A humidor should always be in constant humidity to properly store cigars and ensure they are well seasoned. A good humidor should have a permanent humidifying system like a humidifier to keep the cigars moist. If cigars are stored without a humidifier, they will quickly lose moisture and dry out according to the surrounding levels of humidity in less than two days. A good humidor should also have the optimum temperature to prevent cigar rot. Temperatures below 25 degrees encourage hatching of tobacco beetle eggs which rots the cigars. On the other hand, the temperatures should not go lower than 12 degrees since low temperatures impair the aging process of cigars.
Relative humidity in humidors should be regulated 65% to 70%. This depends on an individual’s taste preferences. However, it should never exceed the 75% mark for slow proper seasoning.
Below are factors that cause wooden humidors start to lose their humidity:
Lack of good seasoning
Wood that makes the humidor is part of the humidification system that provides flavor and humidity to the cigars. If the wood lacks proper seasoning, it robs moisture away from the humidor which dries the cigars out. Proper seasoning can avoid this.
A humidor should be seasoned by wiping the wood with a clean cloth damped with distilled water. Caution should, however, be taken since oversaturation destroys the humidor. A humidifier should then be left in the humidor for 24 hrs and the process repeated to ensure moisture is continuously retained.
Regular and unnecessary lid opening of the humidor
To ensure humidity levels are stable. The lid should always be closed. It, however, doesn’t have to be too airtight as high temperatures will destroy the cigars. However, the unnecessary opening of the lid brings about a balance of atmospheric pressure from the external environment which makes the humidor lose moisture. To keep the humidity levels constant, a humidor should only be opened quickly and closed again only when necessary.
Lack of proper servicing
Using a hygrometer, moisture levels should constantly be between 65 to 70%. If the temperatures are dropping, it should not be assumed that the humidor will stabilize by itself. Distilled water should be used to prepare and season the humidor again. To ensure durability, humidors should be serviced at least once a year. Regular checkups should be done more during winter as humidity levels are extremely low. The hygrometer should be recalibrated at least once in every 6 months.
Wooden humidors are prone to heat, air conditioning, interior lighting and sunlight destruction. Exposure to sunlight exposes the wood which makes the humidor lose humidity. To keep humidor temperatures stable, a humidor can be stored in a drawer or a cool dry place with temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Regulate the number of cigars in the humidor
The cigar inventory should be full to maintain stable humidity in the humidor. If the humidor is full, the humidified cigars help maintain a steady humidity in the humidor. Therefore, the humidor doesn’t lose humidity too quickly. Humidors with few cigars expose the wood to the external environment thereby making the humidor lose humidity quite fast.
Putting dry cigars in a humidor
Dry cigars detract humidity since they soak up moisture from the humidor. This causes a drop in humidity in the humidor. If all the cigars are dry, the humidor has to be seasoned after every few days to maintain humidity. After the cigars are no longer dry, the humidor will maintain a stable humidity level.
If the above factors are checked, and the humidor is still not working correctly, consider replacing the humidor. However, a properly maintained humidor will last a lifetime.