Nest Airwave is a feature for the Nest Thermostat to save you energy when running your air conditioning. The airwave feature on the Nest Thermostat sends a signal to your AC compressor to turn off but keeps the HVAC blower on to keep circulating air past the cold interior coil to keep cooling. Doing this saves can save you a lot of energy and we’ll explain how below. But first we’ll give a you a short lesson on how your HVAC system works.
How Nest Airwave Saves You Energy & HVAC
In a standard HVAC system there are several key components. Most HVAC systems have an air handler, which also have a built in furnace burners that burn natural gas that goes through a heat exchanger and then that heat is blown around your home using a blower fan.
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The air handler/blower fan is the portion of your system handles the air and pushes it around the house. The furnace portion are the natural gas burners which heat up the air. But the air handler is used to blow both cool and hot air through the house depending on if your Nest Thermostat is set to heating or cooling mode.
In the summer when you want to cool your house the air conditioning system uses closed system full of refrigerant to remove the heat from your house and transfer it to the outdoor condenser and compressor system which typically looks like a box with grates around it like the picture below.
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As the refrigerant travels through your air conditioner it removes the heat from your home with a coil. The coil is small piping bent into rows designed to transfer heat filled with cold refrigerant pushed by the air conditioning compressor. The coil is located inside your air handler typically above the blower and furnace. The blower inside your house then blows the warm air in your house across the cold coil and cools down your house.
But here’s the thing in the process of cooling down your house there are two main mechanical components; the blower motor inside the air handler and the air conditioner compressor.
What might surprise you is that even though your the blower inside your home may sound really loud with all that air rushing by it is actually very efficient. The blower motor uses a very small amount of electricity in comparison to the air conditioning compressor which draws a ton of power to push refrigerant through the system. The Nest Thermostat uses this principle to save you energy with airwave.
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How Nest Airwave Works
The Nest airwave feature is designed to exploit the difference in energy draw between the air conditioning compressor and your blower motor.
When the Nest airwave feature is enabled it stops your compressor prematurely so your HVAC system is using less power and but keeps the blower motor running. This has the effect of reducing your electricity consumption while maximizing air conditioning system efficiency. The blower continues to blow warm air over the cold coil while condenser is off to get the most out of the already cooled coil even though the compressor is off which uses majority of the energy in your air conditioner system.
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How To Set Up Nest Airwave
Step 1: Download the Nest app, install your nest thermostat and set up the Nest thermostat on the Nest app.
Step 2: Open the Nest app and click on the setting icon that looks like a gear in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Step 3: In the menu scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the airwave menu item.
Step 4: Slide the menu bar over to turn Nest Airwave on or off.
How Much Energy Can Nest Airwave Save You?
Nest airwave can help save you energy in the summer which is the time when the electric grid is most likely to be overloaded and many electrical companies charge premiums for electricity.
Air conditioning systems cause strain on the electric grid in the summertime when thousands of people are using their air conditioners all at the same time. The additional strain on the power grid in the summertime requires utility companies to produce more power during peak times which can cause higher fossil fuel emissions and higher electricity costs.
So when you use Nest airwave you can not only reduce your energy usage but you can also help reduce the overall grid level energy consumption during peak electrical demand times.
Studies say that a smart thermostats like the Nest Thermostat can reduce your energy usage by 10-15% annually. In my experience I have found this to be true, and if you’re dedicated to saving energy you can typically save even more by using the Home and Away features of the Nest thermostat and setting your thermostat to more eco friendly temperatures.
However the total energy reduction is based on saving energy in both heating and cooling seasons. In the summer it’s hard to differentiate exactly how much energy you save using features like the Nest Airwave with your air conditioning system because your also saving money with the Home and Away feature and eco mode settings. Its possible that using the airwave feature could boost your energy savings by a few percentage points when combined with the other smart features of the Nest Thermostat.
Nest Airwave: Summary
Nest Airwave is a useful tool to help you save energy and make your HVAC system more efficient. It’s really an ingenious feature that Nest engineers decided to add to the thermostat. I’m all about saving energy so any way that helps give me an edge without creating inconvenience I’m a big fan of. In fact don’t even notice when the Airwave feature is working because cool air is still coming out of the vents even though the air conditioner is off.
The airwave feature is just one of many amazing features packed inside the Nest Thermostat which are great tools to both save you energy and help you live more comfortably.
The Nest Thermostat is a great investment in your home and saving energy. I have a Nest Thermostat installed in my home and can’t imagine living without it now that I’ve had it installed for several years. There’s nothing better than remotely controlling your thermostat from bed at the end of a long day if you want to adjust the temperature a few degrees to be more comfortable.
I also have my Nest Thermostat connected to Alexa so I can control it with voice commands like “Alexa, set the thermostat to 70 degrees.” I’ve noticed that I save even more energy when using voice commands with Alexa because it’s so easy to tell Alexa to set the thermostat to a specific temperature.
My current favorite Alexa device is the Alexa Echo Show 5 because it’s a great value with it’s included touch screen.