Conduction vs Convection Heating

When purchasing a vaporizer for your aromatherapy needs, one thing to look at is how the vaporizer heats the product.  The two main types of heating are conduction heating and convection heating.  Both kinds have advantages and disadvantages.  Being better informed on how these 2 different heating systems work is important. 

Conduction heating

Conduction heating is where the product is heated through contact with the hot heating element.  The first vaporizer in the 1990’s was made with this kind of heating system.  Most older conduction heated vaporizers must use an external source of heat such as a flame or butane.  However, within the last few years vaporizers that are more advanced and do not need external heating sources are available.  Typically portable vaporizers are the type of vaporizer that most uses the conduction form of heating. 

The problem with conduction heating is that it is difficult to keep the product from igniting.  The point of vaporizing is that there is no combustion involved.  Without combustion, there is no smoke and the product is heated only to the point of vaporization. They also force the user to work harder to breathe the vapor into their lungs.  Additionally, controlling the heat levels of a conduction vaporizer is much harder.  The heating element is made so that it will only heat to a certain temperature.  This does not involve sensors. 

Despite their common limitations, conductive heated vaporizers have come back.  Companies have developed more advanced ways of controlling the temperature.  Conduction heating is a more simple technology and easier to put into a small vaporizer.  Therefore, many portable vaporizers take advantage of those and have developed a better conduction heating system.  

Convection heating

Convection heating is where hot air is passed through the blend to heat it.  Convection heated vaporizers used to be limited to table top vaporizers.  However, lately some portable vaporizers have been developed to also use convection heating.  Forced air vaporizers are made possible with the convection style heating.  This allows balloon style vaporizers to blow the vapor into the balloon for group use. 

The biggest advantage of the convection heated vaporizers is that their temperature is easier to control.  Because of the way the heating works, digital heat sensors and other technologies can monitor and control the vapor so it does not get too hot. 

One disadvantage is that convection heated vaporizers tend to be more expensive.  The technology used to blow hot air through the herbal blends is more progressive. 

Which one is best?

Almost every current vaporizer uses both systems to some degree.  That way the vaporizer offers that best of both types of heating system.  In general convection heating is a better route because it is more easily controlled.  However, a few companies have made conduction heating just as reliable.  Also, convection heating is more expensive.  For potable vaporizers conduction heating is often best because it is more portable.  Which heating system is best depends upon various factors of the person who is buying the vaporizer.