Can I Afford an Aga? Running Costs Explained
Please note: this blog is intended for informational purposes only as we do not stock Agas. For a local Aga supplier please visit W&H Supplies.
Our team here at County Stone specialise in Kitchen Worktops including Granite, Quartz and Caesarstone. So if you’re planning a new kitchen we can help find a worktop to suit your new AGA!
If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen some time soon, you likely to be considering new kitchen units, stylish stone worktops and perhaps an AGA too – and why wouldn’t you? They help keep the house warm, look stunning and do so much more than just cook great tasting food. However, AGA cookers haven’t always received positive press in the past and have a reputation for being expensive to run. This isn’t necessarily the case with the newer cookers and you might find them surprisingly cost effective.
What exactly is an AGA Cooker?
If you’re not familiar with AGA cookers, they’re a type of range cooker that has been around for almost 100 years. They are known for their iconic design and the ability to keep your kitchen warm and cosy. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at AGA cookers, their history, how they work, and the different types available before understand the costs.
History of the AGA
The AGA cooker was first invented in 1922 by a Swedish physicist named Gustaf Dalén. He was blinded in an accident while working with pressure regulators, which led him to develop the AGA cooker as a way to make cooking easier and safer for his wife. The first AGA cooker was sold in the UK in 1929, and since then, they have become a staple in many homes.
How Does an AGA Work?
AGA cookers work by using a process called radiant heat transfer. They are made of cast iron and have several ovens and hotplates that are heated by a central burner. The cast iron absorbs the heat and then releases it slowly, which means that the cooker stays warm even when it’s not in use. This is why AGA cookers are often used as a source of heat in the kitchen.
Types of AGAs
There are several different types of AGA cookers available, including the AGA R3, AGA ER3 series, AGA ER7 series, and the AGA 7 series. The newer AGA models provide increased flexibility and greater control, which can help to lower running costs significantly thanks to fast heat-up times and the ability to allow individual operation of ovens and hotplates. The AGA 7 series, for example, has a hotplate that can be turned on and off as needed, which can help to save energy.
Overall, AGA cookers are a great addition to any kitchen. They are known for their durability, reliability, and iconic design. If you’re in the market for a new cooker, be sure to consider an AGA cooker.
Why are AGAs seen as expensive?
In the past, AGA cookers only really worked properly if they were left turned on all the time. This is no longer the case. While each cast-iron cooker can still put useful heat into the room, meaning you get that indefinable AGA warmth, with today’s AGA cookers you have the option of turning ovens and hotplates off when you don’t need that warmth, for example on the hottest of summer days, overnight or when you’re away from home. If you do switch a newer AGA off, it’ll only take an hour for it to be fully heated up again.
A good investment
The initial cost of an AGA depends on what sort of model you go for, but a new, two-oven model costs around £5,925 fitted. That may seem like quite a lot to spend, but if you’re happy in your current home and plan to stay there for a while, it’s a good investment – one which will likely add value to your property. To match the quality of an AGA cooker, it’s also worth investing in highest-quality worktops, which look fantastic and needn’t break the bank. You can easily get a quote here for excellently fitted worktops in granite and quartz, as well as options in Arenastone, Caesarstone, Lundhs, Silestone Quartz, Samsung Radianz™ and Lapitec®.
Many AGAs last for more than 50 years, meaning you’ll probably never have to replace it in your lifetime. Moreover, because AGAs are multifunctional, you’ll save a lot of money on the cost of running and buying other kitchen appliances. Not to mention that there’ll be no need to turn on the radiators located near your kitchen ever again, as your AGA will keep the surrounding rooms nice and warm.
You can now choose an AGA in a glorious choice of colours, including bespoke options which allow you to pick exactly what you want, so you can create everything from a traditional farmhouse look to something much more contemporary and sleekly urban. Your AGA will always look best set next to a robust worktop in beautiful natural granite or attractively speckled quartz. Both are available in colours to match and enhance the look of your chosen AGA.
The average cost of running an AGA
As we’ve already mentioned, the cost of running an AGA largely depends on which model you buy. You now have the choice of AGA Everyday where ovens and hotplates can be independently controlled and turned on and off as you need them or left to run on a lower setting or AGA 24/7 which are on all the time. As an example, some AGAs left on an economy setting will cost just £7.55 per week to run. Whether you’re after two, three or four ovens, the 13-amp electric models cost the most to run. A two-oven 13-amp model will set you back £32.87 a week, a three-oven costs £37.35 a week and a four-oven is a whopping £40.34 a week!
In fact, unless you choose to opt for the smaller City 60, TC3 or Dual Electric models, the cheapest option is the 30-amp electric models. For a two-oven you can look to spend just £15.16 per week and a four-oven will consume around £18.48 of electricity a week. However, if you’re after a three-oven model, your cheapest option is actually natural gas at £17.33 a week.
If you’re considering purchasing an AGA cooker, one of the factors you’ll want to consider is the running costs. While AGA cookers are known for their quality and durability, they can be expensive to run. In this section, we’ll explore the different factors that can affect the running costs of an AGA cooker.
Electricity vs. Fuel Costs
The running costs of an AGA cooker will depend on the fuel source you use. AGA cookers can be powered by electricity, gas, oil, or LPG. Electricity is generally the most expensive fuel source, with an average cost of 34p/kWh. Gas and oil are typically cheaper, but the cost can vary depending on your location and supplier.
Controllable and Switched On/Off AGA Cookers
Newer AGA models, such as the AGA ER7 and AGA 60, offer greater flexibility and control than older models. These models allow you to switch individual hotplates on and off, which can help to reduce running costs. Dual control AGA cookers also offer greater control over the ovens and hotplates, allowing you to use them as needed.
Expensive to Run? Lowering AGA Running Costs
While AGA cookers can be expensive to run, there are ways to lower the running costs. One way is to use the AGA in economy mode, which reduces the amount of heat produced. You can also turn the hotplates off when they’re not in use, which can help to reduce running costs. AGA cookers are designed to be left on 24/7, so you can take advantage of the radiant heat collection and heat storage capabilities.
Lower Running Costs with Gas or Oil AGA Cookers
Gas and oil AGA cookers can be more cost-effective than electric models. Gas and oil are typically cheaper than electricity, and these fuel sources can be more efficient for AGA cookers. Gas and oil AGA cookers can also be more flexible, allowing you to use the ovens and hotplates as needed.
In conclusion, the running costs of an AGA cooker will depend on several factors, including the fuel source, model, and usage. While AGA cookers can be expensive to run, there are ways to lower the running costs. By using the AGA in economy mode, turning hotplates off when not in use, and choosing a gas or oil model, you can reduce your running costs and enjoy the benefits of a high-quality AGA cooker.
Average savings you’ll make
AGAs essentially make toasters, bread makers and electric kettles redundant, as they can do the job of all these things and more. With this in mind, you could look to save between £7.94 and £11.33 per week, simply by not using such appliances.
You’ll also save on heating costs, as during the winter your always-on AGA will mean there’s little point in turning on the heating in the rooms nearby. By not turning on two gas radiators, you could cut down your heating costs by between £4.92 and £9.85 a week. If you have underfloor heating instead of radiators, expect to save a lot more.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that the estimated costs and savings are provided by AGA itself, so you might want to take the figures with a pinch of salt.
Although the upfront cost is a bit daunting, there are many good reasons to buy an AGA. They’re attractive, warm, improve the quality of your food and rarely cost more to run than the average cooker. Beware though, many AGA owners will tell you that once you’ve got one, you’ll never want to cook on anything else ever AGAin
AGA Cooker Model Features
If you’re considering purchasing an AGA cooker, it’s important to understand the features of each model to determine which one will best suit your needs. Here are some of the key features of AGA cooker models:
Individual Operation of AGA Cooker Ovens and Hotplates
Newer AGA models, such as the AGA ER3 and ER7 series, offer greater control and flexibility than traditional models. With individual operation of ovens and hotplates, you can turn off the heat on one area of the cooker while still using another. This feature can help to reduce running costs significantly, as you’ll only be using the heat that you need.
Adjustable Temperatures and Turn Off Functions
AGA cookers also offer adjustable temperatures and turn off functions for their hotplates, allowing you to cook at the temperature you need and save energy by turning off the heat when it’s not required. For example, you can use the hotplate on full to bring a pot of water to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer to keep the water at a lower temperature.
Fast Heat Up Times
One of the benefits of newer AGA models is their fast heat up times. The AGA ER3 and ER7 series can heat up in just 10-12 minutes, which is much faster than traditional models. This feature can help to reduce running costs, as you won’t need to keep your cooker on all the time to maintain a constant temperature.
Greater Control with Dual Control AGA Cookers
Dual control AGA cookers, such as the AGA R3 series, offer greater control over your cooking. With two hotplates and three ovens, you can cook multiple dishes at different temperatures simultaneously. The R3 series also features a programmable e-setting, which allows you to set the cooker to turn on and off automatically, helping to save energy.
Increased Flexibility with the AGA ER3 Series
The AGA ER3 series offers increased flexibility, with a roasting oven, simmering oven, baking oven, and warming oven. This model is also available as an electric AGA, which can be more efficient than traditional models. The ER3 series is designed to be switched on and off as required, so you can use it only when you need it.
Total Control with the AGA ER7 Series
The AGA ER7 series offers total control, with a conventional cooker and a programmable electric oven. The electric oven can be set to turn on and off automatically, and you can control the temperature of the conventional cooker with precision. The ER7 series is designed to be switched on and off as required, so you can use it only when you need it.
Overall, AGA cookers offer a range of features to suit different cooking needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for increased flexibility, greater control, or fast heat up times, there’s an AGA cooker model that will meet your needs.
Are AGAs Energy Efficient?
When it comes to AGA cookers, energy efficiency is a key concern for many people. While these cookers are renowned for their ability to retain heat and provide excellent cooking results, they can also be expensive to run. In this section, we will explore some of the ways in which AGA cookers can be made more energy efficient.
Radiant Heat and Economy Settings
One of the key features of AGA cookers is their ability to provide radiant heat. This means that they emit heat in all directions, which can help to warm up a room and reduce the need for central heating. However, it’s important to note that this radiant heat can also contribute to the overall running costs of the cooker.
To help reduce these costs, AGA cookers often come with economy settings. These settings allow you to reduce the amount of heat that is emitted by the cooker, which can help to save energy and reduce your bills. By using these settings, you can still enjoy the benefits of your AGA cooker while also being more energy efficient.
Energy Use of AGA Cookers
AGA cookers are known for their high energy use, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be energy efficient. By understanding how your cooker uses energy, you can take steps to reduce your bills and be more environmentally friendly.
One of the main ways in which AGA cookers use energy is through their hotplates. These can be used on full power or on a simmer setting, depending on your needs. By using the simmer setting, you can reduce the amount of energy that is used by the cooker, while still being able to cook your food to perfection.
Lower Temperatures for AGA Cooker Economy
Another way to improve the energy efficiency of your AGA cooker is to use lower temperatures. While these cookers are designed to operate at high temperatures, they can still be used at lower temperatures for certain tasks. For example, if you’re cooking a casserole or stew, you can use a lower temperature to save energy and still get great results.
Fuel Costs and Ofgem Regulations
Finally, it’s important to consider fuel costs and Ofgem regulations when using your AGA cooker. Different fuels can have different costs, so it’s important to choose the most cost-effective option for your needs. Additionally, Ofgem has regulations in place to protect consumers from unfair pricing practices, so it’s important to be aware of these when choosing a fuel supplier.
In conclusion, there are many ways in which AGA cookers can be made more energy efficient. By using economy settings, understanding how your cooker uses energy, using lower temperatures, and considering fuel costs and Ofgem regulations, you can reduce your bills and be more environmentally friendly.
Using an AGA Cooker Cost Effectively
AGA cookers are designed to be on and ready to cook at all times. They are perfect for those who love to cook and want a reliable heat source in their kitchen. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your AGA cooker.
Ready to Cook with AGA Cookers
AGA cookers are always ready to cook, so you don’t have to wait for them to heat up. However, it’s important to keep the doors and lids closed to maintain the heat inside the cooker. This will help reduce your running costs and ensure that your food cooks evenly.
AGA Cooker Maintenance and Care
Regular maintenance and care of your AGA cooker will help ensure that it runs efficiently and lasts for many years. Here are some tips to help you maintain your AGA cooker:
- Clean your AGA cooker regularly to remove any build-up of grease and dirt.
- Check the fuel supply regularly to ensure that you have enough fuel to keep your AGA cooker running.
- Check the electrical items, such as the electric kettle, toaster, and tumble dryer, to ensure that they are working properly and not using too much electricity.
- Have your AGA cooker serviced regularly by a qualified technician.
Cooking with AGA Cookers
Cooking with an AGA cooker is different from cooking with a conventional oven. Here are some tips to help you get the best results:
- Plan your weekly menu in advance to make the most of your AGA cooker.
- Use the different ovens and hotplates for different types of cooking.
- Use the simmering oven for slow-cooking and the baking oven for baking.
- Use the hotplates for frying, grilling, and boiling.
- Use a timer to ensure that your food is cooked to perfection.
AGA Cooker Safety
AGA cookers are safe to use if you follow some simple safety guidelines. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while using your AGA cooker:
- Keep children and pets away from the AGA cooker.
- Don’t touch the hotplates or ovens when they are hot.
- Don’t leave flammable items, such as tea towels, near the AGA cooker.
- Don’t use the AGA cooker to heat your kitchen.
In summary, using an AGA cooker is a great way to cook delicious food in your kitchen. By following these tips, you can ensure that your AGA cooker runs efficiently, lasts for many years, and keeps you and your family safe.
Benefits of Having an AGA
If you are considering purchasing an AGA cooker, there are several benefits to having one in your kitchen. Here are some of the advantages of owning an AGA:
AGA cookers are versatile appliances that can be used for a variety of cooking tasks. They are not only great for baking, roasting, and grilling, but they can also be used for slow cooking, steaming, and simmering. With an AGA, you can cook a wide range of dishes with ease.
2. Energy Efficiency
While AGA cookers are known for their high running costs, newer models have been designed to be more energy-efficient. With fast heat-up times and the ability to allow individual operation of ovens and hotplates, newer AGA models provide increased flexibility and greater control, which can significantly lower your running costs.
AGA cookers are built to last. Made from high-quality materials, they are designed to withstand the rigours of daily use. With proper care and maintenance, an AGA can last for decades, making it a worthwhile investment for any home.
AGA cookers are not just functional appliances; they are also beautiful pieces of kitchen equipment. Available in a range of colours and styles, an AGA can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any kitchen.
AGA cookers emit a gentle, radiant heat that can help to keep your kitchen warm and cosy. This makes them ideal for use in colder climates or during the winter months. Additionally, AGA cookers can be used to dry clothes or warm towels, adding to the comfort of your home.
In summary, an AGA cooker is a versatile, energy-efficient, durable, and aesthetically pleasing appliance that can add comfort and warmth to your home. While they may have a higher initial cost and running costs than conventional range cookers, they offer many benefits that make them a worthwhile investment for any home.
Disadvantages of having an AGA
If you’re considering purchasing an AGA, it’s important to understand the disadvantages of owning one. Here are some things to consider:
1. High running costs
AGAs tend to be more expensive to run than conventional range cookers. The heat storage system of an AGA consumes more energy, leading to higher utility bills. The running costs will depend on the model you own, the fuel supply you use, and how you use your cooker. Older AGAs can be particularly costly to operate. However, newer models now provide increased flexibility and greater control, providing the opportunity to lower running costs significantly thanks to fast heat up times and the ability to allow individual operation of ovens and hotplates.
2. Limited temperature control
AGAs have fewer temperature control options compared to conventional range cookers, which could be a drawback for some users. With an AGA, you can’t simply turn a dial to adjust the heat. Instead, you need to plan ahead and use the AGA’s different ovens and hotplates for different cooking tasks. This can take some getting used to, and it may not suit everyone’s cooking style.
3. High initial cost
AGAs tend to be more expensive than conventional range cookers. The initial cost can be a significant investment, and it’s important to consider whether it’s worth the expense. However, many AGA owners feel that the benefits of owning an AGA – such as the warmth it provides to the kitchen and the quality of the food it produces – are worth the extra cost.
4. Maintenance and repair costs
Like any appliance, AGAs require maintenance and occasional repairs. It’s important to factor in these costs when considering whether to purchase an AGA. Additionally, finding a qualified repair technician who is familiar with AGAs can be challenging, particularly if you live in a rural area.
In conclusion, owning an AGA has some drawbacks, such as high running costs, limited temperature control, high initial cost, and maintenance and repair costs. However, many AGA owners feel that the benefits of owning an AGA outweigh the disadvantages. Ultimately, the decision to purchase an AGA will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences.