With the rapid rise of e-cigarettes over the last five years, there has been a large influx of jargon entering the social mainstream in relation to vaping. From clearomizers, cartomizers and coils, to dripping, tanks and e-liquid; for many who are looking to try an e-cigarette, the vaping world can often seem a little complex. Essentially, whichever format of e-cigarette is used, they all have one thing in common and that is the inclusion of an atomizer.
So, exactly what is an atomizer?
In standard diction, an atomizer refers to any device that emits a liquid into a fine spray such as on a perfume bottle. In e-cigs the terminology is similar in that it helps to vaporise the e-liquid so it can be inhaled by the user.
How does an atomizer work?
Fixed inside the tank or clearomizer, an e-cigarette atomizer is powered by a battery to fuel a red-hot filament known as a coil that helps the e-liquid to evaporate on contact. The e-liquid itself is held in an absorbent material known as poly-fill. The polyfill’s saturation level is controlled by the absorbancy of the wick which is submerged in the e-liquid itself.
How often does it need to be replaced?
The atomizer itself has a long shelf-life, with quality devices often lasting years. The coil itself however will only last a couple of weeks with normal use before its absorbency efficiency begins to decrease. Luckily, coils are relatively cheap and can be bought in multipacks to save on costs.
How do I replace the coil?
Different manufacturers have different styles of atomizers that may have their own proprietary method for fixing attaching a coil. The majority of devices however allow you to simply unscrew the coil for removal before replacing it with a new one.
How can I help my atomizer last?
There are several things a user can do to keep his/her atomizer in good working order. The simplest approach is to avoid dropping the e-cigarette, or ensure it is stored it in a place where it can’t be knocked around. Another way to increase its longevity is to avoid letting the e-liquid tank become completely empty before refilling – a wick that dries out loses its effectiveness. A final method for maintaining your atomizer is to recognise when a new coil is necessary.
So when do I need to change my coil?
For many, the first sign that a coil needs changing is a ‘burnt’ taste in each drag, often followed by a distinct lack of flavour or vapour production. A failing coil will also often lead to gurgling noises when a drag is taken.
We hope this post has helped to educate you a little in the anatomy of your e-cigarette, and next time someone asks you ‘What is an atomizer?’ You can help them understand a little more of the science behind vaping.