Nothing says ‘living the country life dream’ quite like a dog (probably a black Lab) sprawled in front of an Aga in a traditional farmhouse kitchen. These legendary cookers certainly bring the ‘wow factor’ and if you’re selling a house in the winter an Aga will make the kitchen an invitingly cosy and warm starting point for the viewing.
Written by Carly O'Brien | 11th October 2018
A country life classic: The Aga
But is there a place for one in a sustainable country kitchen?
In its defence, the Aga has massive green credentials with around 70% of each oven made from recycled metal from gearboxes, guttering, lamp posts and drain covers. That’s all very well, goes the argument against them, but what about their reputation as gas guzzlers? Whilst older versions do run on gas, or even kerosene at homes out in the sticks with no mains supply, you can customise them and choose an alternative fuel. If you’re buying a new Aga, electric and dual-fuel models allow the hotplates to be switched off to reduce running costs. Programmable models are available too so that the Aga can be set to run on a low temperature overnight or while you’re out at work and heat itself up ready for cooking at the specified time.
Even if you have an old-style gas Aga that is hot 24/7, there are still green arguments in their favour which revolve around their incredible multi-tasking ability. As well as cooking food better than any other heat source (who’s going to argue with Mary Berry?) they heat the house at the same time reducing the need to switch on the central heating; drying clothes on and around them means you don’t need a tumble drier, or an iron for that matter; they last a lifetime, thus avoiding new carbon emissions from the manufacturing, delivery and installation of a new oven; and you can hatch chicks or revive new born lambs using them – admittedly there’s only a niche market for that one. Opinions may be divided, but let’s be honest, if you’re lucky enough to buy a house with an Aga already installed you’ll almost certainly fall in love and wonder how you ever lived without it. Prices start at around £8,000 with the most expensive a cool £18,245.
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