Ways to combat dust / ash?

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scfa99

New Member
DW is constantly complaining about all the ash dust in our family room. Anyone have any experience with air purifiers or products that can reduce dust buildup?
 

jharkin

Minister of Fire
Oct 21, 2009
3,887
Holliston, MA USA
Cant say that we get any significant dust in the house that comes from the stove... Any idea why you are getting the dust in the first place? Is it back-puffing smoke into the room, or is it spillage when you clean the ash pan?
 

Slow1

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,677
Eastern MA
There are lots of products like that, but the best solution really is to avoid getting the ash dust into the room to begin with.

The question is why do you have so much... I believe that it is possible to have so little in the room/house that few but the most picky can notice it.

Ways to minimize:

- Remove ashes when stove/flue is good and warm to maximize draft up the flue, thus sucking any airborne dust out of the home
- when shoveling ash, slide it off the shovel, don't dump (push the shovel into the bucket with ash and then slide shovel out from under the ash)
- Always keep your ash bucket/can covered when not actively filling

I'm sure others will jump in.

Worst case an expensive option would be to buy a heat rated 'hot ash' vac - they are rather expensive but probably very clean. I've not used one.
 

scfa99

New Member
I try to follow all those rules. The doors are sealed when closed (dollar bill trick), I don't burn with them open. Not sure if its because I have a fireplace vs a traditional stove, no matter how carefully I scoop and slide ash into a covered bucket its fly's around the room. Here is the ash bucket i use: http://www.amazon.com/CONTEMPORARY-Fireplace-Hearth-Woodstove-Carrier/dp/B00117OVII/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1291741580&sr=1-12

I do let the ash build up in the firebox and only clean it out a few shovels a day or every other day. One change I will make is doing it with the fire roaring, I usually do it in the morning before I re-fire.

To give an example of the issue, when we dust there is visible ash on surfaces in our family room within 2 days.
 

Slow1

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,677
Eastern MA
I don't know what to suggest - I wouldn't pull ash out of my stove with a roaring fire. I have a hard time when there are lots of hot coals during peak heating season as it is hard to be close to the heat for so long.

Now one thought to consider is whether or not it really is ash you are finding or perhaps it is fine dust. I know that with all the heat generated by my stove it draws cold air toward that part of the house and dust along with it. Thus we do get dust mice on the floor under the stove so I have to clean those up on a regular basis. Other surfaces are affected by this too - find dust/ash may not be all that easy to distinguish (but perhaps it is in your case...).
 
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nate379

Guest
Why do you clean out once a day? I clean mine out when it's full, every 4-5 weeks.
 

Slow1

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,677
Eastern MA
NATE379 said:
Why do you clean out once a day? I clean mine out when it's full, every 4-5 weeks.
Ha - while your point is valid (daily does seem too frequent) not everyone has a monster firebox like a BKK that you can put in 100lbs of wood at a time and burn a cord before emptying ashes... :)
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
SCFA said:
DW is constantly complaining about all the ash dust in our family room. Anyone have any experience with air purifiers or products that can reduce dust buildup?
I'm not the cleanest when it comes to ash removal, and even then we do not see an increase in dust. The area around the stoves gets a little messy, but nothing a quick sweep wouldn't fix.
 

Kenster

Minister of Fire
Jan 10, 2010
1,705
Texas- West of Houston
I used to clean out after two or three fires. I've had six or seven early evening through mid morning fires this season. I haven't emptied it yet this season and the insulating value of the ashes is evident.
However.... when I clean out ashes I get my water squirt bottle with a fine mist spray and I dampen, the little shovel. I dampen the metal ash bucket. And I dampen the ashes in the stove. After each scoop of ashes from the stove is sloooowwwwllly deposited into the ash bucket, I spray a mist over those ashes. You have to spray lightly or the spray itself will stir up ashes. I keep misting and scooping and misting some more until I take them outside to dump them. The damp ashes won't fly around. Keeps my Bride happy.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
I was given the chore of cleaning ashes from the wood stoves for the first time in 1948. I learned very quickly how to empty ashes with no dust because the first time I got dust all over the house.....and then had to clean the whole house. That taught me a lesson really fast. Since that time I have never had a problem emptying ashes. Thankfully my wife now tends the chore but she is not as careful as I am. She uses the same ash pan that you show and that works extremely well with our Fireview stove as it sits perfectly at the firebox door. She then takes the ash holder out in the carport and it sits on the concrete floor for several days before emptying that into a barrel for later use in the vegetable garden.

But she does not clean the ashes daily or every other day! The soonest I've ever seen that done here is every 4th day but that is during the very coldest part of winter. At present it is perhaps once per week. She moves the coals one way and scoops out some ash then moves the coals again to finish the other side, always leaving at least 2" of ash in the stove.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
EDIT; deleted because of double post.
 

bboulier

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2010
510
NE Virginia
Don't have any dust problem. Part of our success is probably that I don't burn 24/7 - don't have the wood supply. Usually burn when children, relatives and friends come by. When starting fires, I do leave a small gap open, but I don't think this generates any dust since the airflow is up the flue. I am careful about opening the door to add wood, so as not to generate smoke/ashes: turn down air intake, shut off fan, crack door very slightly. and after a while open wider slowly to add wood. Finally, I am very tidy about removing ashes from the fireplace. Easy does it.
 
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nate379

Guest
Princess is not all that big, and it's not the only stove I have used over the years.

My folks have a large stove to heat their house, we would empty it maybe 2 or 3 times a winter, but that would take 2, sometimes 3 5 gal metal pails to hold all the ash each time.

The longer I can go without emptying the stove, the better. Less work, less mess and also don't have to worry about firing the boiler to heat the house while I let the stove cool.

Slow1 said:
NATE379 said:
Why do you clean out once a day? I clean mine out when it's full, every 4-5 weeks.
Ha - while your point is valid (daily does seem too frequent) not everyone has a monster firebox like a BKK that you can put in 100lbs of wood at a time and burn a cord before emptying ashes... :)
 

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,724
Northern MN
If it applies, keep in mind that when your forced air furnace is operating, all the return air is being filtered, so much of the normal dust in your house is being removed. When you use your wood stove, that is not happening, and the normal dust becomes evident. Most of the dust your now see likely is not from your wood stove, but normal dust no longer being filtered out of the air.
 

woodchip

Minister of Fire
Dec 6, 2010
1,389
Broadstone England
My stove has a small ashpan which I empty daily. I always clean it out by 7am, before I make up a decent fire for the day. The ashpan fits neatly into a bag, which is taken outside and dumped in a big ash bin for future use. By moving the ash through the house this way, there are no unexpected draughts near the ash which can send the stuff flying everywhere.

Were I to design a woodburner from scratch, I reckon it must be possible to make one that has ash emptying facilities outside (my burner is against an outside wall and the sweeping is done via a hatch outside already).

My only other thought is to use a small house plant spray with water to damp the ashes down when carrying them round the house...........
 
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