Regular Vacuum vs Ash Vacuum Cleaner

Ash Vacuum Cleaners to the Rescue!

Is your fireplace in need of a clean? Well, you shouldn’t be using a regular vacuum cleaner. Your safety is at risk! Use an ash vacuum instead.
White Powder
DON’T Use Just Any Vac to Clean Ash

With the world crumbling, we all need a safe haven, and what’s better than your home? Sitting by the hearth or fireplace while the flames consume every piece of wood excitedly, and crickets chirping in the abyss can be so relaxing even in your everyday life. However, burning wood or wood pellets typically leads to cleaning ash residue from the fireplace.

As a result…

Mostly, time is limited. You might be tempted to reach for your best cordless vacuum cleaner in a bid to clean up the mess – a decision that can end up costing you more than an arm since you might have to replace the vacuum cleaner altogether.

Let me tell you this…

Keeping your fireplace or hearth ash-free is undoubtedly a necessity. It helps improve the air intake for a satisfyingly good burn and also assists in reducing the number of allergens and odours associated with smoke and burnt wood fibres. Therefore, when you use the regular vacuum cleaner to eliminate this, you might end up damaging it.

With that…

Here are more reasons why you shouldn’t use the standard vacuums to clean ash residue in your home.

Fire

Safety

You can never stress the need for safety enough. That’s the reason why manufacturers and home safety experts insist on the use of designated vacuums for specific home tasks.

Here’s why:

The standard vacuums aren’t designed to take the heat, and when you use it to clean out the wood stove or fireplace it can pose a considerable fire risk to you and your family. An ash vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, is uniquely constructed to handle scorching temperatures effortlessly that could otherwise be lurking in those seemingly cool ashes.

To be more specific:

The first tenet – the ash should be cool or assumed to be – meaning that you should schedule your wood stove or fireplace cleaning when the stove has been down for at least twelve hours. Though, most experts emphasise on a 24-hour waiting period.

You should also remember that a clinker can be present and buried in those seemingly cooled or warm ashes for hours, if not days. So, make sure that you look through before starting the vacuuming process.

To add to that…

You should never try to vacuum hot ashes – it can be very dangerous. If you’re in a hurry or need to clean up for your visitors, you can always use an ashtray to help you clean up. It won’t be as effective, but it’ll help.

Protect Your Vacuum Cleaner Investment

Sometimes life takes you by the neck, and everything else seems insignificant.  If you can handle nerve-racking situations daily, what’s a little ash going to do, right?

Well, let’s shed some light on that:

The harsh realities of life creep up during these seemingly insignificant incidences. So, even though you need to clean out the ash, it can break your costly household or garage vacuum cleaner or start its descent into the giant pit of burnt motors.

A basic vacuum cleaner isn’t designed to handle any form of warm or hot ashes. Why? Well, firstly, it can melt the rubber/plastics in the hose and dustbin1  construction quickly. It can even start a fire within your machine.

Hold the phone! There’s more.

The quickest way to kill your most trusted household vacuum cleaner is to use it to sweep up all the ash or sheetrock dust in your home. Those tiny particles will head straight to the engine and damage its system’s inner workings. Standard vacuum filters, even HEPA-style bags,2  can’t fully contain that ultrafine dust, nor are they constructed to.

Simply put:

If you need your household vacuum cleaner to last you for many more cleanings, you need to use it for its speciality – cleaning your floors and carpets. You should also remember to shop intentionally for a specific vacuum for your shop, like a bissell steam cleaner, for example, and a garage-specific vacuum and another for your DIY projects since those vacuum cleaners differ from the household ones.

When it comes to ash dust, fine dust filters for shop-style vacuums aren’t effective. They’re not designed to stand the heat.

Fireplace

A Regular Vacuum Cleaner’s Attachments Can’t Handle the Heat

You shouldn’t also use a regular vacuum’s attachments to clean up ash.

Ash vacuum cleaners feature a thermal hose that’s usually rubber-coated steel and heat resistant. So, if there are any unexpected hot embers, this is the tool for the job.

Better yet:

The nozzle3  is also metal, and it can handle the heat of vacuuming a still-warm fire chamber. Plus, its shape allows more thorough cleaning of the inside of your fireplace.

A Metal Vacuum Reduces Fire Risk

Sometimes even after the 24 hours, the ash might be cooled, but there can still be clinkers or warm ashes present. The metal housing of an ash vacuum protects and contains, thus lowering the risk of fire when you’re clearing ash with the fireplace vacuum.

Therefore…

After you clean the ash, make sure that you transfer the ash vacuum cleaner outside as soon as you can. A full ash vacuum, shouldn’t be allowed to stay in a confined space, home or building. Even though it’s made of a fire-resistant metal housing.

Moreover:

You should always make sure that you start cleaning your wood stove with an empty ash vacuum.

Getting a Filter that Traps & Holds Ash Dust Is a Must

Ash dust is different from the household dirt and dust. It’s a major trigger of allergies for those who are sensitive to particular wood or dust. Although your vacuum has a fantastic filter, ash is a different type of dust. It’s so fine that you can transfer it to the motor quickly.

Here’s the thing:

An ash vacuum cleaner features a filter that not only handles warm ash but also contains it. It’s designed uniquely so that the ash residue can’t find its way back into your home through the exhaust port.

It also helps you to do a more thorough job – it cleans out all the ash, leaving a virtually ash-dust-free environment.

Something to keep in mind is that…

If you have any allergies, it would be best for you to use a safety dust mask and protective eye gear when cleaning wood-burning devices.

Fireplace Living Room

An Ash Vacuum Cleaner: Compact & Easy to Use

The ash cleaning device is mostly compact to store and easy to use.  You don’t need to figure out the manual to handle cleaning in and around the firebox, including the enclosed compartment that has ash pans. All you have to do is to plug it in and suck up all the ash, and there you have it! Your home will be as fresh as can be.

And whoa!

Some models also feature a wheeled base, which makes it easier to manoeuvre around the whole heat stove and wood-burning fireplace.

An Ash Vacuum Is an Inexpensive & Safe Cleaning Device

Its prices vary depending on the attachments and tools that are included in the package. However, most go for about $200 since their brand and variety is quite limited.

Want to know more?

While an ash vacuum cleaner is primarily designed to handle dry cleaning only, you can also use it for other cleaning duties, like for your shop or garage. Nonetheless, this all depends on how many tools or accoutrements come with the device. So, if you own a shop or want to clean after that prolonged DIY project, floor accessories can be very convenient to have.

Fun Fact

Ash vacuums are also secure and efficient in dealing with barbecue messes.

Thanks to technology, there are several vacuums to help you deal with specific household dilemmas; including pet allergies. Therefore, when you want to invite your neighbours over for a barbecue, but you’re hesitant due to the ash residue in your hearth or fire chamber of your pellet stove, or wood-burning fireplace, you can always buy or rent an ash vacuum cleaner. With a few passes, your ash problem will be gone, and you can finally have fun with your friends without a worry!

Common Questions

What Is The Best Ash Vacuum Cleaner?

Can You Vacuum Ash With A Shop Vac?

Do You Need An Ash Vacuum?

Can You Vacuum Ash?

In Conclusion

So, believe me, it can save you a lot of money if you choose the correct vacuum cleaner for your fireplace or barbecue. It could also prevent a fire or injury. So invest in an ash vacuum cleaner and leave all worries and ash behind.

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Mark-Johnson

Written by
Mark Johnson
Cleaner Living Expert

Mark has discovered how a clean environment can help in preventing certain air born diseases, allergies and asthma. These days, Mark’s mission is to help businesses, individuals, and families find easy solutions for creating a healthy and safe work and living space, no matter your health condition.