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How the Weather Affects A Humidor
Q. I currently have 5 ‘humi’ devices in my 400 count humidor. In the summer, I seldom have a problem keeping the RH at or near 67% unless I happen to add several new cigars that are a bit too dry when I receive them. However, in the winter my humi has been struggling to stay at 60% (sometimes a bit less). Oddly, the outdoor humidity has been at or near 90% quite regularly here. I’m sure it’s a bit less due to my home heating.
My question is, why would I have trouble keeping the RH up? Do I need to add more humi-paks? Is it the particular cigars I’ve added? I haven’t added any new cigars in over 30 days but do open my humidor at least once a day to grab a stick for smoking each day.
– Cliff in Langley, OK
A. That’s odd, because usually if the weather outside is more humid, it tends to leak into the house and can raise the RH in your humidor. Since it’s colder during the winter, you turn up the heat, which can make the air drier in the house, therefore, the humidity in your humidor can drop a few points. Moreover, I get more emails about low RH problems during the winter months.
In your case, it might be fair to assume that even though it’s been very damp outside, your house is well insulated, so the heat could be cuasing the lower numbers.Temperature also has a big effect on the RH. If the temp is higher, a lower RH is OK and vice versa. It’s sort of a balancing act.
Regardless of the conditions in or outside your house, try to keep the avg. RH at about 67% year-round. For a cigar humidor like yours, which holds hundreds of cigars, you may want to replace those 5 humidifiers with something like a CigarOasis XL, which constantly monitors your temp and humidity and regulates it.
As I’ve written so often in the past, the best advice is the tactile method: lightly pinching the cigars at the foot, middle and head. If they’re supple you’re OK regardless of the numbers. (I’m always a little skeptical about the readings, anyway.)
Finally, although I don’t know how long you’ve had your humidor, over time the box should “settle” to a point where you only need to do a little maintenance to keep the conditions where you want them.