A humidor is just a simple box, more or less aesthetic and made of wood. So to ensure the good conservation of your cigars, it is important to integrate a humidifier so that the humidity rate is optimal. But do you know how to choose it? We give you some tips to explore before buying or changing yours.
The openings and closures, the mixture of scrolls, but also the wood which remains a living and porous element are elements that favor the fluctuation of humidity in the humidor. In order to maintain it at an ideal level, a humidifier is more than recommended.
Depending on your budget and the size of your cellar, some models will be preferable. Here is a small overview of the different humidifiers and which one to choose according to your needs.
This is the oldest and most common absorption technique, as this type of humidifier is accessible to everyone. They are easy to use and require only a small priming operation before being placed in the cellar.
However, floral foam humidifiers need to be refilled every 2 weeks or so and it is important to check the humidity level regularly. It is therefore a reliable solution, but rather restrictive if you are often away. Please note that, being very porous, floral foam will also tend to absorb certain molecular by-products from cigars, such as ammonia. This system must be changed every year, but remains ideal to start your cigar collection.
Highly absorbent, silica gel can capture up to 500 times its weight! Priming is similar to that of humidifiers in floral foam. More efficient, they only need to be refilled every 2 to 4 weeks and the gel refill must be changed every year. They are, however, a little more expensive than the floral foam humidifier, but they give you a little more freedom since the humidity level is regulated a little more effectively. They also work much better when the outdoor environment is regularly ventilated.
Silica beads are ultra absorbent and pre-treated with propylene glycol. Like the previous ones, it is necessary to prime them beforehand and it will be necessary to add water every 2 to 4 weeks. However, the refill has a life span of about 5 years! By buying a pack, you can keep the same humidifier for your whole life! It is thus a really effective humidifier and not very expensive compared to its durability. On the other hand, if you are going to be away for a long period of time, you will have to fill your device just before you leave. It should also be noted that this type of product does not release humidity when the rate drops. In addition, if the beads are exposed to heat or air conditioning, they will become ineffective. It is better to use it in a small or medium humidor.
These are the most expensive humidifiers on the market, but also the safest. They are active, which means that they continuously monitor the humidity level for you, using sensors. As soon as the humidity level drops, the humidifier automatically releases moisture. The cartridge should be refilled monthly and replaced once a year.
These devices are often plugged into the mains or run on batteries. Cables can be a negative point to the aesthetics of a luxury humidor, depending on the location and your point of view. They are also equipped with thermometers to know the temperature of your humidor, as well as hygrometers. Some have alarms to warn you when the water needs to be changed or the battery needs to be replaced. These products are not suitable for all budgets and are best purchased when you have a large cellar, but it is an easy solution to live with!
The gel and water release steam and this is precisely the model on which the bag humidifiers operate. It is thus possible to obtain a very precise rate since the contents of the sachets are specifically studied to maintain it during weeks!
It is possible to find some from 69 to 75% of humidity to answer all the requirements. With one packet, you can humidify about 25 cigars. If you have more, you will need to increase the number of packets in your humidor. Even if you exceed the number of bags, it will not affect your cigars, but it will also extend their life! This ultra practical and inexpensive solution is a real revolution in the smoking world, but the bags must be replaced often, i.e. every 2 to 3 months. It is a good solution for small humidors, because the price of these humidifier bags is still high.