What is Nest Airwave – The Ultimate Guide in 2023 

The Nest Smart Thermostat is arguably the best smart thermostat of the current age! It enjoys this status due to its high amount of energy savings, which is indeed the primary purpose of a smart thermostat!

Nest ensures low energy usage due to a number of smart features including one of its kind, the Nest Airwave feature!

What is Nest Airwave? In this article, I will explore the Airwave feature in-depth, including how it works and how is it helpful!

I’ll also answer a common question that is Nest Airwave good or bad? Therefore, keep reading, so that you can find answers to all your questions!


First things first – What is Nest Airwave?

Nest Airwave

The Nest Airwave is an energy saving feature of the Nest thermostat, that saves energy while your Air Conditioning is on.

It achieves this by turning off the Air Conditioner, but keeping your HVAC system on, so that the air keeps circulating and the cooling continues.

How does Nest Airwave Work? A short and a long answer!

The next question that might arise in your mind is How does Nest Airwave work? I have both, a short and a long answer to this question!

The short answer is that since Nest is a smart thermostat, it learns how much cooling can be achieved with the Air conditioner’s compressor off.

On the basis of this learned behavior, Airwave automatically turns off the compressor at the right time in order to save energy!

Now, if you are a curious Tech geek like me, you will definitely be interested in the long answer. So here it goes:

Nest Airwave works in a smart manner whereby it keeps the HVAC air blower motor running while the air conditioning compressor (which consumes the most energy) is off.

Since, the blower is running, it keeps blowing cool air on the already cold compressor coils, hence resulting in an overall cooling effect!

This way, the air conditioning (or cooling) continues even when the air conditioner is off itself!

How to Turn on Nest Airwave? (A Step-by-Step guide)


Turning the Nest Airwave on is not at difficult at all!

Now that you know what is Nest Airwave, here is a step-by-step guide on how to turn it on, in order to maximize your HVAC savings.


Step 1: Rotate your Nest thermostat’s knob and head over to ‘Settings’. Tap on ‘Settings’


What is Nest Airwave



Step 2: This will open a sub-menu in Nest and now you need to head over to the ‘Nest Sense’ setting as shown below. Tap on it.


What is Nest Airwave



Step 3: This will open a list, move down and tap on ‘Airwave’.


What is Nest Airwave



Step 4: Finally, rotate the knob and select ‘Airwave on’ from this menu.


What is Nest Airwave



ALL DONE! Now your Nest smart thermostat is ready to use the Nest airwave feature!

You can check out this video on Nest Airwave by One Hour Smart Home:

How long does Nest Airwave run?

Not all smart thermostats are aware of the fact that the compressor coils stay cold for 5-10 minutes after the compressor has been turned off.

Luckily, the Nest smart thermostat fully understands this and this is why the Nest Airwave runs for 5-10 minutes.

If the indoor humidity is less than 45% and there are 5-10 minutes left for the Nest thermostat to reach the target/set temperature, Airwave takes the charge, turns off the compressor and runs the fan alone to keep you comfortable yet saving energy!


Is the Nest Airwave Good or Bad?

According to my personal research on this highly debatable question, I have come to the conclusion that a vast majority of users find the Nest Airwave as useful, so I would say that the Nest Airwave is good.

It saves HVAC energy and that’s what you want to achieve out of a smart thermostat like Nest.

However, exceptions are always there; some users reported that this feature was reintroducing moisture into the air.

I would suggest you to turn on Nest Airwave for a couple of days, and if you feel like it is doing the same for you and is not suitable for your home, then you can turn it off.


How much Energy can I save with Nest Airwave?

The Nest Airwave certainly saves a subsequent amount of energy!

What really happens is that small savings add up to become a lot. The Nest Airwave runs anywhere between 5-10 minutes before reaching its target temperature.

Considering that Nest will reach its target temperature several times a day, Airwave will also run multiple times.

This means the total minutes it will run (and the Air conditioner will not run) will be somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes.

Hence, your air conditioner will be off for around an hour in a day, resulting in lower air conditioning costs!

I would personally use Nest Airwave myself and would recommend you to turn it on your Nest thermostat, in order to maximize your savings!


Should I use Airwave on Nest?

Yes, you should use Nest Airwave to increase the efficiency of your Air Conditioner and to reduce your electricity bills. You should keep the Nest Airwave feature on and the system will do the rest. When the room’s humidity levels are within the desired range of Nest Airwave, the Nest Airwave will take control and save additional electricity.

Moreover, I personally believe that such features of smart devices unleash the true potential of Smart Homes!


What is the required Nest Airwave humidity level?

The Nest Airwave works at low levels of indoor humidity. The required humidity is level is below 45%! If your home’s indoor humidity is below 40 or 45%, Nest Airwave will actively work and save energy!



Nest Airwave is a powerful energy-saving feature in the Nest thermostats. Not only does it save energy, but it also uses a fascinating technique (involving HVAC systems) in order to achieve it!

In today’s article, we learned what is Nest Airwave, how does it save energy and how to turn it on. We also learnt whether the Nest Airwave is good or bad! I hope this article proved to be an ultimate guide on the Nest Airwave.

Happy smart homing!

Stefen Turner

Hey! My name is Stefen and I am the founder of Smart Home Hunt. Prior to starting this blog, I used to work as a Full-Stack Web Developer in the field of Internet of Things (IoT).

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