Aga cookers and CO (carbon monoxide)

An important post this - I cannot emphasise enough how seriously you should take carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide risks are often thought to mostly affect gas and solid fuel Agas but oil cookers can also produce carbon monoxide if operating incorrectly.

The first thing to say is that servicing, as with all appliances, is crucial. All Agas, except electric, need to be serviced/checked at least yearly. They were often installed many years ago so things like flues and chimneys should also be looked at every now and again - your flue MUST be lined for example and cannot simply go into a chimney.

In between this though what happens if something goes wrong? Firstly your pets will be affected first. They are smaller and are akin to the canary in the coal mine. If your dog starts sleeping a lot more than usual that can be a sign of CO poisoning - see this story.

To make sure you know the minute there is a problem you absolutely MUST have a CO alarm in the kitchen. You can buy many alarms, from £25 or so upwards, but this is not something to be cheap about.

I reccommend, unreservedly, Nest alarms. They are owned by Google and combine a clever fire alarm (won't be triggered by kitchen accidents!) with a CO detector. Are they a little more expensive, yes. They cost just under £100. They are worth it for the following reasons. 

  • They are designed to work effectively for 10 years and self test. Who made the cheap generic CO alarms you can choose instead, who knows. NEST alarms, being Google owned, are super reliable and have had enormous amounts of testing and development. 
  • They look great and even integrate a gentle night light function, it comes on when the room is dark and you pass below - gives just enough light to avoid stepping on the dog ;)
  • The alarm speaks to you and tells you what is wrong, not just a loud beeping!
  • The alarm is connected to an app on your phone so even if you are not home when a problem develops you can deal with the situation. If you are super clever (or know someone who is!) you can even program it to shut down your Aga in the event of an alarm. 

I own 4 NEST alarms across home and office and all are connected to my phone along with two NEST cameras to let me keep an eye on what is going on. Worth. Every. Penny. 

I don't sell NEST alarms just go buy one now from Amazon - you will not regret it!

Aga co2 carbon monoxide alarm


Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates

Author

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!