Tis the season! As the temperatures drop and your friendly neighborhood stores start filling their shelves with toys and gigantic blow-up snow globes, there is nothing like sitting in front of a cheery fire on a cold winter evening, snuggled in your favorite blanket, cradling a steaming mug of your favorite hot drink as your car-sized snow globe hums peacefully in the front yard. However, few of us envy the job of cleaning the fireplace the next morning.
Fireplaces and wood stoves are making a comeback, especially with the development of the modern high-efficiency pellet and wood burning stoves. These high-tech stoves use convection and forced air to ensure more efficient burning, resulting in less ash and soot. The problem is that what ash is left is very fine and will readily take flight as you try to scoop it out of your stove and will quickly clog or blow right through most conventional and shop vacuums.
However, while dust on your knick-knacks is an annoyance, and ash in your lungs is a health hazard, a much more immediate danger in using a conventional household or shop vacuum to clean your stove has to do with the stray sparks or embers hidden in, and which may stay alive for up to two weeks in that harmless-looking pile of ash.
As a Boy Scout, I remember cradling a spark in a bundle of shredded bark and blowing on it to get it to ignite. A vacuum’s airflow would have made my job much easier. Similarly, the inside of your vacuum is a veritable windstorm. Add unburned charcoal or wood pellets, sawdust from your last woodshop project, or even carpet fuzz stuck in your very flammable paper filter, and you have a recipe for disaster.
We often hear people extol the virtues of their shop vacuums for cleaning out their stoves and grills. While they may be effective (assuming their filtration system actually does more than helping the ash take flight), the risk of fire cannot be understated. These vacuums are often not made from fire or heat-resistant materials and the filters are often made from paper or polyester, both of which are extremely flammable. Furthermore, even if your filter does not catch fire, a single spark can render even the best filter useless.
“My shovel and metal bucket work just fine,” you say. While a shovel and metal bucket are well adapted to handle hot coals, they are terrible at containing the fine ash. Mike Loveless, the founder of Love-Less Ash Company, was faced with this dilemma almost 30 years ago. His goal was to alleviate his wife’s consternation at his son’s soot-covered hands, feet, and clothes as he crawled through the ashes that spread throughout the house as he cleaned his stove. The result was the world’s first ash vacuum.
As a mechanic at a coal-fired power plant, Mike knew the dangers of fire and dust well and understood how to prevent the risk of a stray spark igniting a serious fire. He built his ash vacuums from fire-resistant materials – steel canisters, metal hoses, fire resistant filters, and motor housings. He also understood the nature of ash and how it differs from normal dust. Armed with this knowledge, he built a vacuum that could stand up to the task of containing warm to cold ash, while not catching fire should a stray hot coal find its way inside the vacuum.
Love-Less Ash Company continues Mike’s tradition, using the same methods and quality materials in its current line of Love-Less Ash Vacs®. From the top-of-the-line American-made Cougar Plus, with its powerful and quiet bypass motor, which ensures that the heat from the ash in the canister does not go through the motor, which can cause it to overheat, to its economically-priced but powerful HEPA-filtered Lynx Ash Vac®, to its Dustless Technologies Pit Hawg Barbecue and Patio Ash Vac®, Love-Less Ash Company continues its tradition of helping you to safely and effectively remove and contain all the ash from your fireplace, wood stove, grill, smoker, coal stove, or any other place where warm to cold ash collects.
Additionally, each Love-Less Ash Vac® is equipped with a filter cleaning system that allows you to restore suction without having to open the vacuum lid should the filters get clogged, preventing the ash you worked so hard to collect inside from floating freely into your household air.
Backed by its industry-leading 3 year warranty and world-class customer service, Love-Less Ash Company continues to be the leader in high-quality ash vacuums, beating the competition in almost every performance factor in head-to-head tests.
Visit our site at www.lovelessash.com or call us at 800-568-3949 to find where you can pick up your new Love-Less Ash Vac®.