381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Tues. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. 10am to 2pm / Sun. - Mon. Closed

When, How, and Where, to Properly Dispose of Ash


Ash is a byproduct of wood-burning, and will always be present during burning season. Depending on the type of wood burned, there may be more ash at some times because softer woods produce more ash than harder woods.

Making Good Use of Ash

fireplace ashes - Westhampton Beach NY - Beach Stove and Fireplace

First, don’t be quick to remove ash from your combustion box. It’s not recommended to remove it every time you start a fire. Actually, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends leaving one inch of ash in the combustion box at all times. This ash helps the hot coals stay hot longer, making it easier to keep a fire burning. Leaving a layer of ash in your appliance also insulates your firebox, keeping the bottom cooler.

Depending on the type of appliance you use, removing some portions of the ash to allow air to circulate in the combustion box is a good idea. For instance, if a furnace is long and narrow that burns front to back, air in the front will help the fire burn to the back.

Tools for the Task

To properly remove ashes from a fireplace or furnace you want to have a few things on hand:

  • An ash bucket is made of a durable metal that can withstand the heat of hot ashes, and is usually designed to keep indoors or outside without burning or melting anything around it. However, you want to be sure it is left in a dry area, away from combustibles.
  • An ash shovel is needed to scoop the ashes from the combustion box. Do not attempt to improvise this tool, as you risk serious injury to your hand using a tool that may melt or burn, and if the handle is too short you can burn your hands or face.
  • Gloves can be useful, but aren’t required to get the job done. If gloves aren’t readily available, be mindful of the temperature of the fire before opening the furnace, and of the shovel handle.

Always be mindful of how close your hair and face are to the appliance while you are stoking the fire or rearranging ash and hot coals.

Where to Put the Ash

Ash is messy! It’s dusty and dirty, and can be a real headache. It’s important to have a plan for the ash from your furnace or fireplace so that you don’t end up with a mess on your hands later. You should have an ash bucket, and it should have a place in your home, or outside, safely away from combustibles.

The Farmer’s Almanac says that for each cord of wood burned, you’re left with about 20 pounds of ash. Depending on your city ordinance, you may be able to bag wood ash and place with your garbage for trash pick-up. If this is not a possibility for you, you may want to store it in a watertight, metal bin and seek more creative uses.

For instance, depending on the acidity of your yard or garden’s soil, the ashes can be very beneficial when placed in the soil around trees, plants, and grass. Also, some people keep ashes on hand to melt ice and provide traction on driveways and sidewalks.

Whatever your use for ashes, always make safety of top priority, and contact Beach Stove & Fireplace for any questions or concerns for all your fireplace and chimney needs.

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Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)