Climate and Temperature Change Effect on your Humidor
If you live in a climate similar to mine – I live in Canada- and my winters are cold (usually an average temperature in January would be something like -5 to -10 degrees C, or 14 to 25 F. But in the summer, it is not uncommon to get temperatures around 25-30 C or 80-95 F.
The problem where I live is because of this drastic change in temperature over the seasons, this can inadvertently effect the humidity of my humidor if I am not careful. If you store you humidor in your basement, where it is relatively cold in the Power Lineswinter, once the summer hits and your basement temp increases in temperature, this will change how your humidor performs.
Explaining how Temperature affects Relative Humidity in your Humidor
First of all, to create ideal conditions for your cigars to age properly, RH inside your humidor should be kept at between 65 and 75.
Most matter will expand when warmed, and contract when cooled. Think of hydro lines along your street. When its cold, the hydro lines are fairly tight, and in the summer, when it is hot, the hydro lines sag lower.
Air is like a Sponge
So when we are talking about air, I would like you to consider a sponge. As a sponge is warmed, it will expand, thus increasing its ability to hold water. Ever notice power lines? When the warm sponge is cooled, it will contract, resulting in a very saturated sponge. In very unscientific terms, we can compare the air inside a humidor to this sponge. Say you have your humidor stabilized at 70% RH in the wintertime. If the temperature increases, the air expands, and will require more moisture to stabilize the air to 70% RH. If your humidifier is dry, and cannot supply enough humidity to accommodate this temperature increase, your RH will drop, and you will be required to add more distilled water to your humidifier. Consequently if your humidor is warm, and the air is stabilized at 70% RH, if the temperature is lowered, the air compresses, and it will force the humidity level to increase.
Now in most cases and the temperature change is gradual, so you don’t have to get too freaked out about drastic changes in your humidor, but you should be aware of it, and keep a close eye on your hygrometer. If you move your humidor from the basement to the living room, where the temperature difference can be up to 15 degrees, then you may notice this effect on your internal RH. Make sure you have a high quality hygrometer, as many hygrometers that are supplied with humidors are of low quality and are inaccurate.
Optimal Cigar Aging Conditions
For optimal aging conditions, and for superb burn, make sure the RH in your humidor is kept at about 65 – 70.