Rayburns and the Aga Stove – What About When there’s a Heat Wave?
When they think about a range cooker most people imagine Rayburns keeping the home beautifully warm on the coldest winter’s day. A gorgeous, constant heat that keeps everyone cozy and comfortable even when there’s a blizzard outside. The same goes for Aga stoves. They’re known for providing warmth. And lots of it. But what happens in the summer when there’s a heat wave and the last thing you need is an appliance that chucks out masses of spare hot air?
Yes, the oil Aga and all the other fuel versions do give off a constant amount of heat. But it’s minimal. An ordinary cooker, on the other hand, shoves out a great deal more heat when it’s in full use, say when baking bread or creating an elaborate meal. In fact the Aga only gives off 3,000 BTU an hour. That’s roughly the same as ten 100W light bulbs, which is in turn about the same as just one ordinary gas hot plate burner.
The heat can build up a little when you’re in a small room with the windows shut, just like it can with any cooker or heating appliance. So open a window. You only need to create a gentle draught to prevent build-up.
When you’re cooking using the Rayburn or Aga oven, you keep the hot plate lids down. Because they’re insulated, they keep the heat in, so very little escapes. When you’re using the hot plates most of the heat transfers by conduction from the plates to the bottom of your pans. They give off a little radiated heat but, in fact, even when you use multiple hot plates at once it gives off (and wastes) much less heat than four ordinary gas rings.
When it’s hot outdoors you can turn your oven down a bit. It might take slightly longer to cook food but many of us don’t eat as many hot meals in the summer anyway. We go the salad route!
It appears overheating in summer isn’t an issue for most range cooker owners. When you’re home your doors and windows are open, you’re letting a load of fresh air in and any heat in your kitchen escapes without causing stuffiness. Just one useful tip. If you’re the proud owner of an air conditioning unit, which are becoming more common in the UK as our summers get warmer and drier, position the vent next to your range for lower Aga or Rayburn running costs.