The role of the ash drawer or ash pan is to collect the ash to prevent dust and particles from spreading throughout the house. This equipment also facilitates the maintenance of the fireplace hearth. A little explanation on this element which seems harmless and which is however very useful...
The ash drawer of a fireplace
The ash drawer of a chimney: functioning
The drawer or ash tray is intended to receive residues which result from burning wood. This element of the chimney or the insert is generally located under the grate on which the logs are arranged. As the wood ignites and burns, the ash falls into the drawer. When the tank is full, just pull it to get rid of the ash. To facilitate this operation, it is possible to use a shovel and an ash bucket (made of a material that is resistant to heat) which are particularly practical.
Sometimes the drawer is associated with shells or andirons. These are metal supports (which can be steel, cast iron, wrought iron or brass) that are used to raise the logs. This space lets a quantity of air pass under the wood which optimizes the combustion. At this stage, the use of a fireplace bellows is sometimes useful to revive the flames. At the same time, andirons keep the logs in place and prevent them from falling.
The ash drawer undoubtedly contributes to the proper maintenance of the fireplace. Indeed, this element collects the ash and thus makes it possible to avoid that the part is invaded by a grayish dust leaving recalcitrant marks. For an even more perfect hygiene, and especially if one uses an open hearth, the ash tray can be associated with a firewall which effectively protects the soil. The environment of the chimney will then be protected from ashes, but also possible projections of sparks, very important for the safety and to avoid the risk of fire.
And finally, so that the cleaning of ashes and residues is optimal, we can also use a brush and a shovel, accessories that are usually an integral part of the fireplace. For the most demanding, there are ash vacuums. In any case, the drawer remains indispensable in a fireplace.
Once the ash has been recovered, it can be used as fertilizer for the garden to feed the flowers or vegetable garden.