Does anyone have an Aga???

Kensington2 Image
10/24/2009 - 11:00

Hi there, We are currently specifying a new kitchen for our new house in Tuscany. Does anyone have one in Italy (I am aware that you can buy them in Italy and obviously have them installed). They are on all the time and I was wondering how they work with cooking in the summer months. Also, they use 75 litres of LPG per week. How much does gas cost in Italy. I was told by the Aga people here in the UK that the Aga costs approx £16 per week to run but I have an idea that costs will be higher in Italy. If anyone has any advice on Agas then any information would be greatfully received. 



 Do you really think when its 40 c week after week you are going to want an AGA on? They do them with gas hobs and electric ovens now but you are just paying for a "look", which is a bit pretentious imo when there are dozens of better alternatives. Come to think of it, I dont know anyone with an AGA that does not also have a freestanding cooker as well.   

hi, as it appears most people here seem to be paying anything up to a euro per litre for lpg gas at 75 litres a week it becomes a tad expensive at 300 euro a month running cost!!! most people use normal cookers that are off most of the time and when the temperature starts running in at 38°c you certainly wouldn't want an aga on. they're also very big,very heavy,very expensive and alternatives numerous..... 

 I have friends in Tuscany who have an AGA and they pay a lot of money to run it. They actually put in a separate in-ground LPG tank just for the beast. They also have a separate wall oven so they don't have to use the AGA oven in the summer. I don't think it's a good choice all things considered. If you want to go the high end route maybe look at the French Lacanche ranges. They are incredibly well made, gorgeous and highly functional.

Hi Kensington2,You can run a wood burning cooker for about one fifth of the running costs of a gas one. Have a look at an Anselm  Cola - thermo cucina "Johanna"We specify these as a sort of Aga type bit of kit which look nice and work well.... apart from the cooking side they also can heat the entire house, and do the hot water so instead of €300 a month on gas you can turn it all off completely.... it's a paradox but it will cost no more to run your house in the winter than it does in the summer.

 as always there are debates on methods and what one will get for money... agree about the range of wood burning cooking appliances available...very common here... but they are dirty.. and the burning units are very small... you need a large dry area to store wood and also have to be available to re-stoke fire all the time if its an essential heating system... so you become a slave to the monster...most property here has two with the wood burning cooker...and is more of a working/functioanal kitchen with space for a large dining table... and is used in the winter... a reasonable wood burning cooker costs around the 1000 euro mark... basic and simple but functioanl... and then you have to add in chimney costs...a wood burning fire i would agree with the above post on as a viable solution.. but this would be a sitting room type fire...sealed glass front and water /central heater capable...they are expensive...around the 3000 euro mark cause you need pumps etc ... and fitting... install a proper flue... stainless steel... you are less a slave because they have huge capacity for burning huge logs.. again storage of wood and carrying is more a lifestyle choice and you need time and patience...there are many better alternatives... adding solar water heater panels helps ... if its tied into the gas... i use a huge pellet boiler... much more manageable in my opinion than wood... can run for three to five days with no intervention...cheaper than gas... most probably than wood too... and have a gas boiler back up.. geotherm/badger is an expert on those systems.. think carefully is my thought on your choice of main heating system.. you will know if you will be able to spend time nursing wood burning appliance .. i would definitely avoid the aga choice as a cost efficient method...its a compromise and expensive choice.. but its yours to make.. good luck with it all... 

Just to clarify a previous post - I really was suggesting you can heat a whole house and cook and shower too with something like the Anselm Cola in the kitchen... I can show you round a large house that does just that.The 'slave to the stove' issue is real though but so is the love of fire. Most of us really love to have some flames somewhere and happily wood provides the cheapest source of energy you can get here (leaving solar out for the moment)... for most houses an average sized stove will do the heating anyway so the job is done - you have flames etc. If you need more energy than your wood lugging tolerance allows then the next cheapest source of energy comes from a heat pump - clean, reliable etc... and for a bigger house this is the most obvious choice to run alongside a stove or indeed on its own. A heat pump running on solar PV panels can even be cheaper than wood during daytime running. Pellets trail a fair way behind both these heat sources and are only about 3 times better than gas. Glass of wine by the pellet stove anyone?

What must be taken into consideration for a ground source heat pump is the cost of the installation. I would never pretend that it is a low cost initial option. Another option is a air/water system, but the savings will not be as good as the GSHP. Third option air/air, but solely for heating and cooling, no domestic hot water production.As Sagriasolar says, in addition with a PV setup, or even using solar panels for ground loop/ hot water recharge, this can cut costs down further. It is always nice to have a log fire and we use ours maybe 10 times a year, so 50 quintale of wood we bought 5 years ago, will probably last the next 10 years.I have just been to a client using a 14Kw heat pump, on a holiday basis at the moment, and his running costs have been circa 500Kw from Jan this year to today. House temperature has been set on 10C for winter frost protection, switch on for outside air temp as required at below 10C, Domestic hot water was left at 51C .There is also a pool heating cicuit from the pump, plus passive house cooling system for the summer. We are now advising his electrician on the remote control modem linkup, so he can switch the system up to higher temperature a few days before he visits from the UK in the cooler months.

We've got a conventional stove and a simple wood burning stove (Esse) in our kitchen (fortunately we have the space for both).  The woodburning stove needs only a few bits of wood to keep it radiating heat for hours and hours.  Put on three small pieces before you go to bed and in the morning it needs just a handfull of chips to kick start it again.  In the winter, all the cooking gets done in the stove oven or on the two 'rings', and it heats the house just enough to mean we only use the underfloor gas heating for around 3 months of the year.   This time of year, we have no central heating on, and the stove just gets fired up each evening for a few hours.  I don't agree it's dirty.  The ash doesn't need emptying much and it comes out in a little neat tray.  The glass doesn't need cleaning much if you learn how to use the stove properly.  And even then, a squirt of Mr Muscle and a quick wipe and it's lovely and clean again.  For us, there's nothing like watching the glow of logs on the fire to make our home cozy and warm.  If we were to build another house (and after the experiences of building this one, that's very unlikely!) we feel that the heat generated should be harnessed and we'd probably go for the back boiler type option mentioned in another post above (you can't get back boilers in the UK anymore, and we didn't know this type of system was available here in Italy).  I hope our personal experience helps towards your decision making.  By the way, we found it cheaper to buy the stove in the UK and have it shipped over than it was to buy locally.

Noddy, have you got the Esse Ironheart??  I thought I was the only one crazy enough to lug it over from the UK!I agree that it can take the place of central heating for most of the winter.  And it makes a good banana bread too! 

In reply to by Annec

We DO have the Ironheart, and it's a beautiful piece of furniture.  Well worth the lug from the UK. 

We had a Rayburn, oil fired cooker/central heating system in the UK. It worked very well, although the cost for oil etc made it not a economical source, even in the early 2000's. OK, you could switch off the heating side burner for the summer and turn the oven onto low fire when you did not want to use it. Heating up from low for the oven, took quite a long time, but with gas I would presume it is faster. Residual heat in the kitchen from oven summer use is always a problem, as due to the construction, hot plates on the top just generate the heat, even with the insulated covers, for quite a long time.Cat did love laying in the warming oven though in the winter!!!!!!!!!!!!We also had a large Inglenook fireplace to burn logs in, but that was only the comfort flame factor on cold winter nights.Also remember the servicing costs and replacement parts on these type of units are very high.

Yes we have one!!  and its the only appliance we have. Nothing pretentious about them if you know anything about them and how to cook on them.Where we live in  the Lakedistrict we have no gas, so always had solid fuel stoves, and for last 10 years oil fired AGA.Oil and solid fuel stoves are  at a constant temp and cannot be regulated, temp will drop after long periods of cooking, then you will have to wait untill temp comes back say 2 hours.Gas fired AGA can be regulated moreFor our needs it is great, granted not the cheapest to run, but for cooking, heating, drying, ironing, and good  looks worth the money.In saying that ,and being an AGA user in England i would say there are much better alternatives that are more suitable for the Italian climate 

In reply to by melbreak

 Yes we have one !!!!!!!!!! For 10 years!!!!!!!!!!!  in the Lake District!!!!!!!!!!!! Hurrah!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!!! They work!!!!!!! (if you know what you are doing!!!!!!!!!) There not pretentious at all !!!!!!!!!!!! They're not cheap but they look great and they are worth the money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh.......Whats that you say?..... Italy? mmm......... probably not suitable there. 

Why don!t you read up on the history of the AGA !! then you may be able to offer some usefull comments ,instead of writing a load of waffle,If you are going to reply ,try and say something that will be of use to the post, GOOD LAD !!!!!!!!  

In reply to by Kensington2

Hi You dont need to cart an Aga all the way from UK to Italy-the italians do loads of those kind of things themselves,and for the same reasons as people like above have them in the Lake District. Try googl but here are the names of two companies I know of and they have beautiful traditional looking ones and modern.  VESCOVI and DE MANINOR . I think theyre favoloso too and would get one.If youre in Tuscany (?)you probably wouldnt have it on in the summer,for the same reasons as you cant get a pizza at lunch time,but from autumn through to spring is a long time. shas

You should just go for regular appliances specially because you seem to be concerned about the price. Regular new appliances won't give you any bad surprises on energy consumption. I don't know if you'll find Frigidaire parts in Italy but I think you know by now that energy star appliances should be on top of the options list.