AIMS FAQs

What does it cost?

AIMS has been discontinued (in March 2015). It was an option on new 13amp electric, gas conventional flue and gas power flue AGAs (non-hot water models only). AIMS only now exists in the oil to electric 13amp conversion (which includes AIMS control):

Oil to Electric Conversion

The oil to electric conversion kit is £2,695.00.


(Prices include VAT @ 20% and are subject to change without notice.)

Please note that AGAs installed prior to 1983 contain small quantities of asbestos in some of the seals and gaskets - the extra time, equipment and materials needed to deal with this safely mean it's not really economic to fit an oil to electric conversion kit.


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How do I have it fitted?

Usually we need to have a look at the AGA first (to determine the age and model), then after ordering the kit takes about four weeks’ to arrive from AGA. You’ll need to turn the cooker off the evening before we come and fitting takes a full day.


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Can my existing AGA have AIMS retro-fitted?

It's now discontinued and no longer available but post 1983 oil AGAs can be converted to run on electricity and this kit then does include AIMS control.


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Does this make my AGA like the AGA Dual Control or AGA Total Control?

No. Although the Dual and Total Control AGAs have cast iron ovens and cook the same as any other traditional heat storage AGA they are very different inside. The heating elements for the ovens and hotplates are arranged differently and it’s not practical or economic to try and replace the parts necessary to ‘convert’ to a Dual or Total Control AGA. We'd be happy to give you a quote for changing an old AGA for a 'New Generation' model.


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How long do I need to calculate to get the AGA up to heat?

There is no need to calculate a heat up time for the AGA, as AIMS calculates this itself, (hence the ‘Intelligent’ part of the name) you just need to program the handset with the time(s) you want to be able to cook.


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What programs are available?

AIMS is very flexible: You can have the AGA up to ‘Normal’ heat (i.e. on the black line) once, or twice per day. Every day can be different (you’re not limited to Monday to Friday then and Saturday and Sunday being the same – they can all be programmed individually if you want). However, each week is the same so if you need to change for the school holidays, or have different summer and winter settings, then you would need to alter the program.


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Does the engineer set up my AIMS programs?

The engineer is able to, however the handset is left in the ‘default’ factory setting and you’re free to program it to suit your particular lifestyle. The instructions for doing so are in the Owner’s Manual, delivered with the kit.


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How much will I save?

Our tests (on a 13amp electric model) showed a 12% saving using the factory default setting (up to full ‘Normal’ temperature 8-9am and 5-7pm Monday to Friday, then on 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday) and a bigger 29% saving when up to full ‘Normal’ temperature 5-7pm Monday to Friday and 8-9am and 5-7pm on Saturday and Sunday.


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Is the AGA cold when it’s not at full ‘Normal’ temperature?

No, it’s still warm and you’d be able to slow cook through the day. Due to the many possibilities and variations in programs and temperatures the cookbook would no longer be accurate when the cooker is at a ‘Low’ or ‘Slumber’ temperature and you’d have to experiment a little to find what works for you.


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Will the ovens self-clean like normal?

Yes, although the process will take a little longer as the ovens aren’t at full temperature for as long.


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Can I use AIMS straight away?

Although the handset can be programmed straight away, we recommend two to three days on the ‘manual’ setting before turning to AIMS, this is so the AGA and its electronics can calibrate themselves with a ‘normal’ temperature.


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What do I do if I come home early and decide I want to use the AGA at Normal heat?

Either:
Press the thermometer button on the handset to bring up the “Boost” function. This will override the current AIMS programme and will bring the cooker up to normal working temperature (only until the next ‘set-point’ when AIMS will revert back to the current program). To remove the boost function simply press the thermometer button again.
OR turn the control switch on the base unit to Manual – but remember to turn it back to the AIMS program afterwards.


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How long will the AGA take to get up to temperature from ‘Low’ or ‘Slumber’?

From ‘Low’ the AGA may take up to 2 hours’ to reach full heat, and from ‘Slumber’ about 3 hours’; however most cooking could be started before the 2 hours elapses. The Boiling Plate will get hotter first, followed by the ovens.


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What does ‘Normal’, ‘Low’ and ‘Slumber’ mean?

‘Normal’ temperature is when the AGA is up to the black line on the thermometer. (About 240 degrees C in the top of the top oven.)
‘Low’ reduces the temperature in the top of the roasting oven to approximately 190-210 degrees C.
‘Slumber’ reduces the temperature in the top of the roasting oven to 140-160 degrees C.

Approximate AGA thermometer positions when using AIMS

AGA Thermometer when AIMS is at 'Slumber'
AGA Thermometer when AIMS is at 'Low'
AGA Thermometer when AIMS is at 'Normal'

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Can I disable AIMS and just use the AGA conventionally?

Yes, just switch the selector to ‘Manual’ and it’s back to a traditional AGA, without the AIMS program.


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Do I need a wire from the AGA to the Handset?

No, the Handset is wireless and will normally work in the same room, with line of sight, as the AGA. It comes with a wall bracket that can be screwed to, or stuck with the adhesive pad to the wall or tiles.


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Is there any more wiring to do?

Oil to Electric Conversion: A dedicated supply (from a 16amp circuit breaker in the consumer unit to a 13amp switched fused spur point next to the AGA) is recommended.


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Can I control the AGA over the internet, a home automation system or network?

No, AIMS and the AGA stay separate from any other home automation or controls.


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Can I use AIMS to take advantage of Economy 7 electricity?

Not really; you’ll probably have to compromise your usage to make it worthwhile.
If you ask the cooker to warm up ready for early in the morning then the power used for this should be in the ‘cheap rate’ period (generally midnight to 7am), however when it warms up for dinner in the evening this will be from the standard rate power, negating any benefits gained from earlier in the day.
The economy 7 AGA is different, and is built with a large heat store and more insulation so it can ‘charge’ up overnight and store enough heat for the next day’s cooking. (You can’t convert a 13amp AGA to an Economy 7 one.)


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How do I know when the handset batteries are low?

The battery life is shown up on the handset, 3 dark pips indicate a full battery. Battery life depends upon usage.


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What happens if the batteries fail?

If the batteries run out, replace them and the handset will synchronise with the electronic ‘brain’ in the AGA, all you need to do then is double check the clock in the handset is correct.


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Does AIMS automatically change when the clocks change?

No, the clock in the handset needs to be reset when the clocks change.


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Does AIMS account for a leap-year?

No, the clock / date need to be reset to account for a leap-year.


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What happens when there is a power cut?

The program you’ve set will be remembered however you do need to check that the clock in the handset is showing the correct time (and adjust if necessary).
As long as the clock is correct on the handset you shouldn’t need to alter or re-program any other settings.


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Is AIMS covered by the 5 year warranty?

Yes. There is a 5 year parts / 1 year labour warranty on the AIMS kit which starts when it is fitted, this is separate to the AGA’s warranty which runs from when it was installed and commissioned. Damage to the handset caused by dropping or spillages (or other ‘user damage’), and consumable parts (the batteries) are not covered by the warranty.


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What is the replacement cost of a handset?

If the handset is dropped or smashed (not covered under warranty) then the cost of a replacement is about £300.00 including VAT


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My AGA is in a second home, can I use AIMS to save fuel whilst I’m not there?

Yes, you can use AIMS to reduce (or even turn off) the cooker for the period whilst you’re not there: use the holiday mode to do this.


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Can I choose the temperature whilst I’m on holiday?

Yes. To set the holiday mode you need to program the dates you’re away, and by pressing the temperature button you can choose whether the AGA is at Low, Slumber or off whilst you’re away.


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I visit every weekend; do I need to set the ‘Holiday’ program every time?

If you want the AGA to be ‘Off’ whilst you’re away, then yes, you would need to use the holiday mode to do this. This is because AIMS assumes you’re using the cooker at least once per day.


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Can I keep the hot water boiler in the AGA?

No. AIMS turns the cooker up and down in temperature which would make the hot water production less predictable. The extra energy (heat) the boiler uses would also adversely affect heat-up times.


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Does an oil to 13amp electric conversion work in the same way as an oil or electric AGA?

Yes, the AGA works just as it did before but is now programmable using ‘AIMS’. (Other than programming using AIMS, oil and 13amp electric AGAs work, and cook, just like each other.)
The oil control is removed (from the side of the cooker) a thermostat and selector switch are located behind the lower ‘burner’ door. The new handset is wireless so can be sited separate (but shouldn’t be too far away) from the cooker.


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Does this make my AGA like the AGA Dual Control or AGA Total Control?

No. Although the Dual and Total Control AGAs have cast iron ovens and cook the same as any other traditional heat storage AGA they are very different inside. The heating elements for the ovens and hotplates are arranged differently and it’s not practical or economic to try and replace the parts necessary to ‘convert’ to a Dual or Total Control AGA. We'd be happy to give you a quote for changing an old AGA for a 'New Generation' model.


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Can I remove the flue once the AGA is converted?

No, the oil to electric conversion kit is designed to retain the flue to exhaust the cooking smells from the two cast-iron ovens so it needs to be retained.
It is possible to remove the flue and fit a fanned venting system (the one that’s fitted to electric AGAs) but this is dependent on there being a suitable route for the pipework and external fan box, and would cost extra as the fan box and fitting aren’t included in the conversion kit.


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Can I convert my Gas AGA to Electric?

No. The conversion kit is only for post 1974 (1983 in reality - pre 1983 models contain asbestos which is too costly to deal with economically) two and four oven oil AGAs. It is not available for any other fuel of AGA or for AGAs converted previously from solid fuel to gas or oil. (Please note – the three oven oil AGA cannot be converted to electric.)


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Can I convert my Solid Fuel AGA to Electric?

No. The conversion kit is only for post 1974, genuine oil AGAs.
AGA did originally intend to produce a kit for solid fuel cookers but have since abandoned the idea (we think it’s due to the fact that solid fuel AGAs have different castings and grades of iron in them [to cope with the extra heat and corrosive nature of the solid fuel fire] that make the conversion not successful in terms of even-ness and stability of cooking temperatures).


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Can I convert my AGA to Economy 7 Electric?

No, there is no conversion kit to change the AGA to the economy 7 version (the workings in the economy 7 model are very different to all other AGAs so a conversion wouldn’t be technically viable) however the kit that is available will work on Economy 7; it’s just that any power used during the day will be at the higher tariff.


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Is it best to have Economy 7 – will the AGA be cheaper to run?

It depends, although the seven hour cheap rate period is almost a third of the day, only 15-25% of the power is used during this time (in most cases, for the 13amp electric AGA) so it’s more cost effective to stay on a standard 24 hour tariff (when just considering the AGA). If you have economy 7 for other appliances (water heating, storage heaters etc) it may be better for the house as a whole to be on Economy 7 – but do remember that each house, and its electricity consumption, will be different so one answer is not correct for all.


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Renewable Power

Can I run the AGA from Solar Panels?

In a way, yes; most domestic solar photovoltaic ‘PV’ systems are ‘grid connected’. The system is set up so you use any power you generate but since you can’t store the power, any extra you generate is ‘exported’ back to the ‘grid’. Conversely, if you use more power than you generate the system draws in from the mains grid so you never notice any interruption or loss of supply.


As your AGA is connected to the house system it will work seamlessly with the panels, using power they make when it needs to, and using mains when it can’t. Usually AIMS is set to warm the cooker up for an evening meal, this is ideal as the AGA will start to heat up a few hours before (in daylight) and will use power from the PV panels in the afternoon to do this.


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Will the Solar Panels have enough power for the AGA?

Usually yes, the AGA is rated at 2.5kW and most domestic Solar PV systems are around 4kWp (4kWp means 4kW when at ‘peak’ output, a maximum in perfect conditions rather than guaranteed or average output), so when the system is working at 63% output or above it will produce enough power for the cooker. (As mentioned above – any extra would be exported back to the grid and any shortfall automatically drawn from the grid.)


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Can I run the AGA from a Wind Turbine?

Yes – most domestic wind turbines are ‘grid connected’ so the principle of generating and import/export to and from the grid are the same as for solar PV systems; the obvious difference being that you need wind rather than sunshine to generate power.


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Can I program the AGA to only use power from the Solar Panels / Wind Turbine?

No – AIMS is used to tell the AGA when to warm up but you can’t limit this to just daylight hours (which differ in summer and winter of course) and there isn’t enough capacity to store heat in the cast iron from when darkness falls until the next sunrise.


Although a wind turbine can work day and night there will be periods where there is no wind and no power generated so it isn’t practical to wire the cooker just to heat when the generator is working.


(Technical note: There isn’t a separate electrical signal ‘input’ or trigger on the AGA’s electronics to enable it to be ‘told’ to only heat under certain conditions; the complexity (and cost of developing and installing) such a system means it’s not practical or economically viable for the relatively small benefits it could bring.)


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