The general concept of the mean diameter of the disperse phase of an aerosol system, first introduced by Mugele and Evans in 1951, has proven to be a very useful one. In this concept, the proper mean diameter, x p,q , is characterized by a single pair of indices, p and q, which are dependent on the actual type of aerosol system under consideration. This paper re-examines the validity of this concept of mean diameter in heat and mass transfer aerosol systems. The concept is found to be applicable only under a very narrow range of conditions. Attention is then given to a more general definition of a mean diameter, applicable to aerosol heat or mass exchangers. Analyses of these devices shows that the more general mean diameter is a function of the capacity rate ratio, R, and effectiveness of the heat exchanger, ε. Solutions to the governing equations have permitted the mean diameter to be presented graphically as a function of these variables. These solutions are given for two types of particle size distributions, the Rosin-Rammler and the log-probability, and for both parallel-flow and counter-flow heat exchangers. The solutions are, however, restricted to cases where the resistance to heat or mass transfer lies exclusively in the continuous phase.