The Function and Purpose of Airflow in a Tank

If you happen to be new to the wonderful world of vaping, the concept of airflow in a tank is something you’ll encounter often. While it isn’t such a big deal in regular e-cigarettes or cig-a-likes, using a modern vaporizer or “mod” is intimately connected to the movement of air around the heating coils. You need to understand a bit about the process of airflow and how it affects your vape if you’re thinking about an advanced setup.

 

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Diagram depicting how air operates in a tank.

How Air Functions in a Tank

Several things have to happen in order for a tank to render vapor from e-liquid. First, juice has to get to the coils of the tank. This is accomplished through inlets in the tank which allow e-juice to saturate the wick around the coils. Next, the e-juice has to be heated by the coils to initiate the vaporization process. Finally, air is passed over the coils before the vapor makes its way to your mouth. It’s a pretty impressive process when you realize the whole shebang takes just a few seconds.

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Think for just a moment about the role air plays in a traditional cigarette. When you inhale, you are pulling air through the lit end of the cigarette. In effect, the air helps to force the smoke from the combustion of tobacco back to your mouth where it can be fully inhaled. In e-cigarettes and cig-a-likes the process is designed to mimic smoking and the airflow is typically tight to produce a satisfying draw.

Things work a little different for sub ohm vaping. For starters, sub tanks permit you to adjust the amount of airflow to the coils. Doing that can create a variable vaping experience. The large airflow holes in a sub ohm tank let you define what you want from your mod. More airflow will give you bigger clouds at the slight expense of flavor. Less air means a stronger draw, more flavor, and less vapor volume.

Okay, Airflow is Important But Why Should I Care?

You may not be too concerned with airflow if you’re new to mods, but stick with them long enough and you’ll become a performance junkie. If that fancy new tank you just bought isn’t living up to its hype, making some adjustments to the air intake might put you on the right track.

Air inlets in a sub tank are typically located in a ring around the base of the device. You can spin the ring to open or close these inlets. Some tanks like the Joyetech Ornate offer a lot of wiggle room when it comes to customizing airflow. The process of making airflow adjustments is something every vaper has to get used to, and each tank has different inlet sizes. The best way to find out what works for you is to experiment.

There are some rough guidelines, however, that hold true when it comes to the purpose of airflow in a tank. Here are the generalities:

More air:

  • More vapor volume, great for cloud chasing
  • A slight reduction in flavor
  • A stronger lung hit
  • Vapor that is cooler and smoother on the throat

Less air:

  • Less vapor volume
  • A stronger draw and throat hit
  • Full-bodied flavor
  • Vapor that is a little warmer
  • Closer to traditional cigarettes

From these starting points, many sub tanks provide a large enough airflow adjustment range that you can achieve that most precious vaping Nirvana: a pleasing balance of clouds and flavor.

Everything in Balance

Air is critical to your tank, but remember that it only functions as part of an important balance. Your tank has to be getting juice to the coils, and the coils have to be heating that e-liquid. If those two things aren’t efficiently done, airflow isn’t going to solve any problems you might encounter. Airflow is simply the easiest thing you can tweak. It only takes a twist and you really can’t mess it up by experimenting.

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Scotty Rushing

Scotty Rushing is a staunch supporter of vaping as an alternative to smoking. Scotty lives in Louisiana with his dog, Bentley, where he is currently working on a full-length novel and other creative projects.

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