If you suffer from frequent summer headaches, your air conditioning could be to blame. AC is a modern comfort welcome in most areas and a downright necessity in others. However, your head could end up suffering during the long, hot months of summer.
How Your AC Can Give You a Headache
There are several reasons your air conditioner could be causing your head to throb. Here are some common contributing factors and some solutions to help you feel better.
While your air conditioner is bringing the indoor temperature down to an enjoyable temperature, it is also drawing out the humidity in the air. One great benefit is the reduced risk of indoor mold and mildew. However, one drawback to reduced humidity levels is an increased risk of dehydration.
There is an elevated risk of dehydration during the summer months due to the climbing temperatures outdoors. However, if the indoor air becomes overly dry and you don’t consume enough water, it could lead to dehydration.
Along with dehydration comes the risk of a painful headache. Caused by the brain temporarily contracting due to fluid loss, dehydration headaches can be mild or severe.
Dehydration headaches are simple to prevent, however. Make sure that you stay well hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends 91 ounces of water from food and beverages each day for women, and 125 ounces for men.
You can also combat dehydration by running a simple humidifier in your home or office space. This will help prevent the indoor air from becoming excessively dry.
Cold Temperatures Cause Blood Vessel Contraction
If you are the type of person who likes to keep the indoor temperature chilly enough for penguins and polar bears, it may be causing your headaches. When you get cold, the blood vessels in your body contract to help preserve body heat. As the blood vessels in your brain contract, it can cause you to develop an uncomfortable headache.
To prevent this, simply turn up the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees.
Excessive Noise from Your AC Unit
It isn’t a secret that loud environments produce headaches. If your air conditioner is loud when it runs, or even if it just hums at a frequency that irritates you, it could contribute to your summertime headaches.
If you think your air conditioner’s compressor is annoyingly loud, call your local AC technician for a unit tune-up. The problem may be remedied with some basic adjustments to the unit. However, excessive noise could be an indication that you may need a whole new model.
Headaches and Airborne Allergens and Chemicals
If you suffer from frequent headaches, it is possible that your AC unit is circulating more than just air. If your vents and duct work aren’t clean, a forced-air system will send dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens into your living or work space.
Also, chemicals from cleaning supplies, construction materials, paint, or other sources can cause problems if your indoor space does not have adequate ventilation. Your AC system will just keep recirculating irritating or toxic substances through your indoor spaces repeatedly.
One potential solution to the problem of airborne allergens and chemicals is to schedule regular cleaning and maintenance for your AC system. A qualified professional AC technician can make sure all parts of your system are clean and running efficiently.
Consult Your Doctor and Your HVAC Technician
Persistent headaches could be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Therefore, if you have recurring migraines or serious headaches, you should consult your physician for proper diagnosis.
However, if your headaches are mild, and you are convinced that your air conditioning is contributing to your suffering, consult your AC technician to diagnose and remedy any potential problems with your AC. The solution may be as simple as basic maintenance and cleaning, no doctor visit required.