While summer is still happily settled in our hearts and minds, colder weather is steadily moving in outside. As you pick your favorite autumn e-liquid flavors, don’t forget to get your vaping gear ready for the colder months ahead.
E-cigarettes have a lot of advantages over traditional combustibles — they cause 95% less harmful to your body and you get to avoid all the carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. With that, they are also more complex — and there is a big if maintenance involved even with the simplest of vaping gadgets.
Cold weather may be just what we need after the scorching summer heat, but it can cause a bit of trouble for your vaping gadgetry. The good news is that, with a few cautionary measures, you can happily vape all through the winter with no hassle at all.
So, what do we know about vaping in winter?
There are several potential sources of trouble for your vaping gear in winter.
Watch out for your battery
While we may have different dietary preferences depending on the season, your vaping gadget will have the same power requirements, rain or shine. The problem is that low temperatures can seriously reduce your e-cigarette’s battery life — and some precautions are in order.
The way your vaping device is charged is quite fascinating. When it’s being charged, the electricity you feed in leads to chemical reactions in the battery’s electrolytes, and electrical energy is converted into chemical energy. Once the battery is connected to a circuit the reactions go in reverse and the electricity is fed back into the circuit. In winter, as the temperatures get low, these chemical reactions slow down and become less efficient.
This means that in winter a lot more energy is needed to power up your device. For instance,
lithium-ion batteries function properly in the temperature range from 0°C to 45°C — but below that range, their performance drops quickly.
At -10°C, your fully charged battery will perform at about 70% of its capacity — and it will only go down from here. This won’t cause any damage to the battery itself but it means you have to charge your vaping device much more frequently. The important thing to remember here is to give your vaping device some time to warm up to room temperature before charging it — charging your gadget when it’s cold may permanently reduce its capacity.
Another good tip is to keep your e-cigarette close in the inside pocket so that it stays as warm as possible.
Avoid vaping 100% VG
One of the most widespread vaping myths states that there is antifreeze in our e-liquids — thus, they should be thriving in sub-zero temperatures. Naturally, there is no antifreeze in vape juices — but it is true that propylene glycol (one of the key components in our vape juices) is used in antifreeze liquids. Thus, it can handle low temperatures quite well freezing at -59°C.
Things are a bit more complicated with vegetable glycerin, which freezes at 13°C. However, when VG is mixed with other ingredients, it’s freezing point goes substantially down.
For instance, if you mix it with water in a 2:1 proportion, it will only freeze at -46°C. Thus, if you do plan to be somewhere even mildly cold this winter, it’s best to be careful with vaping 100% VG. The thing is you may start having issues even before the e-liquid gets to the freezing point: as VG gets colder, it will become more viscous and much harder to and wick, which may result in a dry hit and even burn out your cotton wick.
During cold months, thus, it is best to opt for vape juices that are at least 50% PG. If you are sensitive or allergic to PG, it generally advised against thinning the liquid with distilled water as it can lead to more issues. Try using a dripper instead.
Most sub-ohm tanks are made to keep your vape juices at room temperatures — and they can typically handle high-VG liquids and will work well with 50-50 VG and PG mixed even at below-freezing temperatures.
Switch to non-metallic drip tips
If the drip tip on your vaping devices is made of steel, this may become another issue in winter. While your mod may still feel warm in your hand, you may get an unpleasant surprise when touching the metal drip tip to your lips. As drip tips are well insulated to prevent them from getting too hot, in winter, this feature may turn against you. And, as below the freezing point, metal can get stuck to your skin, things can get quite unpleasant — and fast. Thus, it is a good idea to switch to non-metallic drip tips during the cold months.
Finally, while there are some precautions you may want to take while vaping in winter, in its essence, it’s just as enjoyable as vaping in the summer months. And, as we tend to spend more time indoors in the winter anyway, the cold may not take a big toll on your vaping habit in the first place.