The olfactory recess-a blind pocket at the back of the nasal airway-is thought to play an important role in mammalian olfaction by sequestering air outside of the main airstream, thus giving odorants time to re-circulate. Several studies have shown that species with large olfactory recesses tend to have a well-developed sense of smell. However, no study has investigated how the size of the olfactory recess relates to air circulation near the olfactory epithelium. Here we used a computer model of the nasal cavity from a bat to test the hypothesis that a larger olfactory recess improves olfactory airflow. We predicted that during inhalation, models with an enlarged olfactory recess would have slower rates of flow through the olfactory region (i.e. the olfactory recess plus airspace around the olfactory epithelium), while during exhalation these models would have little to no flow through the olfactory recess. To test these predictions we experimentally modified the size of the olfactory recess while holding the rest of the morphology constant. During inhalation we found that an enlarged olfactory recess resulted in lower rates of flow in the olfactory region. Upon exhalation, air flowed through the olfactory recess at a lower rate in the model with an enlarged olfactory recess. Taken together, these results indicate that an enlarged olfactory recess improves olfactory airflow during both inhalation and exhalation. These findings add to our growing understanding of how the morphology of the nasal cavity may relate to function in this understudied region of the skull.