Oil Aga losing heat or 'sooting' up? Can we blame the EU?!

Aga’s losing heat or ‘sooting up' and needing to be serviced more often are commonly discussed issues amongst gaggles of Aga owners! Most people blame the fuel but often the cause is a change in flue draw.

When your Aga is installed the engineers have to strike a compromise between keeping the flue draw high enough to keep the carbon forming in the ‘right’ place but not too high that it lowers the efficiency of your Aga or causes it to struggle to maintain temperature.

Your flue draw can change for many reasons even if you don’t change the length of it. Maybe a bird knocked a cowl off, maybe that hedge you removed exposed the flue to higher winds or maybe your neighbours conservatory has left it becalmed - all of these can ruin the careful balance in your Aga and make your flue draw too high or too low. Too high and your Aga will run cool and struggle to reach temperature, too low and it’ll ‘soot’ up quickly - bummer!

Often engineers will blame ‘low sulphur’ fuel (damn the EU for trying to save us from air pollution!) and it’s true that this can cause problems but most Agas run perfectly well most of the time on the exact same fuel so before you try expensive fuel additives and the like have a think about what, if anything, could have changed your flue conditions.

Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates


Matthew is from a farming family near Bath and a graduate of King's College London who decided not to follow the 'standard' path into banking or the law. He has been working with Aga's in some form or another since 2003. Matthew runs Blake and Bull from beautiful Bradford on Avon, near Bath. Alf the golden retriever makes sure the working day finishes at 6pm sharp - dog walk time!