When the cold winter weather hits and your heat pump kicks in, this can have a detrimental effect on all but the most robust professional humidors.
Where you keep your humidor/cigars is crucial during winter (and summer, but that's another blog post).
From temperature fluctuations (a house with with a fire for example) - cold during the day, toasty hot at night; to dry but stable temperature (heat-pumps); to just downright cold (your man cave or garage); cigars get a hammering during winter!
During winter, cigars kept in your carrying case and even your humidor are prone to experience accelerated drying with the reduction in humidity levels.
Simply put, cold temperatures drop humidity levels.
You may also find that forced heated air will draw the humidity from your humidor also (as by nature is is dry-air).
SO if you are struggling to maintain 68-70% humidity inside your humidor then here's a few suggestions;
- Add a few extra Boveda packs- perhaps try a higher humidity percentage
- Top up your traditional humidification unit with 50-50 solution every 3-4 days. Rules about how often to refill your humidification unit are no longer relevant. Fill it often if your cigars are not moistening up.
- Move your humidor away from any forced air heat source and store it in a stable temperature area. Keep in mind that temperature is part of the relative humidity balance. We strive for temperatures of 18-21C. Avoid large fluctuations in temperature as this can damage your cigars by causing them to dry out and split (the lounge where the fire is, cold while no one is at home; hot when the fire is cranked up).
- Keep cigars in a humidor with plenty of room for more. Circulation around your cigars is important.
- Test for leaks- lift the lid of the humidor and let it drop. If you hear a "whoosh" sound of air escaping, your humidor has a tight seal. If the lid slams shut this may signify that the humidor is not air tight. Humidity will escape. Re-seasons the lips of your humidor to moisten the wood and fix that seal. Remember to use PG solution NOT just distilled water, distilled water alone is useless in seasoning and maintaining your humidor.
- Re-season your humidor by removing your cigars and wiping the inside with a very slightly damp cloth using PG solution. This will give it a jump start on humidity- just don't overdo it it. Replace your cigars (the following day, you don't want the cigars to get direct wet/damp) and keep an eye on your hygrometer .
- Place your humidor inside a chilli-bin in a warm place, no joke, the chilli-bin will insulate the humidor from those temperature fluctuations.
- Always use a Digital Hygrometer; the analogue hygrometers are just not very accurate sorry.
- Glass top humidors are more susceptible to temperature changes.
Cigars can be enjoyed all year round- take care of them and reap the reward.
So, if your cigar is hard to smoke, wrapper splitting or feels a bit mushy to handle, please spend some time today to protect your valued cigar collection!