Aga Christmas checklist!

Dog by Aga at ChristmasI love Aga's but if there is one thing that they are notorious for it's conking out at crucial moments! My own parents Rayburn died the week before Christmas once and required £1500 of remedial works on Christmas Eve (I pulled some strings!) to make sure the Christmas dinner was ready on time!

The following is a checklist of jobs to do in advance of the holiday period to make sure that nothing avoidable goes wrong at the crucial moment! 

  • Check your fuel supplies! Are you the proud owner of an oil or solid fuel Aga? Go check how much fuel you have now. Don't rely on your oil tank gauge if you have one. It's a pain but use a dipstick so you can see the evidence with your own eyes!
  • Vacuum behind the control panel! Unless you have an electric Aga your cooker needs to draw air into the burner under the control area door. Even in very clean houses this means dust and fluff collects behind the door. Over time this can build up and block the air flow. If you have dogs and cats this happens even quicker! Open the door and carefully vacuum the area clean. Be careful to check there are no parts of the burner floating around to be hoovered up - engineers often leave them here! 
  • Move pets beds away from the Aga! The air flow to the burner can be blocked not only by the fluff and dust mentioned above but also by big comfy pet beds leaning against the Aga. Who can blame them for wanting to sleep by the Aga but just make sure there is room for air to flow. It's also worth mentioning that big dogs leaning on the Aga can have the same effect. I have heard tell of one lady who had terrible trouble with her Aga going out whenever it was wet outside. Eventually the engineer established that after wet dog walks their St Bernard leaned against the Aga to dry off and in the process blocked the air intake entirely!
  • Check your accessories! Do you do a lot of baking at Christmas? You'll need your cold shelf, check where it is now before you need it! Christmas also tends to mean cooking in quantity; do you need more oven shelves to fit it all in?! 
  • Check your flue! You can remove most Aga flue shrouds (this piece) easily; they just lift off. When you have removed it pop your hoover nozzle (use metal bit only; the flue is hot and will melt plastic hoover nozzles!) in there and vacuum out any deposits that have fallen from the flue. It should have a protective plate to stop it blocking air flow. If there is a lot of muck to vacuum out you may need to have your flue swept. For more info and pictures I did a blog post on this - 'Is your Aga's flue blocked?'
  • Buy those gifts for Aga lovers in plenty of time! Our hob covers are gorgeous and ready to be delivered at a moments notice. We also have Aga shaped tins which make great gifts! We've sold a lot of drying racks too this year - we'll gift wrap anything
  • Fix any small problems! Don't ignore that seal hanging off the door or lid, fix it with high temperature glue! Are your lid liners dented or damaged? Replace them with a DIY kit.


More 'Christmas on the Aga' information...