I use the outlet side of a shop vac (one of those 5 gal buckettop things) but any low-volume blower really helps get the heat up quickly. I blow from the top down (insert joke about my manhood here) instead of from the bottom vent thing (insert joke again). I tried a leaf blower but that blows too hard (insert joke number three). Also I store my lump charcoal in an aluminum garbage can to keep it dry. I have had issues with moisture buildup between cookings, but solved that a bit by using the little porcelean top instead of the normal cooking top. Good luck!