The scorching heat of the Sacramento area during the summer can really take its toll. If you’re like us, you probably shelter indoors from the sun’s rays during the warmer months. One of the best ways to find relief is to enter an air-conditioned space. However, you may have noticed that when you enter your home to cool off, you experience a headache. We take our customer’s comfort seriously, which is why we set out to answer the question: does air conditioning give you a headache?
WHAT CAUSES HEADACHES?
Before diving into the answers, it’s important to first take a look at what causes headaches in the first place. Headaches are common, and virtually everyone has experienced one at some point in their lives.
There are different types of headaches, each triggered by different factors. Muscle contractions cause tension headaches, which are a common type of headache. Migraines, which environmental factors often trigger, are another type of headache.
A typical headache can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours. As you know, they also range from mild to totally unbearable.
Sure, you can often treat your headache with over-the-counter pain relievers. Unfortunately, the pain can come back quickly if environmental factors are the cause. If you find that you get headaches indoors often during the summer months, it may be from your AC.
HOW COLD TEMPERATURES AFFECT HEADACHE SUFFERERS
Exposure to cold temperatures, including cold indoor temperatures, causes a few things to happen that may lead to headaches. First, cold air tends to be dry. This can cause your sinuses to be drier than usual, potentially triggering a headache.
Next, the blood vessels in your head can constrict due to very cold temperatures or prolonged exposure to the cold. This also contributes to the development of headaches.
So, does air conditioning give you a headache? Because of the cooling and drying effects of AC, the answer is: possibly yes.
HEADACHES FROM AC ARE WORSENED BY DEHYDRATION
Changes in temperatures that affect the blood vessels primarily cause headaches from air conditioning. Additionally, you may experience a headache from air conditioning due to dehydration.
Cold temperatures magnify even slight headaches, and dry indoor air further worsens them. You’ve probably heard the “8 glasses of water a day” recommendation. In fact, you may need even more water depending on your situation. You should talk with your doctor to determine what the right amount of water is for you.
THE QUALITY OF YOUR INDOOR AIR IS IMPORTANT
Something else to consider if you experience headaches as a result of air conditioning is the quality of your indoor air. For example, mold spores in the air can trigger headaches in some people. Mold can hide in cracks and crevices where it goes unnoticed.
Mold and other allergens can compromise your indoor air quality. If you’re concerned about allergens in the air, your doctor is the professional to consult about matters regarding your health.
SO, DOES AIR CONDITIONING GIVE YOU A HEADACHE?
Yes, but don’t worry. You can often reduce the chances of developing headaches in air-conditioned spaces by making a few small adjustments. First, consider turning your thermostat up by a degree or two. Even slight changes in your thermostat’s settings can reduce dryness and the chances of getting a headache.
HAVE YOUR HVAC SYSTEM CHECKED
If you suffer from indoor headaches, consider consulting with an HVAC professional. In some cases, faulty or outdated HVAC components may not work properly. This can mean that your thermostat displays one reading, but the actual indoor temperature is cooler. Your faulty equipment could be making you more vulnerable to headaches!
An HVAC service technician can inspect all of your system components, make repairs if necessary and ensure your indoor comfort. You can also rely on your HVAC service technician to make recommendations for improving your HVAC system function. Maintaining your air conditioning system is vital to protecting your investment and staying cool during the hot California summers.
INSTALL INDOOR AIR QUALITY SOLUTIONS
Simply changing out your air conditioner’s filter may be enough to prevent allergens from dispersing throughout your home. Check and change your filter every three months or more often if you have pets. If a filter change doesn’t solve your problem, a Sacramento HVAC company can inspect your indoor air quality. At Gallagher’s, we use the most current tools and years of experience to diagnose potential problems.
After that, using air purifying systems can greatly improve your home’s air quality. These systems automatically clean the air in your home using advanced filtration technologies. Cleaner air can even help your HVAC system by reducing clogs from dirty air.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
Air conditioners can certainly worsen your headaches, but you may have an underlying medical condition. Attacking the root cause of your headaches with your doctor should be your first step.
CONTACT THE PROS TO KEEP YOU COMFORTABLE
Even if air conditioning does cause headaches, we hope the information we’ve given you above helps reduce the problem. Your comfort is our priority, after all. In the Sacramento region, Gallagher’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is known for our HVAC services. We specialize in keeping our customers comfortable all year long.