Cigar Room Ventilation Tips
It’s the dream of every cigar aficionado to have a place to smoke at home, the perfect cigar den where one can truly relax. As regulations on smoking in public become increasingly restrictive, more smokers are looking for ways to enjoy cigars at home without forcing the smell on family or roommates.
Creating your own personal haven does require some effort and expense, but the results are worth it. Along with a humidor and all the accessories for smoking, the ideal cigar den needs a good ventilation system.
Cigars may smell delicious while you’re puffing on one, but you don’t want the smell of stale cigar smoke lingering around the house. Some well-heeled smokers have spent thousands of dollars tricking out their smoking rooms, but there are ways to do it yourself on a budget. Here are tips for keeping your space’s air clean.
You need to install some sort of exhaust system that can move the smoke from the inside to the outside. One good choice for getting the smoke out of a room is an attic fan. These can be purchased at any home improvement store and you may be able to install it yourself, if you’re handy around the house. If you’re not, we’d recommend calling a professional.
Before shopping for this equipment, you need to figure in the size of your room and how many people will be smoking there at any given time. Exhaust fans are rated by something called CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute. A typical room measuring 10′ x 12′ with eight-foot ceilings would require an exhaust fan rated at 200-300 CFM for one smoker or 900 CFM for four. If you’re planning to use your cigar den to entertain your BOTF, plan ahead by buying a larger exhaust fan.
After the fan is installed, use insulation to direct the smoke out of the room through the roof, a wall or a window. Insulated ductwork running through the ceiling can direct smoke outside through a vent.
If your room is small or your budget is tight, you may be able to get by with a box fan in a window. If you rent and aren’t allowed to make improvements, this may be your best option. Turn it backwards so that it sucks the smoky air from the inside and blows it outside.
Cigar lounges have powerful (and very expensive) air purification systems installed that prevent smoke smells from lingering. You can do the same thing on a smaller scale by buying an air purifier. These purifiers use activated carbon to remove smoke and other smells from the air and are available at a variety of price points.
For instance, you can get a small purifier like one of the Whispure models from Whirlpool for under $300. Similarly, RabbitAir makes a line of very highly-rated air purifiers for under $550. Or, on the other hand, you can spend $1,200 for the IQAir Multigas GC.
At the very least, if you have a very small room and don’t expect to have other smokers over, you may be able to get by with one of the Honeywell tabletop air purifiers that sell for about $50.
Air Handling Systems
If the sky’s the limit, consider installing an air handling system. This system will work separately from the home’s central air and heating system, and should include an electronic air cleaner and an energy recovery ventilator. These specialized systems can circulate the air in the room as well as clean out the smoke. Overall, it’ll cost about $5,000, including installation.
But getting that old, smoky air out is just half of the job. The other half is getting clean air in. For this you need a window or vent, preferably one across the room from the exhaust fan. Furthermore, another window fan can be used to bring in additional fresh air.
If your smoking den is in a basement or another windowless room, you’ll need to install insulated ducts that connect to your home’s HVAC system. It’s integral that the system bring in clean air and not pump the smoky air back into the rest of the house.
Perhaps your home lounge doubles as a barroom. In this case, you’ll need some aesthetic ambience to breathe some life into the room. From drinking glasses, interior mood lighting and ashtrays to the furniture you choose, be wary of the potential repercussions.
While it may not seem like it, your furniture choices can indeed have an effect on your smoking room’s air quality. Hard surfaces – like hardwood floors and tabletops – will be easier to clean and absorb less smoke. Similarly, leather sofas and chairs add to the cigar-friendly ambiance, and absorb less smoke than fabric upholstery.
Also keep this in mind: if you lay down carpeting, it should be vacuumed and shampooed frequently to get rid of lingering smoke odors.
Setting up your own smoking den isn’t exactly easy or cheap, but the effort will pay off when you have a place to relax and enjoy a cigar whenever you feel like it.