- Q?How can I save money on my central heating bills?
One of the best ways to try and keep your energy bills to a minimum is to ensure that you service your boiler annually. This not only helps to maintain your boiler running at it’s highest possible efficiency but also hugely reduces the chance of an unexpected breakdown! Another useful tip is to use the time clock to set the boiler to run only for the time periods that you need it to – it is quite a common misconception that it is cheaper to always leave your boiler running all of the time rather than allowing it to heat up from cold each time. The more control you have over your heating system, the cheaper it is to run, thermostatic radiator valves (TRV’S) are a great way to help cut your heating bills as they allow you to control each radiators’ temperature individually as opposed to the boiler firing up and heating up every radiator. Flushing out your central heating system, cleansing and then adding a new system inhibitor are another great way to help keep your entire central heating system running at its highest possible efficiency!
- Q?How often does my range cooker or central heating boiler need servicing?
Between 6 and 12 months depending on the type of cooker, boiler, fuel or burner that is fitted to your particular appliance. Please refer to the manufacturers instructions for the exact servicing requirements of your appliance. As a general guide, more information can be found on our services page and you can even book an online service from our contact us page if you fill in the brief contact us form.
All oil, gas and lpg ranges and central heating boilers require servicing according to the manufacturers guidelines to keep them running safely and efficiently.
Guideline to servicing requirements:
Oil – Pressure jet burner – annual service
Vapourising burner (gravity fed) – 6 monthly service
Gas and LPG – annual service
Electric – Usually require an annual safety check and inspection, however some models only require an interim service every 2.5 years and will need a major service every 5 years.
- Q?How can I get the best out of my range cooker?
The instruction booklet is a great place to start. Most give lots of information on the different oven functions, plus advice for using features such as wok burners, griddles and hotplates. Following the guidelines on which oven/function to use, cooking temperatures and shelf positions etc should help you to get the best possible results every time.
- Q?How can I keep my range cooker clean?
Different surfaces require different cleaning methods:
Enamel range cookers and enamelled pan supports - The easiest way to keep your range cooker looking like new is simply to wipe it off with warm soapy water after every use to avoid things burning on in the first place. Use a specific enamel cleaner such as Astonish (that I keep in stock) for more stubborn marks.
Stainless steel range cooker surfaces - Always remove fingerprints as soon as you make them, otherwise they will become harder to clean off. Wipe over with a clean cloth wrung out in hot soapy water, then polish off all water with a soft dry cloth. The E-cloth developed for stainless steel is great for this – you can buy it from some supermarkets, electrical retailers and environmentally-friendly product websites. Remove stubborn marks using a stainless steel cleaner, or rub in a few drops of baby oil to restore stainless steel finishes. Don’t use cooking oils, as they contain salts which can damage the metal. Avoid wiping down with wire wool or other scrubby pads, which can scratch the surface.
Griddles for range cookers – Cast iron griddles can build up a non-stick surface from the oil you use in cooking – you don’t want to get rid of this by washing them in detergent or dishwasher. Scrub the griddle while it’s still warm with hot tap water and dry it immediately. Remove stubborn residues by scrubbing with salt and olive oil.
- Q?How can I keep the oven in my range cooker clean?
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for their advice before starting work.
On cast iron surfaces: These are designed to be self cleaning and usually only require hovering out on a service visit. If there are any marks then a good scrub with a wire brush is the best and then either brush or hoover out afterwards. It is a lot easier to wait for your service engineer to do this for you as the oven would be cold for the service visit!
On enamelled surfaces: Wipe the affected area with a damp cloth wrung out in warm water and mild detergent. Remove obstinate marks using a paste or cream cleaner, rubbed gently so as not to damage the surface. These features can make cleaning easier:
Pyrolytic self-cleaning programs – Range cookers with pyrolytic self-cleaning programs super-heat to more than 400°C and incinerate oven waste. All that’s left at the end of the program is ash which you can sweep away.
- Q?How can I save energy and money using the hob?
Use pans that are the right size for the burner – this will save energy by stopping the flame extending beyond the base of the saucepan. Put a lid over the pan when bringing things to the boil and reduce the heat afterwards. Cut vegetables into smaller pieces and cook in as little water as possible to reduce cooking times. With regards to using an Aga range cooker, the general rule is that you bring things to boil on the hotplates and then you leave them to finish off in the ovens. My best bit of advice if you are new to Aga cooking or even if you’ve had one for many years and would just like to learn some new tips and tricks is to book in for a cookery demonstration at you’re local Aga Shop as the chef’s are fantastic. I always hear glowing reports back from customers, plus you get to try out some of the food on the day too!