As long as door is open you are fine. Vac tube attaches in stove body. shop vac wont work. Dont run exhaust fan. It may over rev it? You can hook a piece of 3" flex dryer vent to the outlet of leaf blower if you need to direct the ash away from the house or porch. Then vac it out a couple times a winter to keep it breathing good. Only takes a few minutes. You will love the stove once you do this .From what I understand, you simply open the door on the stove and then run the blower from the outside hooked up to the exhaust vent right? Does it help or hurt if the exhaust fan is running as well? I understand that you need the door open so you do not destroy the vacuum switch, but some people also disconnect the vacuum line to the switch anyways as an extra precaution.
I'm assuming a small 5 gallon off-brand shop vac will not be powerful enough for this?