Affinage is the art of aging cheese.
Methods vary depending on type of cheese being aged, intentions/skills of the affineur, and the equipment on hand.
Most cheese makers here are amateurs. Francious and Linuxboy being exceptions that immediately come to mind.
That being said, for most aging requirements, there is a specific desired temperature and humidity for each type of cheese. One issue I and other folks here have to deal with is that they quite often make several types of cheese that may in fact have different/competing environmental requirements. From that perspective, compromises need to be made if one is not willing to make separate accommodations.
A proper natural rind, a waxed rind, and a vacuum sealed rind all do pretty much the same thing. They seal and protect the inside of the cheese from the elements. A proper natural rind is damn near impervious providing a virtually hermetically sealed wheel of cheese. Wax and vacuum sealing do much the same thing.
Borrowed from a previous post of mine:
The rind is the outer/exterior portion of a wheel if cheese. If this is a natural rind, it is the same cheese as the inside of the wheel, except that it is allowed to dry and harden. The whole point of any rind is form a protective barrier. A natural rind is simply cheese that is exposed to the air allowing a tough crust to form naturally. (thus the term Natural Rind). This tough, hard, dry exterior protects the inner (meat) of the cheese from over-drying and allows the inner cheese to age. A natural rind is not normally considered good eats as much of the cheese flavor is lost over time, when compared to the interior of the wheel. (But I rarely let it go to waste….)
If you do not want your cheese’s exterior to dry out and form this protective barrier, then you can do several things. You can stop the exterior of your wheel from drying out by waxing, vacuum sealing, shrink wrapping your whole wheel. These all do much the same thing in that they prevent the exterior of your cheese from drying out and thus forming a natural rind.
So, to answer your question directly, you will need to control the temperature of your cheese as it ages, but if you, as the affineur, are trying to develop a natural rind, you will need to control your humidity very closely. Why would you do this?
Natural rinds are more traditional. Waxing can be messy. You may not have a vacuum sealer.
Going back to how I started this, the “why” depends on what you as the affineur are trying to accomplish.
BTW, all of my comments are hard cheese centric.