Wood burning stoves or fire places are great additions to any home. If you have a cold winter, there is nothing more comforting than curling up next to a wood fire. But, unfortunately, with wood fires comes ashes. You have to keep your fire place or stove clean, or else it will not work correctly. You need the best ash vacuum you can find.
Ash vacuums are amazingly helpful tools. They are safe to use with your ashes—more on that later—and will clean up any mess, no matter how large. Plus, they typically come with a number of accessories that make cleaning up your fire place or wood burning stove that much easier. To learn more about hot ash vacuum cleaners and find a list of our picks for the top five products available in 2020, read on. We will give you all of the information you need to know.
- What Is An Ash Vacuum?
- Ash Vacuum vs. Regular Vacuum
- Types of vacuums for ashes
- What to look for in an ash vacuum
- Top 5 Best Ash Vacuum - Comparison Table
- Top 5 Best Ash Vacuum on The Market Reviews
- What Do I Do With My Ashes After I Vacuum Them?
- Final Words
What Is An Ash Vacuum?
Firstly, if you are new to wood burning stoves and fire places, you have probably never heard about ash vacuums. These are very specialized tools that are specifically designed to suck up wood ashes. Therefore, we will begin by defining and hot ash vacuum cleaner and its component parts.
An ash vacuum is essentially a vacuum cleaner. However, it has been specifically designed to suck up hot ash. This is important because safety is a concern when you are handling ash. Many a fire has been started because ash was not removed and stored safely.
But, back to the hot ash vacuum cleaner. It is a product that is usually safe enough to use with warm, if not hot, ashes. To make the pellet stove ash vacuum heat resistant, metal like stainless steel is usually used in the construction of the body and components. You plug in the ash vacuum, and use the hose and cleaning head to suck out and clean your fire place, wood stove, or other wood burning device.
Ash vacuums are extremely versatile. They will work not only on the large wood burning devices like wood stoves and fire places, but also on smaller ash creating machines. These include corn stoves, fire pots, barbecue grills, and even pellet stoves. If it makes ashes, a hot ash vacuum cleaner will be able to keep it clean.
Ash Vacuum vs. Regular Vacuum
You may be wondering why you cannot just use a regular vacuum cleaner to clean ashes out of your wood burning devices. The biggest reason is safety. Regular home vacuums are not set up to clean hot ashes. In fact, many vacuums will specifically say not to use them on hot ashes in their instruction manuals.
The reasons for the safety concerns are mainly because of the materials that make up ash vacuums vs. regular vacuums. Most home vacuum cleaners are made of plastic. Although the plastic is durable, it is not designed to hold up against hot temperatures. Instead, for host ashes you need the heavy duty plastic or stainless steel that can be found on hot ash vacuums. This concern extends to the home vacuums accessories and attachments as well.
Also, home vacuum’s do not have the correct filters to deal with hot ashes. The quickest way to clog up your home vacuum is to use it on fine ash particles. And, not only can the ash clog up your vacuum’s filter, but it can also be expelled by the exhaust. Thus, the ashes will actually be put back into your home’s air, which is a major no-no. The filters on hot ash vacuum cleaners are designed to pick up and hold ashes correctly.
Types of vacuums for ashes
Since you can’t use a regular vacuum to clean ashes, you might assume that this category would be rather small. You’re right. However, there is more than just one type of hot ash vacuum cleaner.
For the most part, you should purchase a product that has hot ash vacuum in the name. With these types of products, you can rest assured that the ash vacuum is created specifically to handle ashes. By far, ash vacuums are the most common type of vacuum designed to pick up ashes.
However, you can also occasionally also find shop vacs that can be used on ashes. When looking for these products, you will need to find one with a stainless steel construction. Also, pay very close attention to the recommended uses of the machine. The manufacturer will tell you if the shop vac is safe to use on ashes or other hot and fine particles.
What to look for in an ash vacuum
If you need to clean up ashes, you also need to find a great hot ash vacuum cleaner. Use the following guide to help you narrow down your choices. It will help you find the pellet stove ash vacuum that will work best for your home and life.
Size and weight
One of your initial considerations should be the size and weight of the ash vacuum that you prefer. All of these products will be larger than the typical vacuum. They are designed to clean up a large amount of material, so it makes sense that they would be on the larger size.
Most ash vacuums are shaped like canister vacuums or shop vacs. Thus, they will be around the same size and weight as those types of vacuum cleaners. But, they will vary a little especially in terms of their weight. Depending on the size of the entire hot ash vacuum cleaner, the weight could be on the lighter or heavier size. In general, hot ash vacuums weigh between twelve and thirty pounds.
Bigger is not always between when it comes to pellet stove ash vacuums. If you are using the appliance to clean out a small grill, then you do not need the largest and heaviest hot ash vacuum you can find. Instead, choose a smaller and easier to handle model. Larger wood burning stoves or fire places will require a large ash vacuum.
Separate from the size of the ash vacuum itself is the tank size. This term refers to the size of the dirt collection bin on the hot ash vacuum you choose. The biggest the tank, the longer you can use the ash vacuum before you have to empty it. As in the overall size and weight of the machine, the size of the tank will be determined by what you are cleaning with your hot ash vacuum cleaner.
If you have a lot of ashes to clean, then you should purchase a product with the largest tank size you can get. Large tanks make cleaning easier in this instance because you do not have to stop so often to empty the bin. However, smaller ash cleaning job will only require a medium or small sized tank.
All of the products discussed below list the size of their tank in gallons. This should help you choose the size tank that will work best for you. Consider the amount of ashes you generate in a sitting and then purchase the hot ash vacuum that will hold around that amount.
Most ash vacuums will come with some accessories. You will likely find a number of attachments and their storage. You may even find storage options for the entire ash vacuum itself.
Ashes have a way of getting into every nook and cranny and will need a wide variety of tools to completely clean your wood burning device. The larger the wood stove or fire place, the more attachments you will likely need. You will also want to look for a hot ash vacuum cleaner that will be used on a number of different woods burning surfaces, then you will need a lot of attachments.
Other accessories include extra hoses, filters, and tool storage bags. These are useful, but not essential to many people. Yet, you may want to consider a pellet stove ash vacuum that comes with either wheels or a carry handle. This accessory will help you port the ash vacuum around easily.
In general, the more horsepower an ash vacuum has, the more suction power it produces. If you have a lot of ashes, or a lot of different surfaces you are cleaning, you will need more suction power. Hot ash vacuums come with a wide variety of horsepower, so this is a determination you will definitely have to make.
Ash vacuums are not small purchases. While many are much less expensive than a traditional home vacuum, they are still a large piece of equipment. Plus, you will be using them to clean a notoriously difficult substance. Thus, you need to make sure that you purchase an ash vacuum that comes with a good warranty.
Typically warranties on hot ash vacuum cleaners should be between one and five years. The longer the better, especially for larger and more expensive products. And, the warranty should cover all defects for the specified amount of time without any caveats. You want to ensure that your purchase is protected.
Additionally, warranties are typically the manufacturer’s mark of faith in the product. Therefore, if a pellet stove ash vacuum has a good warranty, then it is likely a great product.
As mentioned in our discussion of the nuts and bolts of ash vacuums above, the filter is an essential component of these products. You have to purchase a hot ash vacuum cleaner that has a filter specifically designed for ashes. This is not only much safer, but it also keeps you and your home cleaner.
If you have people with asthma or allergies in your home, you should look for a HEPA filter on your ash vacuum. HEPA is a certification that provides strict requirements about the air quality the filtered air coming out of hot ash vacuums. HEPA filters essentially leave the air in your home much cleaner than they found it.
There are a lot of different types of wood burning objects available for purchase. All of them create some kind of ashes that will need to be cleaned. But, you will need to ensure that the ash vacuum you purchase is able to clean the type of wood burner you own.
The best way to learn this information is by reading through the advertisement for the product by the manufacturer. Typically, the types of wood burners the hot ash vacuum cleaners will be listed.
Often, an ash vacuum cleans almost every type of wood burning device. However, sometimes this is not the case. Therefore, you should always check before you make your final purchase.
Finally, the cost of the ash vacuum will be a major determination in your purchase decision. These products are typically not as expensive as regular household vacuums. But, some can be quite pricey. If you are on a budget, you will need to be even more careful about the price of the hot ash vacuum you choose.
Typically, the cost of the ash vacuum is determined by the manufacturer, the materials, and what is included with your purchase. The more well-known the manufacturer—and the better their reputation—the more you will likely have to pay. Also, the best materials cost more, and a higher number of accessories will be more expensive.
You don’t have to get the most top of the line or expensive pellet stove ash vacuum to get a good product. The five hot ash vacuum cleaners we list below are all wonderful products even though they vary widely in their cost. The top ash vacuum for you is the one that will work with your wood stove and your cleaning habits. So, take some time to make a budget and decide on your wants and needs before beginning to look for a hot ash vacuum.
Top 5 Best Ash Vacuum - Comparison Table
Deluxe floor nozzle, two extension wands
Extension wands, Crevice nozzle, Upholstery nozzle, Combi-attachment
Metal nozzle, Round horsehair brush, Crevice tool, Pellet stove hose, Two miniature brushes, Miniature crevice tool, Two miniature extension wands, Adapter, Tool kit bag
3 ft. locking hose with LED light, Metal wand, Metal crevice tool, HEPA media filter
Top 5 Best Ash Vacuum on The Market Reviews
#1 Vacmaster VQ607SFD Shop Vacuum
The number one ash vacuum on our list is actually a shop vac, the Vacmaster VQ607SFD. This shop vacuum is able to be a hot ash vacuum cleaner because it is made of stainless steel. It has a three peak horsepower motor, and a six gallon dirt collection tank.
The Vacmaster VQ607SFD is one of the most versatile products discussed here today. Like many shop vacuums, it can be converted to a blower. Plus, it comes with a number of attachments. Just make sure to be careful with some of the attachments because they may not stand up to the warm ashes well.
#2 BACOENG Ash Vacuum Cleaner
BAECOENG’s Ash Vacuum Cleaner is an ideal hot ash vacuum. It is only designed for dry pick-up. Please do not use this product on any wet jobs. However, it will work perfectly in any shop and on ashes. Plus, it is one of the most affordable products on our list.
The tank on the BACOENG Ash Vacuum Cleaner is just under six gallons, but it has a less powerful 1.5 horsepower motor. Yet, the large number of attachments and accessories make up for its low suction power and increases its versatility.
#3 Cougar+ Ash Vacuum
#4 Craftsman 17585 Ash Vacuum with Attachments
Craftsman is a big name in the home improvement industry for a reason. Their 17585 Ash Vacuum with Attachments has a heavy-duty metal construction. It also has a HEPA filter, which means that it will be perfect in homes with allergy or asthma prone people.
Additionally, Craftsman puts LEDs on their hose. This is a great addition as it lights up dark locations. You will be able to see what you are cleaning no matter where the ashes are located.
#5 Snow Joe ASHJ202E Ash Vacuum
The final ash vacuum on our top five list is Snow Joe’s ASHJ202E Ash Vacuum. This product has a reusable filter, which cuts down on your expenses. You will also enjoy the 4.8 gallon dirt collection tank and .75 horsepower motor if you have a small number of ashes to clean up. This ash vacuum is just the right size for even the smallest jobs.
Obviously, the ASHJ202E Ash Vacuum is a smaller product that most on this list. But, for small wood burners or ash messes it is an ideal fit. This product comes with everything you need to get the job done conveniently housed in a small, compact package.
What Do I Do With My Ashes After I Vacuum Them?
You should always store ashes correctly, especially if they are hot or warm. Hot ashes can relight and actually cause a fire in your home or garage. So, you want to make sure your store your vacuumed up ashes in a metal container of some kind with a tight fitting lid. This will block oxygen from the ashes and allow them to cool completely.
It is also best to store your ashes out of doors and away from any wood. You may want to wet them before you store them; after you remove them from the ash vacuum. Additionally, you could also create a fire pit outside to store the used ashes after they are vacuumed. For more ideas on how to use your wood ashes, we recommend visiting this site.
The best ash vacuum can do more than just clean ashes. They can keep your home safe while providing you a fun and clean burning environment. Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are the most fun when they are clean—and they work much better. That is why a hot ash vacuum cleaner is essential for every home that has a wood burning device of some kind.
If you want to enjoy your wood burner to its full extent, you need to choose one of the five products we’ve listed above. Read through our buyer’s guide as well to help narrow down your choices. Then you can be assured that you will find the hot ash vacuum that will work best for your situation.