The heating element in many vape devices is in the form of a coil, and for those devices, the coil is a crucial component to vapour production. The coil is a wire that surrounds the wicking material in an e cigarette, held in place by an atomizer head. When you vape, the coil is electrically heated to vaporize the e liquid and turns the e liquid into vapour. Sometimes, the coil, or even the coil, wick and casing all together, is referred to as an e-cig atomizer.
Ultimately, coils need to be regularly replaced to prevent the effects of e liquid build up. However, there are some e cigarettes that utilize pod-based systems that do not require the use of coils, and hence, will not require coil replacement.
How do you know when it’s time to change the vape coil?
Your e cigarette will give telltale signs that it’s time for a new coil.
• Your vape tastes burnt. Having a vape with a burnt taste is generally the most common indication that it’s nearing the end of your coil’s lifespan and getting rid of the burnt taste in your vape could be as easy as just changing the coil.
Your vape tastes “off”. Your e cigarette liquid may taste weaker than usual, or just different from what you know it should be if your coil needs to be changed. If you switch e-liquid flavours, a worn-out coil may also cause the flavours to mix in unpleasant ways.
• Your vape clouds are smaller. By the end of your coil’s lifespan, you may see less vapour output than usual, even if your battery is new.
• Your vape is making unusual sounds. Hearing gurgling sounds coming from your vape may also be another indicator that it’s time to replace the vape coil.
Most common vape coil types
There are many different types of coils for vapes made of different materials and configured differently as well. While coils allow e cigarette users lots of control over their vaping experience, it does take effort to understand and navigate all the options available, particularly when coil-free e cigarettes are available as well on the market.
The most common coil types include:
• Vertical coils - Coils that are oriented vertically rather than the standard horizontally, where the wick is usually wrapped around the outside instead of inserted through the center.
• Dual/triple/quadruple coils - Numerous coils in one setup.
• Parallel coils - Dual coils, except with two strands wrapped together in parallel rather than separately.
• Twisted coils - A coil with wires that are twisted together, creating two strands in one.
In terms of stock coils, vertical coils are one of the most popular, and are thought of by many e cigarette users as the typical coil today. A vertical coil stands upright and is surrounded by a cotton wick, rather than having the wick inserted through the center. This allows for direct airflow, which may consistently heat the coil along its length, leading to even evaporation of the e liquid. This may provide a consistent vape and flavour, and even may help avoid dry spots that can burn the wick.
A multi-coil configuration - with dual, triple, or even more coils – may provide additional heat and vapour generation in the vape, meaning denser and more vapour clouds produced in less time, in comparison with single coil vapes. This is often a choice of “cloud chasers”, or e cigarette users who want to produce huge vapour clouds. However, e cigarette battery life tends to degrade faster with multi-coil setups, and e liquids tend to be used up more quickly as well.
Parallel coils are essentially the same as dual coils, except with two strands wrapped together in parallel rather than separately. This may offer the same benefits as dual coils - more heat, vapour generation, and resistance than a single coil - but with added ease and convenience, as one wick can be used for both coils.
Twisted coils are produced in a similar manner to a standard coil but use more complicated wires that are twisted together so that you get two strands in one. This may help improving vapor production and flavor, but at the same time, does increase heating time.
Why do vaping coils need to be changed?
To understand how long vape coils last, pre-made coils typically last from one to four weeks, but it does depend on your personal e cigarette usage. The more you use your e cigarette, the more often you’ll have to change the coils in a coil-based device. Coils need to be replaced regularly, as e cigarette liquids leave a thin film of residue when they are vaporized, causing your coil to collect remnants of e liquid. This can build up on your coils or wicks and clog your device, causing your vape to taste burnt and preventing you from getting the taste of your e liquid.
It is also helpful to prime your new coil before you use it, which means to fully saturate the wicking material in the coil head with e cigarette liquid prior to vaping with the new coil for the first time. This will stop the wick from burning when you turn on your vape with the new coil for the first time. To prime a new coil, all you must do is fill your tank with e liquid and let it stand for a few minutes.
Coil-free e cigarettes will not have these issues and remove the hassle of having to replace the coil. As they generally utilize pod-based systems, only the e liquid pods need to be replaced regularly.
Quality of the vape coils
With thousands of vape coils on the market, it can be difficult to navigate through all the options - and not all coils are alike! With the coil being such a central part of the vaping experience, it’s important to take the time to choose high quality coils from reputable brands to ensure great taste and vapour production. If you’re questioning why your coils need to be changed at what seems like a frequent rate, the culprit could be the quality of the coil itself. A high-quality coil may have good surface area, and a recommended wattage that has been specifically selected to enhance the coil’s lifespan. Once again, the issues related to coil quality are also eliminated when looking at non-coil e cigarette options.
Looking for a non-coil vaping solution as a replacement to cigarettes?
If you’re interested in switching to a smoke-free alternative to cigarette smoking but don’t want to deal with coils, e cigarettes with a heating technology that does not involve coils do exist, such as pod-based vaping systems.
Not sure that vaping is an option for you?
Considering another type of smoke-free alternative to continued smoking? You may be interested to learn about heated tobacco - an innovative, new alternative to smoking that does not require any coils. Heated tobacco products, such as IQOS, utilize a unique technology that heats specially designed tobacco sticks to precise temperatures that prevents the tobacco from burning. The absence of burning or smoke makes IQOS heated tobacco a better choice than continued smoking, although not risk free. Learn more or buy IQOS heated tobacco here.
Vaping or heated tobacco - smoke-free alternatives are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. Smoke-free products are intended for use by adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products and are not intended as cessation devices. The best option to reduce the health risks associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine products is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. However, for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, there are many options available that could be better alternatives than continued smoking.
This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.