It’s All About the Humidifier
When you shop for a big-time humidor, what do you look for? Size? Capacity? Whether it will impress your buddies?
Those things are all important, sure, but what about the humidifier?
After all, a humidor is only as good as the humidifier it uses, and each one uses a different type, with its own strength and weaknesses. Knowing your humidifiers is the difference between ruining fine cigars, and preserving your smokes so that you can enjoy every last puff. Read on, and we’ll break down the main types for you.
We’ll wait here if you want to light up before we move on… All set? Let’s do it!
Traditional Foam-Based Humidifiers
Traditional foam-based humidifiers utilize a super-absorbent florist’s foam in order to hold and release moisture. They can be refilled with either 1) distilled water or 2) a propylene glycol and distilled water mixture, if you’re fancy like that, and you want to control the release of moisture more.
These types of humidifiers need to be refilled once every 1-2 weeks. When you fill it, you’ll see a burst of humidity. The humidity will then taper off over the next couple of weeks. For that reason, these types of humidifiers are referred to as “passive,” “one-way” humidifiers. They only release moisture, they don’t absorb it.
How do you know when to refill it? Check your hygrometer. If the humidity is too low, it’s time to refill the humidifier. Or, just lift it, and refill if it feels light. Simple enough, right? Also, replace your foam every 6-12 months to keep things functional.[table “” not found /]
Crystal Gel-Based Humidifiers
Crystal gel-based humidifiers utilize small crystals that turn into a gel when wet. That is, when you pour water in, they go from crystal to gel form. As they dry out, they go back to crystal form. How do you know when it’s time to refill it? The same way the DEA knows when it’s time to knock on your door: When you see too much crystal lying around.
Anyhow, use only distilled water, and replace your crystal/gel every 1-2 years.[table “” not found /]
They utilize silica beads that will absorb or release moisture based on the humidity levels in your humidor. They need to be charged with distilled water and refilled every 2-4 weeks. With beads, wet = clear and dry = opaque, so wet them down when you can’t see through them.
Beads don’t lose their ability to absorb water over time, but they do absorb some of the oils from your cigars (thievin’ bastards!). They only need to be replaced every 3-4 years, so you can forgive them.
In case you skipped this section and just decided to read the last line, beads are a passive, two-way humidity control.[table “” not found /]
Of course, if you’ve got nice cigars, this is the best way to protect them.
Electronic humidifiers are the only active humidifier on the market. They come with a built-in digital hygrometer that takes humidity readings periodically throughout the day. Once the humidity drops below the set point, the fans turn on and release humidity. When the humidity reaches the set point, the fans turn off.
It’s like having your own personal humidity control team, making sure that everything is just right, so you can have peace of mind that your little darlings are properly preserved.
Electronic humidifiers also come in a number of sizes and varieties. The water reservoirs typically need to be refilled every month, and need to be replaced every 6-9 months. Most electronic humidifiers have a warning light and/or buzzer that goes off when the water cartridge needs to be refilled, however.[table “” not found /]
All right! You know all about humidor humidifiers. Go forth, and make the right choice for your cigar stocks, and don’t be shy to ask us any questions you might have.Differences Between Cigar Humidor Humidifiers by David Sabot