The Myths About AGA Ovens – Part One
Many people aspire to owing an AGA oven and with the range of models now available it’s possible to have an iconic range cooker from one of the world’s most famous manufacturers. Whether you’re looking for a classic heat storage cooker or a duel-fuel option, there’s an ideal oven for you. For those opting for the simplicity of a traditional AGA you may have come across a few doubters as to the benefits.
First of all, owners will tell you there’s no better way of cooking food and the background warmth from the oven keeps much of the home warm for seven or more months of the year. And who could resist leaning against the towel rail on a cold winter’s day? However, many doubts surrounding these cookers still remain and some stem from a lack of knowledge about how to operate them. If that’s the case then time at an AGA demonstration is well spent.
Below is part one in a list of common myths about AGAs and the facts that should put your mind at ease if you’re considering making a purchase.
“AGAs are expensive to buy, you can get a decent range cooker for much less.”
Yes, you can get a range cooker for far less but an AGA lasts for decades and will probably outlive you. And they have more uses than just cooking such as a way to dry clothes, heat the house and dry out herbs.
“If you get a gas AGA you need to install a flue, the majority of gas ranges don’t need one.”
With a balanced flue it’s pretty easy to put a hole into a wall and it doesn’t cost much more to do during installation. Qualified AGA installers will do this for you.
“They’re expensive to run because they’re always on whether you need it or not.”
Yes, they are always on but you’ll save money on central heating because you won’t need heating until much later in the year. The latest models have slumber modes and will pre-heat the oven as and when you need it. You won’t need to run other kitchen appliances such as kettles, toasters or tumble dryers. If you buy an 30amp electric model and run Economy 7 electricity, the cooker will only draw power at night – some owners estimate a £12 per week running cost.
“If you switch your AGA off, it takes days to heat up again.”
Not so. Most ovens will heat up overnight and if you’re away for a few days and want to turn it off just put it into slumber mode.
“They need servicing every six months. It’s costly and it’s more time without an oven because you have to switch it off for the service.”
Well, we’ve already addressed the point about heating up again after being turned off, however only the oil burning models need six month AGA servicing. Gas options need a yearly service (as every gas appliance should) and some electric models only need servicing every 5 years.
“New models have ceramic insulation but what happens if you buy an older oven. They’ve got asbestos in them!”
The old models did indeed have asbestos rope insulation in the lids but the likelihood is that when buying an old AGA it will be reconditioned and hence the asbestos has been removed and replaced with ceramic. If your old oven hasn’t had this work done, it will only cost around £20 to sort the problem out.