How to Keep Your AGA Toasty Over Winter
Don’t let your heating oil run out
AGAs are designed to run continuously, from a constant supply of oil, so if there’s no more oil coming through, a fire-prevention valve closes up to keep things safe. Once this valve closes, it can create an airlock that can stop more oil getting through even after it’s topped up.
Keep an eye on your oil levels and start off the winter on a high by making the most of the cheap home heating oil deals you can get over the summer. If you use your AGA for drying clothes and cooking as well as for heating, you may run your levels down earlier than you expect, so be savvy!
Keep the cooking rings clean
A build-up of soot or carbon around the cooking rings can stop them from working properly, so clean them thoroughly every couple of months to keep your AGA running at optimum efficiency.
Get to know your AGA
Read your AGA handbook from cover to cover, join an internet forum, talk to experts – learn all you can about it. You should be able to fix any minor problems yourself – blocked pipes and so on – but never try to fix the control box as that’s definitely a job for the engineer.
Use an additive
Over time, substances like dust and rust can get into your oil tank and if this so-called tank sludge gets into your AGA it can cause blockages and other issues that can make it less efficient or even damage it. Use an additive to break down these potential deposits – just one small bottle can treat up to 1,000 litres of oil, so it’s a cheap preventative measure.
Clean up while you cook
Get into the habit of cleaning up as you go along – you can turn your kettle spout to the lids to help to clean them with the steam, for example. Mop up spills as they occur; don’t let them dry and harden. Acidic foods like fruit, milk or vinegar can stain your enamel so be double-quick with these.
Use appropriate cleaning products
Don’t use harsh, shop-bought detergents and scourers on your AGA – it’s designed to clean itself. All you need is a dry or damp cloth and a brush to remove crumbs. There are a few AGA cleaning products available, but for day-to-day cleaning, just use water or a brush.
Always make sure your AGA is cooled before cleaning the inside!
Warm up for winter
People used to use their AGAs all year round, but many now decide to use gas or electricity for cooking over spring and summer to save oil. If you turn off your AGA for the warmer months, make sure it doesn’t seize up by running it for a few hours once or twice a month. If it has developed a problem, you’ll find out in time to fix it before it gets cold.
Get your AGA serviced
Oil-fired AGAs need a twice-yearly service, ideally in spring and autumn, just after and just before the coldest months, with a fully-qualified engineer.
There are many policies out there that will give you peace of mind – you’ll get instant help if your AGA develops a problem. This is especially important over winter. Make sure you shop around before you commit, though.