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Should you buy an AGA Total Control?
I'd say if you are thinking about spending £9500 on a Total Control why not get a 30Amp AGA? They seem to be on offer quite a bit. If you want to switch the AGA off in the Summer you could also buy an AGA module so that you have something to use in the Summer when the AGA is off or maybe just a small single oven and hob.
My 30 Amp is costing £11 a week to run – I can say accurately as it has a separate off peak meter. As we have smallish house it heats the whole house except for my front room (which is down steps from the main house as used to be the village shop). So for this running cost you could even leave it on all the time – like we do. It does mean our kitchen gets to 35 to 40 degrees in the Summer (we open the back door) but having the AGA on throughout the year has its benefits: we can dry things quickly on it and we can heat up our AGA kettle any time we need a brew, and of course we can cook on it striaght away without having to wait any time at all!
As I go to the local AGA shop regularly, to show people I am training for my business, I have got to know the people there. I have been told by them that the AGA Total control really is ideal for say a holiday cottage where you are going to be for the weekend and you want to turn it on whilst you are driving down the motorway. Or if you kitchen designer tells you that you must have an AGA in your kitchen then it would be the one to buy so you'd get the AGA look and the kudos of the AGA name. It could just sit there and you'd be able to just switch it on if you need to use it.
The AGA shop people told me that it is going to be more expensive to run than a normal AGA. As a normal AGA is costing about £30 to £35 a week to run – I have heard some horror stories on both the 13 Amp AGA running costs (£7 a day which was being metered) – this may have been a four oven AGA and also non AIMS.
The AGA Total control doesn't have that much in the way of ambient heat. I think this is because the amount of insulation they put in it on the production line reduces this. So your house won't be a warm or cosy as it would be with a normal AGA cooker, you may have problems heating a kettle when you want and you may have trouble drying things on it. So what it really boils down to is a very expensive but lovely looking ordinary cooker.
The AGA Total control arrives 80 per cent built as it is built on a production line. When AGA survey your house they will bring a pallet on wheels to check to see if it will go through your doors. As the AGA is approx 300KG steps up to your house are going to cause a problem as well as door widths. But if you have a new house build then of course you'll be able to plan the installation as part of the build. Ordinary AGAs are built on site and as they are made of cast iron it requires skill to get them all lined up properly. Is there going to be the same amount of skill required to commission the AGA Total Control? Hmm well that is a good question.
It may be unreliable as the reason they are building on a production line is that they are trying to get build consistency right. That is they are trying to make it as reliable as possible. The AGA service engineer who came to repair my AGA this year told me that a lot of their jobs are fixing 13 Amp AGAs – PCB board needs changing. As they charge £100 for a call out it is going to be expensive even when the AGA is in warranty. And out of warranty you've got to cough up for the parts too.
If you do get a 30 Amp AGA it comes with a five year guarantee and this only stays valid if you have the AGA serviced annually. What the annual service entails on a 30 Amp AGA God knows. A few checks on the wires with a ammeter I'd guess and then a clean bill of health award. But by doing this it means that if one of your banks of elements fails in your 30 Amp AGA then you can get them replaced under the warranty, so this might save you a couple of hundred quid.
We have had our AGA cooker for 4 years now – it was a reconditioned one from Mr Cooker see 30 Amp AGA Cooker - we paid £5500 for it and it still looks like new four years on . I'd recommend Tony from Mr Cooker if you are looking to get one. We have had to replace elements for the last two years. The cost of the elements have been £150 each replacement. So £150 last year and £150 this year. With a new 30 Amp AGA the elements are in banks of 14, so if one goes wrong then you'll have to replace the whole bank, it isn't cheap about £250 – my element replacement cost was for the replacement of one element as my older 30 Amp AGA has the elements in series – call out charge £80 plus thirty minutes labour £24 and the element replacement cost itself. As our AGA is older we don't bother with any sort of servicing. So you have to look at this cost compared with the servicing costs of say a gas AGA – about £120 a year for one service a year, or an oil AGA – about £240 a year with two services a year (they coke up you know :-)).
But saying that the Total Control AGA may be the way to go for you. It looks fabulous and really if cost or purchase and running costs aren't an issue I'd say go for it.
If you already have an AGA Total Control would you contact me or leave a comment below please as I am about to do a video on them. From AGAs press release today they are selling a lot of them. 1 in 3 AGAs sold are the new AGA Total Control. So it really is getting people's attention.Google+