Smart Thermostats

What is Nest Thermostat's Airwave Feature?

Shannon Flynn
Shannon Flynn
July 21, 2022
What is Nest Thermostat's Airwave Feature?

Those with a Nest Thermostat in their homes or offices know how useful they can be. Being able to control the heat and cooling of a space from an app means people have a better ability to make life more comfortable. Developers have even started introducing machine learning to the thermostats — meaning they can begin making adjustments on their own based on previous user preferences.

The company’s strengths in gaining data insights have allowed them to introduce more environmentally friendly features. One such development is the Nest Thermostat’s Airwave. If you don’t know what Airwave does, read on to learn about the savings it could bring.

What Does Airwave for the Nest Thermostat Do?

Debuting in 2012, Airwave has been making a difference in how long a home’s compressor runs. Residents with this smart thermostat feature can use it to control their central air conditioning — or rather, the thermostat does it for them.

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The idea behind the update was to save energy. Houses with central air use about 3,000-5,000 watts per hour to bring the temperature down. Those with central air conditioning know how much using it can add to their electricity bills. To cool a home, the unit uses a compressor to bring coolant to an evaporator coil. A fan then blows on the coil, chilling the air and moving it about a space.

When the compressor delivers coolant to the evaporator coil, the metal stays cool for a while. Even when the compressor is off, the coil will remain cold until it needs more coolant. Airwave in Nest Thermostats can tell when it can shut the compressor off while still air conditioning the house.

Nest cheekily calls the premise the Popsicle Principe. Their thought is if you blow on a popsicle, it will still create cool air even though it’s outside of the freezer.

Cutting back on compressor use can save on energy. The coil can still produce cold air for about five to 10 minutes after Airwave shuts off the compressor. While that might not seem like a lot of time, having only the fan on for periods of time throughout the day does help save electricity.

Can Airwave Help Save Money?

The Nest Thermostat system creates energy efficiency. By using these thermostats, a resident could expect to save 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Not only does Nest tell you when you’ve set the temperature to a sustainable level, but it can also let people know when they’re using too much. Being able to keep track of this will help homeowners and renters learn where and when they can save on electricity.

The Airwave feature specifically saves money by reducing how much the central air unit uses the compressor. As you can imagine, it takes much more energy to run a compressor than a fan. When it’s hot outside, leaving central air running all day could ramp up electricity bills immensely. Energy costs vary by country and climate, but if a resident is paying $0.39 for electricity, for example, that means air conditioning may cost them over $300 a month. By turning off the compressor early instead of running it all day, Airwave could significantly increase a resident’s monthly savings.

Reducing electricity use is excellent for the planet as well. If a home still uses non-renewable energy sources, it can be contributing to climate change. The electricity industry was responsible for 28% of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. in 2020. For people unable to switch to solar or wind power, reducing how much energy they use can save both money and the Earth for people unable to change to solar or wind power.

Use Nest Thermostat’s Airwave Feature

Buildings with smart technology should take advantage of Airwave for the Nest Thermostat. By turning off the central air compressor early and letting the fan continue to blow cool air, homeowners can enjoy energy and environmental savings while still staying cool when at home. Utilize this great feature to experience all the benefits of the Nest Thermostat.

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Shannon Flynn
Shannon Flynn

Managing Editor, ReHack

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