it's cold, 3 on a winter weekend day when we're home or in the coldest weeks in Jan. When we were buying hardwood it was less, but you still need a decent sized shed for dry storage.

It's definitely a lifestyle choice! But, it helps keep us fit carting wood about, and you get the loveliness of having a Rayburn and a cosy kitchen for noticeably less than it would cost to run regular gas central heating (at least here, we're in a rural and pretty wooded part of the country,)

JoyofSpring Sun 01-May-16 21:35:36

Thanks Sadik.

That's definitely food for thought. Really unsure at the moment as to whether we are going to get one but I will look into the wood burning option too!

lavendersun Mon 02-May-16 02:17:01

I have had two wood burning ones and loved them. Really easy to get going and control the heat. We are renting after selling our house last month and have an oil fired aga here which I can't see the point of, no hot water or heating sad.

tilder Mon 02-May-16 05:38:43

Not wood but have had solid fuel and oil. Solid fuel was a nightmare. The dust! Plus the heating goes off if unattended. Not great I'd away in the winter.

Oil was equivalent to burning money (a new one should be more efficient ). Was very good for long slow cooking and lovely warm kitchen but bloody hot in the summer

JoyofSpring Mon 02-May-16 08:50:00

Hmmm thank you! Lots of good food for thought here!

I'm now toying with getting a wood fired and a boiler win an eco connect so you draw heat from the Rayburn when it is hot but otherwise it automatically uses the boiler so you don't need the Rayburn super hot in the summer

Sonnet Mon 02-May-16 09:04:36

I have an oil fired Rayburn that does all radiators and hot water for a four bed and 2 bathroom house no problem at all.

It heats from cold to 'roast' in 15 mins. You can put the cooker on timer too so have it all up to temp for the days/times you need it. It is a duel burner so the heating & hotwater is on at different times to the cooker. You don't need to fire up the cooker to use the heating and hot water.
We bought it from new 15 years ago and have only had one breakdown.
We customised the colour - I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea!

JoyofSpring Mon 02-May-16 09:22:23

I love the colour Sonnet!
I hadn't considered oil either... Do you need a great big oil tank somewhere?

Sonnet Mon 02-May-16 09:25:04

We are not on mains gas so no choice really grin

Yes we do have an oil tank in the garden - the original one was huge... But thankfully it broke (was 40 years old) and the replacement is much smaller! Hidden by planting though.

OnlyHereForTheCamping Mon 02-May-16 09:32:52

They are v wasteful

Sadik Mon 02-May-16 09:33:16

I'd say a wood fired rayburn + boiler would be great if you didn't mind buying both. As mentioned above the disadvantage is that the house gets very cold if you go away, we don't go away much at all so it's not a big issue for us.

lavendersun Mon 02-May-16 09:47:20

Joy, the beauty of a wood fired one is that you just let it go out when you don't need it and start it up when you do - so easy.

If you can have a boiler back up that would be amazing but I am not sure you would need one because in the summer you will only need hot water which can be provided by an immersion tank on a timer. Well that is what we have always done, that and lighting a fire in the room we are in for the evening.

We too have never been on mains gas so our choices have always been solid fuel or oil. I used anthracite in my first one (as well as wood) and I could fill it up and close it down and just leave it ticking along for one and a half/two days. More dust though from solid fuel.

I worked really long hours with a 90 minute commute when I had that one and survived quite well.

The oil aga I have inherited at this rented house seems pointless, I think it is guzzling oil for no particular purpose, it is old and was converted from solid fuel. I can't wait to be able to turn it off for the summer.

CallMeMousie Mon 02-May-16 09:56:42

Sonnet - how do you put the cooker on timer? I've been googling and can't work it out! Not keen on ours but we now have a plug in induction hob and I'm booked on an Aga demo course on the back of recommendations on here which I hope will help!

SayrraT Mon 02-May-16 10:41:55

Our house came with one, we'd never had one before but I really like it. The (big) downside is the running costs. Ours is a oil fired, cook only Rayburn and so far we've used almost 3800 litres of oil in 6 months. I'm just about to order another 2000 litres shock

At the moment that's not really a problem as oil prices are low (3800 litres costs approx £1150) but still expensive! A few years ago I think prices were at least double shock

Our heating is also oil but the neighbours who have a similar sized house but no Rayburn have only used 1500 litres in a year!

JoyofSpring Mon 02-May-16 10:45:56

Thanks everyone!
Onlyforthecamping I have heard that they were v inefficient but that article is 7 years old and my understanding is that new ones are much better. Plus that is talking about an Aga not a Rayburn. An Aga can't do central heating so a slightly different kettle of fish. Obviously wood fired are pretty good anyway.

Anyone have a gas Rayburn who can advise about running costs?

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Mon 02-May-16 10:51:24

there are other ranges available! ...have a look at Stanley cookers

we have a very old Stanley Superstar, he's lovely! Oil fired, not hugely efficient because of his age, but so so simple and reliable compared to a lot of the newer modern technologically advanced ones....the guys that come out to do the service always sigh happily when they see how old he is!

I'd not go for a solid fuel;s just too much work to keep the house warm, having to get up and light the bloody fire before you can get hot water/heat is no fun. ....we did that before we had Stanley put in, there was one of those awful back boiler fires in charge of the heating, I used to want to cry knowing that I had to get out of bed to wrestle with wood and coal to get that bastard thing going.

We took that out and have a log burner there now, but that's the winter boost/backup for Stanley

It's a totally different way of cooking so you might need to have a ponder about that too.

OnlyHereForTheCamping Mon 02-May-16 11:01:43

I think the principle applies to any range. Ranges have not really changed ever. Agas can do central heating.

Wood burning still produces co2.

Your money would be better spent on insulation and efficient heating systems.

Please don't get cross with me! I do think it is worth pointing out that they are bad for the environment

CallMeMousie Mon 02-May-16 13:09:22

I'm not sure about running costs on ours, we only turn the oven part on to cook and it's not too awful. The other thing to consider is parts - the fan went on ours and the part had to be ordered in from Aga and took a week. So that meant no heating, hot water or cooking for a whole week! Luckily it was under warranty but it would have cost about £500 to supply and fit had we had to pay too. More mainstream boiler parts are much cheaper and more readily available.

Sadik Mon 02-May-16 13:28:08

"Wood burning still produces co2."
Yes, but when the trees regrow, it takes up the CO2 again! I agree that insulation etc is a great idea, but gas/oil/electric heating is never going to be carbon neutral, whereas burning well dried coppiced wood can be.

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