The De Vielle Ash Vacuum Cleaner
De Vielle is an Irish-based corporation with a reputation for excellence in both design and function. It’s not a global brand, but is quite well-known in the UK for a whole range of fireside products. The head of their lineup, though, is their ash vacuum cleaner. Well designed, rugged, and durable, it’s the perfect machine for even the messiest of jobs, and it can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.
What Makes An Ash Vacuum Different?
The last thing you want to do is to try to clean up fireplace or wood stove ash with a “regular” vacuum cleaner. In almost all vacuums designed for every day home use, the components are made of plastic. The first time a particle of hot ash comes into contact with those cheaply made plastic parts, they’ll melt and you’ll ruin the appliance. Worse, without a robust filtration system, hot ash particles will find their way into the bag, which will, in all probability, start a fire. It’s just never a good idea.
Not that ash vacuums are completely immune to the hazards of fire. It’s still possible that a hot particle could get past the filtration system of even the most robust ash vacuums, and for this reason, it’s always a good rule of thumb to wait at least 24-hours before trying to remove ash from a fireplace or wood burning stove. That gives the ash time to cool, which minimizes your risk of fire.
The De Vielle Difference
As particles can be quite small. Some, as small as 3 microns across, in fact. Because of this, it’s somewhat difficult for a single, standard filter to capture those particles. If they’re not, their small size will enable them to easily penetrate many, if not most filtration systems.
This is one area where the De Vielle Ash Vacuum truly shines. Their solution to the filtration problem was to design a triple layer of protection. Three filters working in tandem, to ensure that successively smaller particles get trapped by each layer of the filtration system.
The first of the De Vielle’s filters is wire, and is designed to stop small stones and other fairly large particles. The secondary filter is fiberglass cloth, designed to stop dust-sized particles. This filter can be hand washed and reused indefinitely. The final filter is a HEPA filter designed to stop ultra-fine particles. Like the secondary filter, this one is hand washable and can be reused multiple times. Both the secondary and tertiary filters are somewhat high priced, but this is offset by the fact that they are, as mentioned, reusable. The combination of these three filters is one of the many features that puts the De Vielle Ash Vacuum in a class by itself.
What About Suction?
The De Vielle’s multiple filtration system is excellent, but it comes with one drawback. In order to provide suction sufficient to power through the three filters, the vacuum’s motor has to be especially strong. De Vielle delivers in style in that regard, sporting an impressive 1200 Watt motor.
You might think that that with a motor of that size, the vacuum would be horrendously noisy, but the sound is only 78dB. Yes, that’s loud, but totally bearable for the short spans of time that the machine is actually in use.
Durable, Innovative Ash Container
The final big feature to note on the De Vielle is its ash container. It consists of two interlocked steel containers – upper and lower. Theoretically, both canisters together could hold 25 liters of ash and material, but the machine would get clogged well before that point.
Because of the design of the ash canister, you do NOT want to open it inside your home. Be sure to empty the canister outside, or somewhere that the ash won’t make an undue mess. The double chamber system isn’t perfect, but it’s fairly well designed and makes emptying the canister pretty straightforward.
There’s a lot to like about the De Vielle, but it’s by no means a perfect machine. The first big drawback to consider is the price. All that engineering excellence and power means that this is a fairly expensive appliance. It’s definitely at, or near the top of the chart, price-wise.
You’ll also struggle with the weight and overall bulk of the machine. It’s heavy, and once you start collecting ash in the canisters, its weight only gets worse, which can make it somewhat difficult to move around your room. The vacuum hose only exacerbates the problem. Being only a meter and a half long, your mobility will be limited.