Temperature control is one of the features that you’re likely to see repeatedly when you shop for a new vape mod on a site like E-Cigarette Empire. Once a fancy feature reserved for only the most expensive vaping devices, temperature control has since made its way to even budget mods and is now available in virtually every box mod on the market.
Although temperature control is a feature that could potentially be useful to a great many people, it doesn’t receive a lot of attention these days. Instead of enabling temperature control on their mods, most people simply use the standard wattage-based vaping modes instead.
So, what is temperature control vaping, and what are its benefits and drawbacks? How does temperature control work, and how do you use it? You’re going to learn it all in this quick but comprehensive overview.
What Is Temperature Control Vaping and How Does It Work?
Although all vape mods use the term “temperature control,” it’s probably best to think of temperature control vaping as temperature limiting, because that’s what it actually does. When you enable your vape mod’s temperature control mode, you’ll set a maximum temperature. You’ll also set the base operational power in watts that your mod will use when you press the fire button.
When you fire the mod, it operates at the wattage you set until the coil reaches the maximum specified temperature. When that happens, the mod cuts its power level to reduce the coil’s temperature. In a moment, we’ll describe how that works in practice.
First, though, how does temperature control actually work? It works on a principle called the Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR). The electrical resistance of a metal or alloy changes in a predictable way as the metal is heated. If you know the starting resistance of a metal along with the metal’s TCR value, then you can estimate how much the metal’s temperature has changed by measuring its change in resistance. Some metals experience large changes in resistance when they’re heated, so even a fairly simple consumer device – like a vape mod – can use TCR to estimate the temperatures of those metals.
What Are the Benefits of Temperature Control Vaping?
Used correctly, temperature control can make vaping more pleasurable and potentially even safer. Limiting the temperature of a vaping coil has three major benefits.
- If you forget to refill your tank while you’re vaping in wattage mode, you might experience a harsh and unpleasant “dry hit” when you try to vape. Temperature control eliminates dry hits because it detects the rapid elevation in the coil’s temperature and cuts the power immediately. If you forget to refill your tank while you’re vaping in temperature control mode, your device will simply stop producing vapor.
- Studies have shown that vaping devices can potentially emit formaldehyde when operating at extremely high temperatures. Setting a hard limit for the temperature of your vape coil may help to minimize or prevent formaldehyde production.
- When you switch your mod from wattage mode to temperature control mode, you’ll probably find that the vapor is noticeably cooler and smoother. Health and safety considerations aside, some people simply prefer temperature control vaping because they don’t enjoy inhaling hot vapor.
What Are the Drawbacks of Temperature Control Vaping?
If temperature control vaping is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it? As with just about everything else in technology, temperature control has some fairly significant drawbacks to go with its benefits.
- As we just mentioned, you’ll notice that your vaping device produces significantly cooler vapor when you enable temperature control mode. If your device’s atomizer coil operates at a cooler temperature, though, that also means that it’s producing less vapor. Compared to standard wattage-based vaping, temperature control will significantly reduce the volume of vapor that your device produces as well as the intensity of the flavor.
- Temperature control doesn’t work at all with the vape tanks that many people use. The most popular alloy used for atomizer coils – kanthal – has a TCR so low that its resistance barely changes at all when it’s heated. It doesn’t work in temperature control mode. A vaping device can produce the most accurate temperature estimates with an atomizer coil made from nickel or titanium. No modern vape tank has nickel or titanium coils available, though, because temperature control vaping isn’t popular enough to justify the expense of manufacturing those coils. Temperature control does work, however – albeit with slightly less accurate temperature measurements – with a stainless-steel coil. Although kanthal is still the most popular material for vape coils, many vape tanks do have steel coils available because stainless steel works in both temperature control and wattage modes.
How to Try Temperature Control With Your Vaping Device
To try vaping in temperature control mode, you need two things.
- You need a mod that supports temperature control. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, almost all modern vape mods do support temperature control mode.
- You need an atomizer coil made from a material that your mod supports for temperature control mode. Almost all mods will work in temperature control mode with nickel, titanium and stainless-steel coils. Unless you’re using a very old vape tank, though, you won’t find nickel or titanium coils for your tank and will need to look for stainless-steel coils. For the most accurate temperature measurements, make sure that you know the exact composition of the coil you’re using. SS316 is the most popular stainless-steel alloy for vaping, and your mod most likely has the TCR of SS316 stainless steel programmed in already. Many mods also allow you to enter custom TCR values.
Once you have those two things, all that you need to do is enable your mod’s temperature control mode and select your preheating wattage and maximum temperature.
Remember that if you’re used to using a modern vape tank in wattage mode – a mesh coil operating at 90 watts, for example – you’re accustomed to having a coil that operates at a much higher temperature than what temperature control mode will allow. Use a low preheating wattage. If you find that your device stops producing vapor almost immediately after you press the button, your preheating wattage is so high that your coil has already exceeded its temperature limit.