What is Nest Airwave? [Conserve Energy Feature]

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Nest airwave is a feature on nest thermostats that can help you conserve some energy and electricity costs by shutting off the compressor before the set temperature is reached to ensure that the desired temperature is reached by continually blowing out the cool air.

Although this might sound a little complicated, you’ll appreciate how Nest Airwave works by first understanding your central air conditioning.

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How To Reduce (Save) Energy using Nest Airwave

To properly understand how Nest Airwave helps you save energy, let’s first look at how a central air conditioning system works. An air conditioner works with the help of a compressor and a fan. The compressor pushes cold refrigerant across the evaporator coil.

It is at the evaporator coil that cooling of your indoor air takes place. Heat is absorbed by the refrigerant running through the coils, and the air on the surfaces of the coils cools down and is blown into your home by the fan.

When the target temperature is reached, the compressor shuts down. And this is where Nest Airwave comes in.

Nest Airwave shuts down the compressor before the target temperature is reached. This is because coils remain cold for 5-10 minutes after shutting down the compressor. However, the fan will keep blowing out cool air after the compressor is shut down, and the target temperature will still be reached within 10 minutes.

This will help you save energy and keep you feeling comfortable.

How does Nest Airwave work?

How does Nest Airwave work?

Nest Airwave uses artificial intelligence to learn how much cooling your system will deliver after the compressor shuts off. This ensures that it stops the compressor at the right time and gets the temperature to the point you want.

To use or activate the nest airwave, turn it on from the app or the thermostat.

Pros of Nest Airwave

  • It saves some energy and cuts electricity bills.
  • Easy to turn on.
  • It does not need to be paid for (price included in the initial purchase price.


  • Not suitable for all regions. (Not recommended for regions of high humidity)
  • It can recycle the humidity back into your home.
  • The energy that can be saved by nest airwave is not so significant (Nearly the same energy that any other smart programmable thermostat can conserve)

How to turn Nest Airwave On and Off

You can turn on Nest Airwave from your thermostat or application. And if the humidity level in your home falls below a certain level, then Nest Airwave will automatically turn on. But when Airwave is turned off, it will never turn on even if the humidity level becomes very low.

Here is how to turn on Airwave on the home app.

  1. Press Your Device’s Tile and On the Top Right Corner
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Select Temperature Preferences
  4. Select AirWave
  5. Tap The Switch to Turn Airwave on And Off

How to turn on Nest Airwave on your thermostat app

  1. Go to settings
  2. Select thermostat
  3. Tap airwave
  4. Tap the switch to turn Airwave on or off

To turn on Airwave from your Nest thermostat

  1. Go to the quick-view menu
  2. Tap the settings icon
  3. Go to Nest Sense
  4. Select Airwave
  5. Select Airwave off or airwave on

Is Nest Airwave Beneficial?

There is no definite answer to this question. The benefits and the downsides of Nest Airwave depend on a few things. Nest Airwave does work great in dry climates like Arizona but not so well in places with high humidity, like Florida, because that can make things a little uncomfortable since it tends to pump the humidity back into the house.

Why Nest Airwave is not Ideal In Locations with High Humidity?

As mentioned, airwave works by automatically shutting off the compressor before the set temperature is reached. What does that mean in terms of humidity levels?

  • An air conditioner has evaporative coils and a condensate line. When the AC is running and blowing the warmer air on the evaporator coil, it sheds off the heat as it passes along the surface of the cold coils carrying freon.
  • This causes water, also known as condensation, to form on the coils like water forms on a glass containing cold water.
  • But depending on the size of your air conditioner and a few other factors, the air conditioner needs to run for at least 10 minutes for condensation to formulate enough to drip down the drain.
  • Now, most central air conditioners are so large that the first cycle doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes to reach the desired temperature. With that in mind and assuming the outdoor temperature is 85 or less, the moisture will build up on the coil but not enough to drip down the drain.
  • And that’s where the problems come in. When the Nest Airwave is on, it will continue blowing the air on that moisture that formed on the coil.  This will make the humidity blow back into the house.

Try by all means to avoid running the fan all the time, as this increases the humidity level in your house. Only run the fan continuously when necessary, for example, when there are allergies in your household, and there are things you need to filter out.


When should I use Nest Airwave?

You can use Nest airwave when you want to save some energy and when you want to increase the humidity level in your home.

Is Nest Airwave worth it?

While many people may find Nest Airwave very helpful, it is not worth the extra bucks for your Nest thermostat. Any other smart programmable thermostat can do what your airwave does. But sometimes, it’s best to get firsthand experience before making a judgment. That’s because what cannot work for one person can work for another

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