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Aga Query

(35 Posts)
lexie01 Mon 01-Feb-10 11:26:24

Is there anyone out there who could help me on this query? I live in a Edwardian semi. The kitchen/diner is quite large and extremely cold in the winter (well most of the time to be honest except during the height of summer). We also have original quarry floor tiles throughout the whole space which are also very cold. I am desperate to make it a more welcoming and inviting space and am considering buying an Aga. However because of the odd shape of the kitchen I would not be able to fit a module or an additional cooker into the kitchen for the summer months. As such the Aga would be on for the whole time. I have read about AIMS which would enable the AGA to go into slumber mode (and therefore generate less heat) but I am still unsure about whether it would still be too hot in the summer. Is there anyone in a similar situation? If so just how hot does your kitchen get in the summer?? I don't really want to make an extremely costly mistake!

swanriver Mon 01-Feb-10 11:31:46

You can turn Rayburns on and off. My sister has one. Not as grand as an Aga, but it can be used either as traditional range cooker ie: always on, or just put on and on when you need it. There are all sorts of perpetually on (with a twist)range cookers apart from Aga, which you could investigate....

swanriver Mon 01-Feb-10 11:38:16

I have an Aga in a very cold kitchen diner. But I do have to switch it off in summer. I have a separate oven and gas hob, and I'm away for most of summer hols anyway. I couldn't install a Rayburn (though would have liked too, due to flue problems; they may have created a Rayburn which is works on outside wall without a flue now..)
It is very nice and cosy to have it from Sept to May, and I dry all the clothes on it (possibly a bit squalid...)slow cook in it etc. 2 door only.
It has saved a bit of money (though don't quote me on that) because we now have a warm room in which to gather and don't need to heat the other rooms so much.

swanriver Mon 01-Feb-10 11:39:48

I have an Aga in a very cold kitchen diner. But I do have to switch it off in summer. I have a separate oven and gas hob, and I'm away for most of summer hols anyway. I couldn't install a Rayburn (though would have liked too, due to flue problems; they may have created a Rayburn which is works on outside wall without a flue now..)
It is very nice and cosy to have it from Sept to May, and I dry all the clothes on it (possibly a bit squalid...)slow cook in it etc. 2 door only.
It has saved a bit of money (though don't quote me on that) because we now have a warm room in which to gather and don't need to heat the other rooms so much.

swanriver Mon 01-Feb-10 11:40:20

drat the computer blush

lexie01 Mon 01-Feb-10 11:54:44

Thanks very much swanriver. You have confirmed my fears about warm weather. I will have a look at the Rayburn options though - hadn't really thought about looking at anything other than an Aga

swanriver Mon 01-Feb-10 12:31:05

My kitchen is north east facing, and gets no sun after, but I'm in London which is a bit warm in summer I suppose. I also have an Edwardian semi.

kju Mon 01-Feb-10 12:38:26

Hi, we have an Aga in an Edwardian end terrace. It's a south facing kitchen and we had our first summer with the Aga last year. We don't have a module or other cooker in the kitchen. I was quite concerned about the heat in the summer before we got the Aga but it wasn't a problem at all. We have the AIMS system which is great as the Aga is not pumping out heat all day, we had it on low throughout the day which is fine for boiling kettles, making toast (slowly) and warming stuff up etc. Then we had it on full for cooking the evening meal then off all night. HTH

Freezingmyarseoff Mon 01-Feb-10 14:37:29

Hi we have a Rayburn in a cold north facing kitchen also with quarry tiles. We also have a two ring gas hob. I like that you can turn it up and down (and it does our hot water) but the main cooking oven is quite small and takes a bit of juggling/planning to cook a roast and make sure everything is cooked on time (ie meat and potatoes if cooked in separate pans. Not sure exactly how old it is but newer models might have a bigger oven. There is an second warming oven but its no good for any cooking. Also if I had it my way I'd have the Rayburn up high all the time to keep the kitchen warm so you might be better off with an aga anyway.
Quite understand your concerns about the cost of an aga but I've never heard of anyone regretting putting an aga in. Have you got enough space for an additional 2 ring hob to use in the summer.

swanriver Mon 01-Feb-10 14:44:37

Just to add, my gas ring is two rings, and I find it moderately annoying, as not enough room on it (Ikea cheapy)to put two big pans at once without melting choose wisely..probably alright if the rings were better positioned.
A friend has an Aga (in London)which she just turns down low in summer - so no roasts, and quite long to boil pasta, but quite easy to cook gas mark 4 type dishes in top oven, and simmering oven turns into warming oven instead.

lexie01 Mon 01-Feb-10 16:56:35

Thank you all so much for your responses. They have given me some hope that an Aga is a possibility which is great. I am going to an Aga showroom tomorrow so will hopefully find out more about AIMS. I must admit I like the idea that an Aga reduces the need for other electrical equipment - toaster, kettle, tumble dryer etc - plus the fact that as with you swanriver I suspect it may actually save me money. I have the heating on all day but it is mainly to heat a few rooms but primarily the kitchen. We are also having the kitchen completely redesigned at the same time so I will ask about the possibilty of a 2 ring hob - I can't see where we would fit one but maybe a designer might be able to come up with something. Fingers crossed. Thanks once again for your help everyone.

lexie01 Tue 02-Feb-10 12:48:09

I have booked a survey for a new aga!!!! Decided to just go for it based on the fact that we seem to have more colder days than hot in this country. I will just open the windows if it gets too hot!! Thanks for all your imput

Freezingmyarseoff Tue 02-Feb-10 13:23:19

Lucky you and well done for deciding. We're actually going to completely redo and extend our kitchen which will mean getting rid of the rayburn and have reluctantly decided we can't afford an aga and don't have the space for it, so am very jealous to hear you're getting one!
Although this thread has made me wonder again if we should just go for an AIMS like you, and give up something else to pay for it. I wish I was better at making decisions....

bobdog Tue 02-Feb-10 16:06:48

Look at Heritage cookers
We've had one for three years and its brilliant. Aga have tried to buy the company a couple of times, they own quite a lot of the rangecooker companies not just aga/rayburn.
It cooks like an aga but is designed to be turned on/off & run on a timer as you want. Our model is two oven & two hot plates, one burner does our underfloor heating, radiators and hot water and the other the cooker side of things. You can leave the cooker on aga style for a permanant radiator or switch it off. The hot plates are ready 10 mins from cold the oven about 20. The cost of oil since April has been about £300 for cooking/heating/hotwater.

Any more questions please ask, I really like it.

lexie01 Tue 02-Feb-10 20:09:20

Thanks very much for this bobdog. Will have a look at website now. If I have any questions I will come back to you.

FreezingMAO (I love the name - very appropriate to this thread!) - if it helps my new kitchen and cooker have been 4 years in the planning so we are obviously not good at decision making either. I think the severity of this winter has just made me get off my backside and do something about it. We have decided to keep the horrible cold floor tiles (to save money)and have the Aga instead. I also found out today that Aga often have quite large reductions on different products within their range (gas flue, electric etc). It may be worth looking at when you are closer to changing your kitchen. Good Luck!

RacingSnake Tue 02-Feb-10 20:34:22

We have a Stanley. Cheaper than an AGA, turns off in summer, why pay a lot more? DH used to work in a research lab, developing rabge cookers, and according to him, AGAs are high priced and not very efficient.

Freezingmyarseoff Wed 03-Feb-10 08:51:32

Lexie - I feel a bit better about my lack of decisions! Am very much hoping that once this is all done I can change my name because the house will actually be warm!
Interesting about the heritage and stanley cookers, I didn't know about them - arghh as more decisions to make - but in a good way. Agree with you Racing, Agas are definitely high priced. Didn't know they aren't very efficient, but I suppose anything that constantly radiates heat but isn't a heater can't be super efficient!

swanriver Wed 03-Feb-10 09:22:49

Just to add, my sister has a Rayburn in town and Heritage in country. She is pleased with Heritage, as you say cheaper and more efficient than Aga. It is run on oil, I don't know whether when it is actually ON it is any cheaper but it turns off on a timer.
On the other hand there IS a certain amount of fiddling wth controls, turning ovens up and down, setting timers, oh let's turn if off because we are not using it today etc, and in contrast that to me is the whole joy of Aga. It is just ON all the time, it is your companion. The ovens are always the same temperature - you can almost cook with your eyes shut (the man who invented Aga lost his sight and was trying to think of the simplest solution to cooking)

bobdog Wed 03-Feb-10 13:01:43

The first winter with the Heritage we had no front doors (its been a long journey grin) just big double stable doors which you could see a lot of daylight through, that winter the Heritage was on 24hrs Aga style.
I loved it and sat in front of it for several months.
Now we're a lot more insulated it makes sense to turn it down/off some of the time but the controls are located like an Aga behind one of the left hand doors and we've got the heating on a wireless remote thermosate so no big deal to override or turn up. Bit chilly today so I put it on this morning and giggled at the visitors jostling like a couple of cats to stand next to it.
I feel very passionate about the quality and thought thats gone into the Heritage cooker and want to support them (i'm not connected to them in any way, they were just really helpful with our unusual situation) They spend their money on engineering and not fancy adverts so I feel a bit of word of mouth advertising is the least I can do.

bobdog Wed 03-Feb-10 13:06:43

On the cooking front when you open the lids on an Aga the oven temperature drops which makes juggling the end of a roast tricky if your boiling kettles on the top and trying to keep the oven hot for Yorkshire puds. The Heritage has seperate burners and does n't lose heat so you can do what you want, when you want. Much easier all round and you can still grill in the top and boil using the base of the oven Aga style.

Freezingmyarseoff Wed 03-Feb-10 13:22:08

What size heritage do you have? We only have space for a standard (~1000mm), and want 2 or 3 ovens which would mean one burner (if I understood their website properly), so I imagine would have the same problems of an aga if the lids are open alot. Do you know if that would be true?

Was also going to ask about the grilling thing? I've never really found that grilling in an aga is that good despite what the people in the aga shop say.
But that could be because my parents aga is quite old and not very efficient even by aga standards

swanriver Wed 03-Feb-10 13:26:32

no I agree with you on Bobdog, on Xmas day my mum's (50 yr old)Aga used to be seriously temperamental, what with all that steaming and roasting at same time - once it just lost all ability to roast at all so cold did oven get...

Anyway, my sister is v. happy with her Heritage, she lives in a freezing cold bit of my mum's house in relatively freezing Eire with her own kitchen, and finds it better than a Stanley(which she had before..think as a family we've been through every range cooker in the dictionary) and as I say much more economical - she also runs her heating off her Heritage range.

But don't think you need heating do you Lexie?

swanriver Wed 03-Feb-10 13:32:14

No, grilling in Aga is useless. Have to admit it. But good for frying grin

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Wed 03-Feb-10 13:33:37

I'm jugging in to say that we've had our Aga for 3 years now with no other form of cooking.
We turned it off for a bit last summer when it was sweltering for about 10 days and used a Remoska from Lakeland.
Was miserable and the weather turned damp and chilly anyway.
I love that fact it's just there and on, although I do feel guilty about the fact it is on all the time.
And I love not having to air clothes in the airing cupboard
Never had a problem with my Yorkshires, either.
Btw, the Aga shops run workshops on 'a day in the life of an Aga.' might be worth going on one before taking the final plunge..

Freezingmyarseoff Wed 03-Feb-10 13:37:14

Bobdog, what's the grilling like in a Heritage?
That's a real bug bear of mine, not be able to grill with our Rayburn and something I have to get sorted with the new kitchen.

Sorry Lexie I think I'm starting to hijack your thread

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