To a cigar lover it’s all about the ideal smoking experience. For some that means enjoying a nice Maduro with a bourbon neat and stargazing at the end of a long day. Others may pull out a fine Corona to enjoy on a fishing expedition with their friends. But what it all boils down to is when the flame toasts the foot you want your experience to be everything you expect and more.
Where You Live and Proper Cigar Storage
The best way to ensure your cigars are always in optimum smoking shape where you live is by storing them properly. That means placing them in a humidor where you’re able to maintain the temperature and relative humidity for the best cigar keeping environment. You rely on your humidor for the protection of your beloved cigar collection. Your humidor prevents your cigars from drying out or becoming too moist. When you keep your stash in the proper environment you needn’t worry about pests or mold and mildew compromising the integrity of your favorite stogies.
And you know how to maintain the temperature and humidity at the preferable levels by keeping your humidor out of direct sunlight, away from heating vents and anything else that may cause damage. But what about the day to day temperature and humidity extremes where you live? Can climate and other environmental factors disrupt your cigar utopia? The short answer is yes climate and atmospheric conditions do impact your cigars even as they are in their ideal humidor environment.
So, what can you do? Here we take a deep dive into the effect of climate and environmental changes on your stashed stogies. You want to keep your cigar collection fresh and perfectly palatable and we’re here to tell you how.
The Climate Where You Live and Your Humidor
Basic meteorology tells us that places like the desert southwest are far more dry than the Florida Everglades or Washington’s Bainbridge Island. The air in and around Denver is much thinner and therefore dryer than the air in Detroit. No matter how airtight your home or your humidor is where you live these atmospheric differences may pose a challenge when it comes to maintaining the proper temperature and relative humidity in which to keep your cigars.
Of course tropical areas are more humid than desert areas but altitude and temperature also have an impact on humidity. Thin air such as that found in higher mountain ranges can’t hold humidity like the air at sea level. Cold air and seasonal winter weather causes you to bump up your indoor heating. This also impacts your indoor humidity as does central air conditioning in the heat of summer.
While your home may be insulated to the nth R factor and your indoor environment very comfortable, your humidor hygrometer may tell a different story. Even the best sealing humidor falls prey to weather extremes and fluctuating indoor temperatures. Maintaining your collection is a constant balancing act.
Seasonal Weather Changes
The best tobacco growing regions are tropical in climate. So doesn’t it stand to reason that higher humidity in certain locales would be beneficial to your cigar storage? Nope. Not at all. When the humidity spikes where you live, as after intense summer rains, the damp air can seep inside even the most well-sealed humidor. If your humidor is poorly sealed your entire collection of cigars may grow damp and mold and mildew can fester and ruin your smokes. At the very least humid weather outside may penetrate even just a little bit and cause issues when lighting your cigars.
Cold weather, like winters in the midwest, and burning hot, dry summers such as they experience in desert areas, leech moisture from your skin and cause dryness, cracking and premature aging. Think of your cigar wrappers like your skin. Exposed to dry winter or desert conditions your cigar wrapper can dry out, crack, break apart and render your cigars un-smokable.
Dry winter weather or a scorching summer drought may make your typical method of humidification useless. When your indoor HVAC is working overtime it can be very challenging to maintain a decent humidity no matter how hard you try.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Cigars Where You Live
Really, the surest way to prevent the weather and climate where you live from harming your cigar collection is by first always storing your stogies in the proper humidor. Don’t overfill your trays and keep up with humidor maintenance. Make sure you have the most accurate and easy to read hygrometer you can find. That way you’ll know right away if you’re sliding into the trouble zone.
The type of humidor you own truly makes a difference. A high quality box with a high quality hygrometer is less likely to fall victim to the environment and cause ruination to your cigar collection. Remember Spanish cedar, the lining of most quality humidors is porous and holds moisture or dries out depending on the relative humidity.
If you know the weather where you live fluctuates to extremes be sure you keep your humidor locked away in an area where there are no HVAC vents to disturb the room’s environment. By securing your humidor in an area of your home that isn’t blasted by heat or dehumidifying AC you greatly reduce the risk to your cigars.
Do you live in a dry, arid environment? Consider adding a room humidifier to maintain some moisture in the air. Not only is this good for your cigar collection but it helps your skin from becoming dry and keeps your nasal passages moist and comfortable.
In winter months as in locations where the air is dry we suggest a properly calibrated humidification device. Also beneficial in dry areas and dry conditions is a solution that includes propylene glycol along with distilled water. But, before you attempt a new formula for your humidification please refer to your humidor manufacturers guidelines.
Your Humidor Source Matters
Yes, where you live matters to your cigar collection integrity and so does your source for humidors and accessories. That’s why we offer advice and guidance when it comes to all things cigar. Please reach out to the knowledgeable staff at Northwoods Humidors.