What types of humidification systems are there and what are the differences?

Published :+ 2017-02-03 00:00:00
Categories : Humidification of the humidor

All humidification systems fall into one of the following four categories:
  • Sponge: For decades, a green foam sponge was used in humidifiers, of the same type used in floral arrangements. The French company Credo has been the largest supplier of these humidifiers for many years, so their brand name is often used for any humidifier which uses this system. The sponge is placed in a round or rectangular plastic case, depending on the size of the humidor. It is simply soaked in distilled water for humidification. However, the amount of moisture it releases is unpredictable and uneven, so that the humidor where it is placed is susceptible to sudden and significant variations in humidity level. These humidifiers are still used today in most low-priced humidors. It is generally recommended to replace these humidifiers with one from another category.
  • Acryl polymer: Acryl polymer based systems are used in most brand-name humidifiers today. The acryl polymer can be in the form of crystals or a more practical porous acrylic fleece. Acryl polymer crystals are tiny in their dry state, filling only a fraction of the casing and will rattle around inside like grains of rice when shaken. As soon as water is added, the crystals swell to several times their original size and fill the inside of the humidifier with a jelly-like mass. If the correct acryl polymers are used, they have the following advantages over traditional sponges:
  • - They absorb much more moisture with the same volume.
    - Moisture is released more evenly over a period of weeks.
    - The desired humidity level of about 70% is achieved more reliably.
    - The risk of creating too much moisture is reduced.
    - Humidity fluctuations are compensated for more quickly.
  • Boveda Packs: The American company Boveda produces small, saline-filled, plastic packets which create different RH (relative humidity) levels. They are officially known as Boveda Humidipaks. These small bags are practical, hygienic, and easy to use. At the centre of this ingenious idea is a patented reverse-osmosis membrane which ensures that the humidity contained in the saturated saline solution is released if and when a lowered RH level in the humidor requires it. The same pack will also absorb the extra moisture when an RH level is too high. The fact that these must be replaced regularly means germs have no time to develop. Boveda Packs last about one or two months and one bag should be used for every 25 cigars stored. They are available with the following RH levels: 65%, 69%, 72% and 75%.
  • Electronically controlled systems are without a doubt the best humidifiers on the market today. In most cases they must be purchased separately from the humidor. Most aficionados eventually switch to electronic humidifiers, and once you have experienced the advantages they provide, there is no going back. The sensors of the electronically controlled humidifiers continuously monitor the humidity in the humidor and then prompt the humidifier to release more moisture as needed. When the desired humidity level is reached, the moisture supply stops automatically. The user is informed as soon as the humidifier needs refilling. By monitoring and maintaining exactly the desired humidity level throughout the humidor, electronic humidification systems make worrying about the contents of your humidor and constantly checking the hygrometer a thing of the past.

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