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5 Must-Know Humidor Tips for Warmer Weather
5 humidor tips to keep your cigars fresh in warmer weather.
Updated April 2023
Ask any smoker which season is worst for keeping their cigars fresh and you’ll unanimously hear “winter.” And in fact, summer usually breezes by without much of a thought to your collection’s wellbeing. It’s that blissful ignorance where many mistakes are made. When the weather is hot and sticky, as opposed to winter, when dry air is the problem, your cigars are just as vulnerable. Depending on where you live, possibly even more so. Let’s get ahead of the problem and help keep your coveted sticks in optimal smoking condition!
That humi-box of yours, no matter what size or how expensive, has a tobacco ecosystem inside and there are certain dos and don’ts to consider in the warmer weather. But this really all depends on the climate you live in and how you keep your home. The general rule of thumb has always been 70-70: 70 % humidity and 70 degrees. There are those who don’t prescribe to that theory at all – but you know what? It’s all about how you like to keep your cigars. Some like ‘em drier. Some like ‘em more supple. I personally like them at 68-69% humidity so when you give the foot a slight pinch, it has a little give and bounces back. But it’s all preference; there’s no right or wrong…until there is. Left unchecked, temperatures and/or humidity that get too high present some real headaches.
So, what’s “too high”? Let’s address that.
Tip 1: Check your hygrometer often
Keep tabs on the hygrometer in your humidor every few days. If you don’t have a hygrometer, make sure you get one. It’s your first and most important defense in keeping your cigars smokable. During warmer months, the RH (relative humidity) will spike and make your cigars too wet to burn. If left unchecked, over-humidified cigars can quickly develop mold that spreads to every stick in your stash. The optimal conditions you’re shooting for fall between 64-72% RH.
Tip 2: How to lower the humidity in your humidor
If your numbers are climbing above 72% RH, you’ll need to take steps to lower it. Try opening the lid for 30 minutes. Is the humidity decreasing? That means the excess humidity is coming from inside the humidor and not the ambient humidity surrounding it. If you have multiple humidifiers or Boveda packs, remove one, close the lid and check again in a few hours. If you only have one humidifier, replace it with something smaller and do the same. Most over-humidification issues will be solved this way.
How to lower your humidor’s humidity in more humid climates:
If you live somewhere like Southern Louisiana, opening the lid may not be enough. That’s because – depending on your air conditioning situation – the RH of the air outside the humidor is more likely a culprit. Move your humidor to a cooler section of your home. A finished basement, a dark closet on the first floor (remember, heat rises), inside a cabinet – all of these are great locations.
Vacuum-sealed jars are a great solution for high-humidity areas. Since they’re hermetically sealed, they aren’t affected by outside humidity. Most jars hold about 25 cigars and with one Boveda humidity pack, they’re self-sustaining for years. I’ve had the same packs in my jars for the last two and a half years – haven’t needed to change them yet.
Tip 3: How to maintain proper temperature in your humidor
We’ve already established those high temperatures bring high humidity along with them. That means keeping tabs on the thermometer stable in your is just as important. The good news is that most digital hygrometers have one built in. A good rule of thumb is to keep the temperature in your humidor within the same threshold, more or less, as RH. Basically, room temperature – 65-70 degrees. If you don’t have air conditioning, use the closets and cabinets I mentioned. If you do, just make sure your humidor isn’t too close to the AC vents or in direct sunlight and you should be okay.
Keeping humidor temperatures low is important:
If your humidor becomes a hot box, it can do irreversible damage to your smokes in two ways. The first is beetles. Temperatures that climb toward 80 degrees are a perfect storm for the beetles’ microscopic eggs to hatch, releasing the dreaded Lasioderma serricorne – unaffectionately known as the tobacco beetle. These hungry creatures are harmless to you, but they will chew holes through your cigars, and if you don’t catch them quick enough it becomes a beetle buffet, destroying your entire collection. If these uninvited little scoundrels do crash your box, carefully remove and inspect every cigar for pinholes, as well as look for any live or dead bugs within. You’re far better off dealing with them preventatively, but if you’ve caught the problem too late, here are some tips on getting rid of tobacco beetles.
Mold, on the other hand, is much more devastating and can ruin not only your cigars, but the humidor, too. High temperatures put your cigar collection at an increased risk of spores developing. Like beetles, prevention is key because an outbreak of mold in your humidor can be frustratingly difficult to eradicate.
Tip 4: Rotate your cigars regularly
We all are guilty of slacking when it comes to rotating cigars, but it’s really important to do at least once a month. Among the host of other factors trying to destroy your cigars, uneven humidification is the easiest to fix. You take your cigars from the bottom of your humidor and bring them to the top. Cigars in the middle switch places with cigars on the sides. It’s really that easy – a two-minute job for most humidors – and especially important if you’re the type to keep the cellophane on.
Tip 5: Use a two-way humidification system
Two-way systems don’t just provide humidity; they regulate it like a thermostat. If your cigars are dry, they’ll quench them. If your cigars are wet, they’ll absorb the excess until the interior of your humidor is at optimal humidity. Boveda offers a wide variety of RH levels in their packs to suit your preferences ranging from 65% to 72%. They even have seasoning kits that’ll help you prime your humidor once the weather turns cold and dry again.
Check out Boveda, along with a few other helpful humidor accessories that’ll make maintaining your smokes a breeze:
Made in varying RH percentages, Boveda has humidity packs to fit virtually any humidor that you can’t walk into. We love them and know you will, too!
H4: Orleans Acrylic Humidor Jar
The easiest humidor you’ll ever own. Holds 20-25 cigars (depending on ring gauge) with a vacuum seal. Drop a Boveda pack in it and forget it. Might not be flashy, but if you’ve got better things to do than babysit your cigar stash, the Orleans Humidor Jar has your number.
Famous Humidification Solution
Still prefer your old-school humidifier? No problem. At 50% distilled water and 50% PG (propylene glycol), Famous Humidor Solution turns any one-way dinosaur into a modern-day two-way humidification system. Here’s how: Distilled water on its own just gives out humidity. Add PG to it, and it gains the ability to absorb humidity as well – perfectly maintaining your humidor at 70% RH.
XIKAR Rectangular Hygrometer
XIKAR makes ultra-premium cigar gear, and this hygrometer shows the temperature as well as being known for its pin-point accuracy. Its sleek design makes it a perfect fit in almost any size humidor.