As a cigar aficionado, you understand the importance of keeping your cigars at the right humidity level. An electric humidor is a great way to maintain the perfect environment for your cigars as it automatically controls the temperature and humidity levels at the push of a button. For many cigar smokers, this is the allure of electric humidors and frigadors. However, maintaining the ideal 65-72 percent humidity level can sometimes be a challenge. 

How do I maintain the humidity in my electric humidor?

While both regular and electric humidors serve the purpose of preserving cigars, the key difference lies in the automation and control provided by electric humidors. Maintaining an electric humidor differs from a regular humidor in several key aspects. 

Humidity Control

In a regular humidor, humidity control relies on manual adjustments and monitoring. It typically involves using humidification devices like humidifiers or gel jars, periodically adding water or a propylene glycol solution, and monitoring humidity levels with a hygrometer. Maintaining a consistent humidity level in a regular humidor requires regular attention and adjustment.

On the other hand, an electric humidor is equipped with an electronic humidification system that automates the humidity control process. These systems often include built-in sensors, humidifiers, and fans to regulate and distribute humidity evenly throughout the humidor. The electronic controls allow you to set and maintain a specific humidity level, taking the guesswork out of manual adjustments.

Temperature Control

While both regular and electric humidors require temperature control, electric humidors often have more advanced temperature regulation systems. Regular humidors typically rely on the ambient room temperature for temperature control, while an electric humidor may have built-in temperature control mechanisms such as thermostats or cooling systems to maintain a stable temperature range.

Monitoring and Adjustments

In a regular humidor, monitoring and adjusting humidity levels manually is a frequent task. You need to regularly check the hygrometer readings, add or remove humidification devices, and make adjustments based on the humidity fluctuations. This manual process requires constant vigilance to ensure the optimal humidity range is maintained.

In an electric humidor, the electronic controls automate the monitoring and adjustments. The built-in sensors continuously measure the humidity levels, and the humidification system automatically adjusts to maintain the desired humidity range. Some electric humidors even offer remote monitoring capabilities, allowing you to monitor and control humidity levels through a mobile app or a digital interface.

Maintenance and Care

Maintenance and care for both regular and electric humidors share some similarities, such as regular cleaning, inspection of seals, and occasional seasoning. However, electric humidors may require additional maintenance specific to the electronic components. This could include things like cleaning or replacing filters, checking the functionality of the electronic controls, and ensuring proper airflow for the internal fan systems.

Obviously this decision-making occurs when buying an electric humidor, so if you already own one, you might research any potential problems your model might have and how to troubleshoot.

Here are some tips on how to keep your electric humidor at the right humidity:

  1. Choose the Right Humidification Device
    Ensure that your electric humidor is equipped with a reliable and efficient humidification device. Different models may use various types of humidifiers, such as electronic or ultrasonic devices. Research and select a device that suits your needs and provides consistent and accurate humidity control. 

    Obviously this decision-making occurs when buying an electric humidor, so if you already own one, you might research any potential problems your model might have and how to troubleshoot.

  2. Regularly Monitor the Hygrometer
    The hygrometer is crucial for monitoring the humidity level inside your humidor. Make sure to check it regularly to ensure it is functioning accurately. If you find any discrepancies, consider calibrating or replacing the hygrometer to maintain accurate humidity readings.

  3. Use Distilled Water or Humidor Solution
    Depending on the type of humidification system in your electric humidor, use either distilled water or a propylene glycol solution to maintain proper humidity. Distilled water is suitable for electronic or ultrasonic humidifiers, while a propylene glycol solution is recommended for devices using foam or gel cartridges. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for filling and refilling the humidification device.

  4. Avoid Overcrowding
    Overcrowding your humidor can disrupt airflow and affect humidity distribution. Leave sufficient space between cigars to allow for proper air circulation. This will help maintain consistent humidity levels throughout the humidor.

  5. Proper Humidor Placement
    Place your electric humidor in a location away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and areas with extreme temperature variations. Exposure to direct sunlight or excessive heat can lead to fluctuations in humidity levels. Also, avoid placing your humidor near air vents, drafts, or areas with high humidity, as they can impact humidity stability.

  6. Regularly Inspect Seals and Gaskets
    Ensure that the seals and gaskets of your electric humidor are in good condition. Check for any signs of wear, damage, or air leaks. Damaged seals can lead to air exchange, affecting humidity control. Replace any damaged seals or gaskets promptly to maintain optimal humidity levels.

  7. Clean Your Humidor
    Regularly clean your electric humidor to prevent the mold, bacteria, or residue that may affect humidity levels and the quality of your cigars. Use a mild solution of distilled water and a soft cloth to clean the interior surfaces, being cautious not to wet any electronic components.

  8. Season Your Humidor
    If you have recently acquired a new electric humidor or if you notice humidity fluctuations, consider seasoning your humidor. Seasoning helps condition the wood and stabilize humidity levels. Follow the manufacturer's instructions or refer to our previous blog on humidor seasoning for detailed steps.

  9. Regularly Maintain Humidification Devices
    Humidification devices, such as foam or gel cartridges, can accumulate residue and lose efficiency over time. Regularly clean and maintain these devices according to the manufacturer's instructions. Additionally, consider replacing them periodically to ensure consistent and effective humidity control.

  10. Be Mindful of External Factors
    Keep an eye on external factors that may impact the humidity levels in your electric humidor. Changes in ambient temperature, humidity, or environmental conditions can influence the internal humidity. Adjust your electric humidor settings accordingly or relocate it if necessary to maintain optimal conditions.

Why won't my humidor stay at 70?

If your frigador is not maintaining the 70% humidity level, there may be several reasons why. Here are some common causes:

Overfilling the humidor

Overfilling your humidor can cause the humidity level to drop. Make sure there is enough space in your humidor for air to circulate and for the humidifier to maintain the desired humidity level.

Incorrect placement of the humidifier

The placement of the humidifier can also affect the humidity level in your humidor. Make sure the humidifier is placed in the center of the humidor and not touching the cigars.

Damaged humidifier

If the humidifier is damaged, it may not be able to maintain the desired humidity level. Make sure to check the humidifier regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear.

Inconsistent temperature

Inconsistent temperature can cause the humidity level to fluctuate. Make sure to keep your electric humidor in a stable environment where the temperature does not fluctuate.

What if my electric humidor is too humid?

Electric humidors should self-regulate the humidity levels once set to the desired range. But if your humidor struggles to keep humidification levels low, you may need to take some manual steps to lower the humidity. If your electric humidor is too humid, there are several steps you can take to correct the issue:

Remover the humidifier

If the humidifier is the cause of the excess humidity, remove it from the humidor. Allow the excess moisture to evaporate before replacing the humidifier.

Use a dehumidifier

If removing the humidifier does not correct the issue, use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the humidor. A small dehumidifier can be placed in the humidor to help absorb excess moisture.

Open the door/lid

Opening the lid of your humidor can help to release excess moisture. Leave the lid open for a few hours to allow the excess moisture to evaporate.

If your humidor continues to have higher humidity levels, even after you’ve made these changes and have changed the settings, the humidifier on your unit could be defective, and it’s worth consulting the manufacturer. 

What is the best temp for an electric cigar humidor?

The ideal temperature for an electric cigar humidor is between 65-70°F (18-21°C). Temperatures outside of this range can affect the flavor and overall quality of your cigars. It is important to keep your electric humidor in a stable environment where the temperature does not fluctuate.

What if my humidor is at 75 humidity?

If your humidor is at 75% humidity, it is slightly higher than the recommended 70%. However, it is still within an acceptable range that likely won’t cause any significant damage to your cigars. You can leave your humidor as is and monitor the humidity level regularly to ensure it does not increase further. If you find that the humidity level is consistently higher than 75%, you can manually lower the humidity of yor humidor to see if this holds long term.. It’s important to maintain the ideal humidity level to prevent any mold growth or other issues that may affect the quality of your cigars.

If your humidor does run higher, consider dry boxing your cigars for a couple days prior to smoking. Even with a humidor closer to the 65-72 percent humidity levels, it’s helpful to give your cigars time in a non-humidified environment just prior to smoking them. 

How long does it take to get a humidor to 70?

The time it takes to get a humidor to 70% humidity level depends on several factors, including the size of the humidor, the quality of the humidifier, and the environment where the humidor is located. In general, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours for a new humidor to reach 70% humidity level after setting up the humidifier and adding distilled water or humidor solution. But, even then, you need to fully complete the seasoning process, sustaining that relative humidity for as long as a week before adding cigars. 

After reaching the desired humidity level, the humidor requires egular monitoring and maintenance to ensure it stays at the optimal level. This includes checking the humidifier regularly and adding humidor solution as needed. It is also recommended to keep the humidor in a stable environment with consistent temperature and humidity levels. By following these steps, you can maintain the perfect environment for your cigars and enjoy them at their best.

Parting Puffs

Keeping your electric humidor at a consistent 70% humidity level requires some attention to detail and regular maintenance, even with the automation. It’s not always quite a set-and-forget process. Invest in a high-quality humidor, season it properly, and use distilled water or a propylene glycol solution to maintain humidity. Monitor the humidity levels and make necessary adjustments. Arrange your cigars thoughtfully, maintain a suitable environment, and regularly clean and inspect the humidor. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that your electric humidor provides the ideal conditions for your cigars, allowing them to age gracefully and preserving their flavor and quality for an enjoyable smoking experience. To learn more about humidors, which might be right for you, and how to get the optimal performance from your unit, be sure to explore our comprehensive guide to humidors

Carl Corder | Author
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