There are plenty of reasons to consider investing in an AGA stove, whether it's creating a striking focal point for your living room, reducing your winter fuel bill or simply providing some cosy warmth on a cold, damp evening. Before you do buy a stove, however, you might want to consider a variety of aspects to help you decide which stove would best suit you and your home.
For AGA Stoves and Rayburn Fires, please call your local AGA Stoves specialist for more details.
One of the most important decisions to make when choosing your stove is which type of fuel you will use.
Electric stoves are efficient, easy to install and offer low energy usage for low running costs. Providing warmth and a realistic flame picture, with a variety of patterns and colour options, our range of electric stoves are ideal for those who do not have a chimney or would prefer a more sustainable fuel.
A gas stove is quick and easy to install and can be controlled at the flick of a switch, whilst providing a realistic flame picture and cosy warmth in to the room.
Solid fuel is not only economic but it also produces a fantastic glowing flame and is an efficient way of heating your home 24 hours a day, whatever the weather.
There are a wide range of fuels available and, in general, homes heated by solid fuel stoves can benefit from reduced condensation - helping to eliminate household mould and carry away toxins.
Solid fuel, such as coal or smokeless briquettes, requires air to assist with combustion, which is why our multi-fuel stoves are designed with this functionality in mind. They are built with a riddling plate, which allows any build-up of ash during the burning process to be removed and allow more air in from underneath.
Finally, it's important to consider the local availability of your chosen solid fuel.
Not only a renewable resource and the most environmentally friendly fuel to burn, nothing can compare with the roar and crackle of a real wood fire.
Burning timber is cost effective and helps to conserve fossil fuels. For the best effect, only dry, seasoned timber should be used. You can recognise dry wood by the fact that the bark comes away easily. Fresh green wood can have a moisture content of up to 90% which makes it slow to ignite, produces steam, reduces the efficiency of the stove and can lead to excess sooting, which in turn reduces the visibility of the flame picture.
The firebox should never be completely emptied as wood burns best on a bed of ash.
Another aspect to bear in mind if you are considering a wood burning stove is the space required to store wood, approximately 3-4 cubic metres, and the local availability of wood.
Multi-fuel stoves can burn either wood or solid fuel ensuring you have the choice for a fuel type.
When selecting your new stove, you will need to decide if you want it to be built in to a wall or be free-standing.
A freestanding stove can truly be a wonderful focal point for any living space. We provide a wide range of traditional and contemporary style stoves, in a variety of sizes and heights.
Ideal for rooms limited by space, Rayburn fires make a striking addition to any living space. As they do not require floor space, built-in fires can also help to make your room look and feel larger.
Do you want your stove to have a contemporary or traditional design?
The new AGA contemporary stoves are truly exceptional. They are designed to the highest standards and manufactured from high grade steel, which allows us to produce truly inspiring designs that will be sure to attract attention in any space.
The contemporary range of AGA stoves have been designed with beautiful features such as clever door opening features, breathtaking flame pictures, not to mention strong smooth lines and exquisite curves.
Cutting edge engineering ensures that the AGA contemporary steel stoves deliver all the highest efficiencies and they are all DEFRA Smoke Exempt, so they can be used in UK smoke control zones.
Our traditional range of AGA stoves are built using cast-iron and they are both beautiful to look at and practical to run.
The stunning cast iron panels of the AGA traditional stoves are individually moulded in a hand finished 'cast', which enables us to create the gentle curves and exquisite design details expected from a high quality stove.
Cast iron is renowned for its heat retention properties, which is why we use it in our world famous AGA cookers. The heat stored whilst the stove is lit continues to be released in to the room long after the embers have died away.
A key part of choosing a stove is selecting the correct size and output for your home, using the same principles as you would for your central heating system.
When selecting your stove you will need to find out how much heat the stove will emit and consider the size of the room you are trying to heat. The heat output of wood burning stoves is measured in kilowatts (kW) and generally, the larger your room or less insulated it is, the higher the output you will require.
Stoves can range from 3kW up to a maximum of 15kW, but the most popular models tend to be between 4kW and 8kW.
Selecting the right heat output for your room is key to a successful installation. Too high an output may result in having to leave windows open to cool down the room, or you may find yourself trying to run the stove at a lower temperature which can cause ongoing problems with a stove's operation.
The following calculation will help you to gauge roughly which size stove is best for your home:
Room width x room depth x room height = y
Divide the outcome (y) by one of the following numbers:
12 (for a poorly insulated room)
15 (for an averagely insulated room)
18 (for a well-insulated room)
We would recommend discussing your heat requirements fully with your local AGA stoves dealer for further guidance.
As stoves are heating appliances, there are building regulations that govern their installation and we would recommend using a HETAS approved installer to ensure all aspects comply with the relevant standards.
To gauge how much work may be required for the installation of a new stove, there are a few elements you may wish to consider beforehand.
1. Do you have an existing hearth?
A stove needs to sit on a slab of non-combustible material that protects any combustible materials underneath or around the stove from igniting.
2. Do you need a chimney liner?
This depends largely on the age and construction of your house but, as a general rule, properties built after 1964 will have a concrete or clay liner which will not require any additional flue liner. If your chimney doesn't have a liner, or if you do not have a chimney at all, a specially designed flue kit can be installed to comply with the relevant building regulations.
3. Are you in a smoke control zone?
Many UK towns and cities are classed as smoke control areas, which means that it is forbidden to emit smoke from a chimney unless your stove is smoke exempt.
Finally, it is important to remember that the fitting of a carbon monoxide alarm is also a building regulations requirement.
For more information, take a look at the Approved Document J of the Building Regulations for advice on the installation of combustible appliances. For guidance on the selection and installation of flues and chimneys for stoves, take a look at this guide from The British Flue & Chimney Manufacturers Association.
Our electric range of stoves come supplied with a standard lead and 13 amp plug for connection to UK supply and so can simply be placed and plugged in. Alternatively, you may choose to have your electric stove hardwired by a qualified electrician.
Our gas stoves are designed to work specifically with a balanced flue system, which draws air directly in to the stove and therefore, no additional air vent is required.
The system provides for three configuration options, either directly from the rear of the stove, a higher outlet at the top of the stove or via the use of a renovating kit which enables the stoves to be connected to an existing conventional chimney. This flexibility of installation choices makes a gas stove far easier to install in most rooms.
The decision on flue should be determined by a site survey and discussion with the installer. All gas appliances must be installed by a registered Gas Safe installer. The price of the stove does not include the flue system and this will be priced as an additional item.
To ensure that your stove continues performing optimally, you will need to undertake some small maintenance tasks.
- Check that your grate is in good condition and on multi-fuel stoves check that the riddling plate is working correctly.
- Inspect the firebricks for any damage to prevent any cracking or warping of the stove.
- Examine the fire rope seals for any signs of fraying or other damage and replace if necessary.
- Check the glass for any cracks and clean to remove any build-up of deposits.
- If you have a chimney, it is recommendable to have this swept annually to minimise the risk of soot fires, which can cause damage to the chimney.