How to Adjust the Humidity of Your Humidor Like an Expert

Jeff Miller
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Humidity Control

No matter what type of product you decide to use to age your cigars, a humidor will need to have a consistent level of humidity. In the past, cigar connoisseurs kept their humidors at high humidity, but more recently, experts have learned that lower humidity levels are still fine if the cigars are stored for less time.

The main reason for this, is that most cigar collectors don’t buy cigars for immediate consumption. Instead, they will save up for the smokes they think are the most delicious or the most beautiful. This allows them to have a wide humidor-reserve for all of their favorites, without the need to “taste-test” all of their cigars frequently.

In addition to buying cigars to smoke later, many cigar lovers will also stock their humidors with a special box or two of cigars they plan to smoke in the future, as a special treat. This way they will always have some of their favorites near, without having to sacrifice their favorite current smokes.

Regardless of how you use your humidor, it’s important to make sure that you have the proper controls in place. Otherwise, you’re bound to have problems with mold and mildew, cigar-rot, and eventually buying more cigars than you can smoke!

What is the Perfect Humidity?

Even if you’re a novice, you probably know that humidity is a very important aspect of cigar storage. The delicate filler of a cigar needs to be protected from the elements, but it also needs to be protected from overly humid conditions that can foster mold growth and leave a cigar too soggy to smoke.

In general, a relative humidity of 65 to 70% is ideal for your cigars. Every cigar is different, however, and therefore ideal humidity levels vary slightly from cigar to cigar.

If you’ve purchased a humidor, the manufacturer should include a hygrometer, usually in the form of an analog dial gauge. This instrument measures the humidity within the humidor so you can check your levels regularly. Forcing your humidity levels above or below the ideal range can damage your cigars, so it’s important you learn how to adjust your humidor…

Humidors are not airtight containers and they can’t be. Cigars, however, are technically not alive anymore, so they have lost their natural ability to regulate their moisture levels. This is why you need to help them out a bit by maintaining the proper humidity inside your humidor.

How to Increase Humidity

How to Lower Humidity Levels

When you don’t have to pay much for cigars and don’t have much space to house a humidor, lowering humidity levels may be a good option for you. However, in order to keep your humidor at the right humidity level, you have to understand what causes changes in the humidity and what you can do about them. Here is the basic information you need to know about reducing humidity to prevent it from affecting your precious cigars.

Location

When you are storing your cigar collection in the humidor, it’s good to keep the humidity level unlocked. This will help to allow heat to escape that the humidifier would rather trap. This will help with two main things: it will lower the overall humidity level and it will make sure that the humidity level is consistent throughout the entire humidor.

Size

Escape of heat is crucial when it comes to increasing or decreasing the humidity amount. Keeping your cigars in a small humidor can cause it to remain at the set humidity level. However, this is not a good option because it will increase the humidity of the cigars if they are getting less ventilation.

Never Use a Hair Dryer on Your Humidor

What Can Have an Impact on Humidity Levels?

As we mentioned, relative humidity is an important factor in the storage of tobacco. Since we can’t control the climate, many humidor owners try to avoid adding more dry air to an environment with too little humidity. Sadly, this rarely works.

Most of the ways we introduce air into our homes causes it to be drier. For instance, when we close a door, we exhaust humidity in the room by moving it out of the house. The people who live in the house inhale the air and exhale it again. To improve indoor air quality, many people have a humidifier in their house. As it turns out, this may be counterproductive if the humidifier is directly in front of your humidor.

In many homes, the humidifier used to supplement the relative humidity in the house is a cool mist humidifier. These work by evaporating solvents, typically water, and blowing air out into the rooms. As it turns out, some solvents, such as tri-chloro ethylene, are common in these humidifiers.

How to Supplement Humidity

You may find you need to adjust the humidity of your humidor if there is a drastic change in weather. A humidor is an airtight container in which cigars are stored. You should definitely keep cigars in your humidor, rather than in the open air, because the constant changes in temperature and humidity that occur outside will quickly dry out the cigars. This is especially true if you live in a region with low humidity.

You have two options for maintaining humidity in your humidor: you can either purchase a humidifier called a puck or a hygrometer, or you can use a damp sponge. Adding about half a cup of water to a humidifier will slowly release high concentrations of humidity over the course of years, but you can get the same effect with a damp sponge inside the humidor.

As for those of you who have humidors in your homes, here’s a little tip: Don’t take your humidor down from the closet during the winter months. The temperature inside your freezer will be cold enough to protect the cigars provided the humidity remains constant. If you’re using a humidor that you have to regularly refill to maintain the humidity, remember that if you don’t usually fill it up completely, it might be best to let it be until winter is over and you can refill it.

Final Thoughts

If you’re someone who keeps cigars in a cigar humidor, you’ve probably experienced something comforting about having a nice humidor around. Cigars are meant to be kept in humidors, aren’t they? And so cigars that are stored in an appropriate humidor, remain tasty and good to smoke.

But like anything else, cigars need to be kept in good working order. The humidity of the air inside the cigar humidor can go up and down – much higher in the summer and much lower in the winter.

What can you do about it? As a cigar smoker, you know that like any other product you consume, cigars need to be stored in optimal conditions. You don’t just drop a bottle of wine in your trunk if it’s too hot or just stick lettuce in your refrigerator because it’s too cold. So of course, you have to monitor the humidity levels in your cigar humidor. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some simple, but effective ways to keep your humidor in peak working order.