Wednesday 7 October 2015

Wednesday's Life Changing Thoughts

What does it cost to heat your home ?
Many people associate rural living with having a stove.
Aga's Rayburn, or any other cast iron stove can be the heart of the home
There are some lovely stoves out there

Impressive aren't they, but before you dash out and buy one there are a few things to consider
First what do you want from your cooking range ?
Do you want it just to cook on ?
Do you want it to heat your home ?
Do you want it to heat your water ?
All of the above why not, next to consider what fuel do you want to use
Solid Fuel
Multi Solid Fuel
This was the best information I could find taken from
You can get ranges that run on all the above fuels, the big thing to consider is the running costs
This is the million $ question, and most manufacturers will fudge the answer because you cannot just give a simple figure, because these cookers are room heaters as well as cookers. The best way I can answer it, is to chart it and give compared figures in an imaginary scenario.

Aga Standard
Aga Total Control & AIMS
ECO Range
Oil 1/ & 2/
£ 1,162.00

£ 354.00
£ 291.00
Gas Natural 3/
£ 823.45
£ 658.00***
£ 243.00
£ 1,646.00
£ 1,316.00***
£ 486.00
Electric 3 oven 13amp   4/
£ 1,104.00***
5/  £ 619.00
£ 240.00 **
4 ** this is a very rough guesestimate  at 4 cu. Meters a year @ £60 a cube.
*** AIM’s control.
1/ Calculated using the following prices: Oil is 60p/litre = 5.83p/kWh, Gas Natural is 4p/KWh, LPG (bottled gas) 8p/kWh, Electricity is 12p/KWh, Pellet are £240/tonne = 4.8p/KWh

Not cheap are they, Gas Electric and Oil are always going to rise in price, the above prices were based on costs 2013/14, something else to consider with electric is power cuts, 
We went for solid fuel, we can burn logs which we get for free, free from money but it costs in time and energy, our Rayburn heats our water, runs radiators and is of course our main cooker, it replaces a toaster, electric kettle and slow cooker, at this moment in our lives we have the time and energy for logging, we also have a log burner in the lounge, in years to come we may not and will have to buy in logs or solid fuel, logs cost about £30 a load a load will last us about 2-3 weeks, so while we are able we will build up supplies, it is a never ending job.
Whatever you decide to go for will also need regular servicing, chimneys still need sweeping and again this costs.
Sorry if I have disappointing you with rural living dream curled up in front of a log burner, the aga ticking away in the kitchen warming the heart of the home and its all for free.
No matter what I wouldn't be without mine it is the heart of our home it runs 24/7 and we let it go out 2 days a year for the service and chimney sweep. 
So what does it cost to heat your home ?


  1. Absolutely right Dawn. When we lived in UK, we went out every weekend and gathered one or two trailers of wood a week. We lived very close to the Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, and had a licence to take wood up to 4 inches in diametre. We also had permission to take wood from another local privately owned wood. Well, that was back in the late '80s. Here we are, now living in France, with two stoves and we buy in our logs despite owning a wood! Why? Well, we don't have a tractor, nor a decent chain saw and the correct safety gear, nor a log splitter. However, we buy our wood at about 600 euros/£425 ish for the year - and we don't have to chop it anymore. Now we're in our sixties, I think a little semi-retirement from wood chopping is in order!

  2. It is like most things in life there are ups and downs and nothing comes for free does it! It is a case of balancing things up isn't it. xx

  3. No stove like that for us, When I do the extension I'll add another wood burner but just for heat and hot water. The more things a wood burner does the less well it seems to do them. A high efficiency one for heat is what I need mostly. I'm going to build a big cooking area outside for off grid cooking though and they will both have hot plates I can cook on.
    No fire or heating on in our house yet. Maybe if i drops a little colder.

  4. Like Kev I am not a big fan of using a cook stove as a heat stove. Mostly because the prolonged fire that is needed for heating burns em out faster. I have a big outside wood furnace which is built to last but the down side to that is keeping it fed especially in a grid down situation. In fact it wouldn't happen in that scenario and I would be using my small wood stove and only heating one room :)

  5. I have gas central heating. Would love a wood burner in the future. My gas and electric combined are £79.00 a month. And it's more than adequate. Last year I had a £170 refund. We will be at home more once we are both retired next winter. So fuel costs may vary. My friend was quoted £35 a week Aga gas running costs.

  6. I swear by our wood burner. We light it in the early to mid-afternoon so that it's ready to heat up the house and cook our evening meal by the time the sun goes down. On exceptionally cold days we'll light it mid-morning (but that normally results in our cooking snacks in it during the day...:) )

  7. We have our Stanley Mourne number 7 range. We cook off it, get hot water and run 7 rsdiators off it most days of the year. We bought some turf the other day and its eating that and logs at the moment. No heating bills coming through the letter box and the radiators never go off until the fire goes out. Oil is very cheap over here in Ireland at the moment. A lot of folk fill five gallon drums and fill them up every week or so. Instead of paying out hundreds to fill the tank.

  8. We are currently plumbing in our Rayburn wood burning stove, and have decided to only run four small radiators from it and no hot water system. One of the reasons was because I intuitively knew that the Rayburn would have to be galloping away at a fierce rate to do all three tasks effectively, (cook, heat rads, heat water). By only running radiators which are only required to take the chill and damp from the air we think that we shall be able to get the Rayburn to tick along nicely. We also have our own woodland, and a river on our border which often leaves fallen trees along the banks which we can collect.

    I would not want a wood burning fire which just heated a room and upon which no cooking could be done. We have a small wood stove in the front room, which is hardly ever used, but has taught me that to only use a stove to heat on in a waste of fuel, because the top of the stove gets hot enough to heat at least a pot of stew!

  9. I dare not think is the answer to your question. The heating/cooking bills are paid from the farm account so all I do is write them in the ledger thank goodness. We have an oil fired Aga which we bought new getting on for twenty years ago.
    We live in a large house with large rooms and high ceilings. Our central heating is also oil fired and we have a wood burner in the living room.
    We only have our central heating on for short periods morning and evening in very cold weather but between them the wood burner and the Aga keep our house snug and warm.
    As it is my only method of cooking I never let the Aga out in Summer but given our Summers up here in the north, we never find it too warm.

  10. I've always had an electric oven, gas fire and gas central heating but I know people who have an aga say that after having one, they'd never be without one. They do look lovely and as you say, they're the heart of the home.

  11. We used to rent a little cottage in the middle of winter with an oil-fuelled Aga. It was lovely for long holiday evenings - but I like the simplicity and flexibility of a central heating system for real life in the West Midlands! Jx

  12. Hi Dawn

    Totally concur. My grandmother had a Rayburn I grew up with it and it was a sad day when it died and could not be repaired anymore. She had it 60 years. Agas and Rayburns are a way of life a very practical lifestyle and its something I aspire too. Per month with Gas Central heating during the winter months we spend about £100 and the heating is not on all the time - and it is a new style boiler which is energy efficient. Electric is about £80 per month but it depends on what we do. Sometimes a little higher. My brother and I were talking the other day and he also would like an Aga and a wood stove. He has solar panels which are providing the electricity which is costing him nothing and he is selling on to the grid as well. So he is a happy bunny. There is so much you can do with a beast such as the Aga or the Rayburn especially from a cooking point of view. Feeding it on free wood and not having bills come in sounds good to me. I quite like the look of the multifuel burners which gives you more options but then again I like open fires. If you are going to save money things are worth doing because what you save in one place enables you to achieve other things too. Getting the basics right like keeping you and your family warm now and in the future at minimum cost is what matters at the end of the day and being happy with those decisions.

    Hope you are keeping well.




Thank you for taking the time and leaving a comment I do appreciate it, I may not always answer comments but I do read them all.