Your humidor is like a good friend; there when you need it, taking care of your valued possessions when you ask, something (someone) you can count on. But what about when things start to go wrong? What happens when the humidification and temperature can no longer be maintained? What if there is a gap and your humidor can no longer provide the necessary seal? When the friendship between you and your humidor is no longer working, it’s time to replace your humidor.
First, for those who aren’t familiar with the science behind the humidor and just how it maintains the perfect storage environment for your beloved cigar collection, we’ll take a look at what makes your humidor tick. In other words, how does a humidor work?This helps you determine when it’s time to replace your humidor.
First, The Science Behind Your Humidor
The job of the humidor is to create and maintain an environment that is consistent in temperature and humidity and maintains the freshness and integrity of your cigar collection. In order to understand how this is accomplished you need to examine the components of your humidor.
- The Humidifier: The humidifier adds moisture to the air inside the humidor. This prevents your cigars from becoming too dry and losing the flavor you enjoy. There’s a wide range of humidification systems but they all have the same job; to release the optimum amount of moisture into the air within the humidor through evaporation or other methods. Your hygrometer indicates the precise relative humidity within your humidor.
- The Thermostat: Just as the air within your humidor needs to be at the proper level of relative humidity the temperature within also needs to be regulated in order for your humidor to do its job. The thermostat, much like your HVAC thermostat, regulates the temperature in order to maintain the optimum environment, between 65 and 70 degrees.
- Spanish Cedar Lining: Spanish cedar is the preferred wood used to line humidors, however there are some other cedar veneers equally as adept. The Spanish cedar has an aroma which is unique and enhances the cigar experience. Cedar also contains an oil that repels insects and mold. The cedar wood lining aids in maintaining the proper moisture levels within the humidor.
- Seal: Obviously it’s impossible to maintain the correct temperature and relative humidity without the proper seal. Different wood used to line your humidor aids in maintaining the seal and doesn't let humidity out or ambient air in, especially Spanish cedar.
- Trays: Depending on the size of your cigar collection, separate trays help prevent the cigars from touching. This is especially important as touching may lead to a change in cigar enjoyment due to a mingling of flavors. Unscientifically, the trays help you maintain organization of your collection which makes it easy to find the right smoke at the right time.
3 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Humidor
As you can see the ability of your humidor to do its job and do it well is dependent on all of these components working together. When one fails to do its job, your pride and joy-your cigar collection, may fall victim to drying out, becoming moldy, insect infestation from the dreaded tobacco beetle, or simply loss of flavor. Here we offer three signs it’s time to replace your humidor before any of these tragedies occurs.
1. The Humidity Level Keeps Fluctuating
The correct humidity level is crucial to keeping your cigars in excellent condition. Most cigar experts recommend you keep the relative humidity inside your humidor as indicated by yourhygrometer at around 70%. This optimum level of humidity prevents your cigars from becoming too dry or too moist and at risk for mold. If you notice the humidity level fluctuating it could be a sign something isn’t right. This could be due to a number of factors. The humidor may have sustained some damage somehow, the seal may be broken, for instance, or several other reasons.
If you notice the humidity levels consistently changing it’s a sign it’s time to replace your humidor.
2. You Notice Your Cigar Emits Discolored Smoke
When cigars dry out too much there is an obvious change in the color of the smoke. Normal cigar smoke is on a spectrum from white to light gray. Cigars that are too dry or too moist emit a brownish-tinged smoke. If the smoke from your cigar is discolored it could be a sign of one, or all, of the following:
- Your cigar is too old
- Your cigar is too dry
- Your cigar has been stored in a humidor that is not maintaining the correct humidity
- Your cigar is too moist due to over humidification in the humidor
Any of these problems may point to a defect in your humidor. Even though you’ve providedproper care and maintenance, the defect may indicate it’s time to replace your humidor.
3. There is A Noticeable Change in the Taste of Your Cigars
Anytime the flavor of your cigars changes it could be a sign that your humidor is failing. Cigars are meant to maintain their flavor consistently over time. However any break in the seal or failure of the humidification system within the humidor can be evident in the taste of your cigar.
When you notice a change of this kind it’s typically because your cigar is too dry or too moist. Both cause a degradation of the tobacco, including encouraging mold growth or insect infestation. The change in the integrity of your cigar indicates improper storage and goes right back to your humidor. Why trust your cigars with a defective humidor? The reason for your humidor is to prevent degradation and preserve your cigar collection in order to ensure the best cigar experience. Change in flavor is absolutely a sign it’s time to replace your humidor.
Time to Replace Your Humidor? Let Us Help
If you’re experiencing any of the above indications it's time to replace your humidor, or you just want to upgrade, reach out to the experts at Northwoods Humidors. We offer a full line of humidors, from those for the budget conscious to heirloom quality designs you’d be proud to pass on for generations. We also have a complete line of cigar accessories to fully enhance your smoking experience. Contact Northwoods Humidors today and let us help you.