About Cigar Room

Basic Premise

I began brainstorming and building my first cigar room in 2006 shortly after moving into my first home.  My brother and I had a simple idea of creating a completely sealed up room with its own ventilation system so you can smoke all day long and not affect the rest of the house.

An exhaust fan creates a pull in the room.  The room is sealed so the only place the room can pull new air from is a fresh air intake run connected to the outside of the house.  This creates a flow of old air being exhausted and new air being brought in continually.

Exhaust Smoke vs. Purifying

Back before most states had smoking bans in bars you may remember units called Smoke Eaters in the ceilings to help purify the air.  While that concept has a degree of success in larger environments my belief was the easier and more effective route would be to completely exhaust the air in a smaller cigar room.

The 2 cigar rooms I have built aimed to do complete air changes every 1-2 minutes.  This goal ultimately drove the calculations to figure out the desired exhaust fan strength and the ducting size needed to support that.   These concepts and my recommendations are further covered in the Ducting and Exhaust Fan sections.

While exhausting the room is let’s say 98% effective, pairing this method with an air purifier gets you to 100% effective.  When I’m done exhausting the room I’ll run a Csonka Air Purifer overnight.  That unit releases ozone which naturally neutralizes the smell of smoke.  This gets rid of the 2% of smoke that may have somehow stuck around in the room.  The end result is a room that smells like any other in the house and no one would be able to tell cigars where ever smoked in.

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Air Pressure & Temperature

The only catch with exhausting smoke entirely is that you need to bring in an equal amount of fresh air from the outside to keep the room at an equal pressure.  Exhausting more air than you can resupply to the room would create a negative pressure in the room which wouldn’t be desirable.  This is easy to plan for by ensuring your ducting sizes for the exhaust and intake are proportional.

The trickier issue was how to get the incoming fresh air to be at the desired temperature when its cold outside.  To solve for this I came across a company called Electro Industries.  They make a duct heater that inserts into the ducting run.  Their duct heaters have temperature sensors.  When the temperature of the air passing through is less than the temperature you program the unit for the heating coils in the unit turn on and temper the air.  This unit works well enough that I comfortably smoke in this room in the dead of winter in Michigan.

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Controls

Both rooms I have created had controls on the wall for the exhaust fan and for the duct heater.  The exhaust fan control is a variable speed dial so you can precisely control how much air pull you want to create in the room.  The duct heater is on a simple on/off switch that you could turn on at your discretion.

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First Room (New Build)

The first room I built was part of an entire basement finishing project.  The biggest positive that provided me was a complete open canvas so I could put wiring, ducting and exhaust fan wherever I wanted.

The cigar room itself was 8 ft by 12 ft.  It had a 5 foot wide picture window that looked into the rest of the basement. This allowed me to be in the cigar room and enjoy watching the big screen TV that was wall mounted in the main room. I also put flush mount speakers in the cigar room that fed audio from the TV.  I installed a volume control in the cigar room so you could independently control how loud/quiet the sound was.

The door was almost entirely glass.  This along with the large picture window made the room feel very open even though it was modest in size.

Almost everything in the room was automated, mainly because I had such easy access to run wiring before the everything was drywalled.  When you came in the room you would flip a switch and the house HVAC register would automatically shut itself off and the fresh air intake would automatically open itself up.

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Second Room (Room Conversion)

I moved to a new house in 2016 and one of my first projects was building a new cigar room.  This time around I built the room on the main level as opposed to the basement.

The room I picked was a former office and was an ideal choice due to its access to run ducting.  Ducting space and access is the largest challenge typically when looking at converting an existing room.  Above the ceiling was access to part of the attic so I could run the exhaust to the roof line.  On the far side of the room was access to the garage on the other side of the wall.  That allowed me to install an intake point low on the wall, run ducting up the wall to the attic and then over to the side of the house where intake hood is installed.

The office also was a perfect choice because of its wood crown moldings and beautiful built-ins.  Prep for the room was quick. I put a fresh coat of paint in the room and replaced the carpet with tile to help avoid smoke sticking around in the room. From there I was ready to start running ducting.

To see photos of both projects view the Photo Gallery.

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