The weather is great now but it will turn soon, November is not far away! With that in mind I have a few suggestions to make sure all goes smoothly when you turn your cooker on and further ahead into the winter...
Firstly, and most importantly get your service out of the way. It's the perfect time to do it before it goes back on. If you have an oil range cooker you'll know skipping services is a bad idea but gas range cooker's should also be serviced every year like any gas appliance. Electric cookers are a different matter of course - they don't need servicing really - you only need an engineer if they go wrong but an electrical safety check is never a bad plan!
If you have an oil cooker then now is also a good time to get your oil tank topped up - prices tend to be lower earlier in the year!
While you are thinking about oil why not go and check on your tank before the weather turns and you don't want to go outside anymore! Look for rust if it's a metal tank and clear and undergrowth away from access points - particularly check the caps are watertight and fitted properly. Water in your oil is never fun!
While you are outside check your flue/chimney. Make sure that the cowl is still on and not obstructed - air flow is crucial to the efficiency of your cooker!
If you've not had the chimney/flue swept for awhile now is a good time too, especially for oil and solid fuel cookers, not necessary for gas usually.
Vacuum the control panel! This area collects dust and pet hair and needs some attention every now and then. Be careful to check there are no parts of the burner floating around to be hoovered up - engineers often leave them here! If you have a 'Standard' cooker with auxiliary air supply below the control panel then hoover up here too and keep it clear!
Got a gas range cooker? Before you light it don't miss this post, basically let it warm up slowly on a very low heat before you crank it up to max!
Have you got any hob covers? Obviously I'd like you to buy ours :) but insulated ones help your cooker stay hot and run a little more efficiently. We now have hob covers to fit Rayburn range cookers as well as Aga range cookers.
While on the subject of efficiency make sure you are using the heat your range cooker pumps out by drying washing on. Don't do it directly (you can damage the cooker and washing!) but use our drying racks.
On your oil range cooker take a moment when lit and running at full temperature to check the flame for signs of overfiring. An overfired cooker will have orange flame or orange core and will be less efficient and sooty. The flame should be a clear violet blue above the shell.