Is My AC to Blame for My Headache?

June 9, 2023
AC Maintenance in Nacogdoches, TX

Few things are worse than a headache that just won’t go away. It can cause intense pain that shoots around your head and neck or trigger a dull aching pain that nothing can touch. While you might need to make an appointment to talk to your doctor, you should also take a look at your HVAC system. These systems often cause headaches among those who spend a lot of time in the air conditioning. We’ll go over some of the reasons why you feel those aches and pains.


Allergies can wreak havoc on your body. You might try to relax at home to avoid triggers like pollen and cigarette smoke, but your HVAC system could be putting you at risk regardless. HVAC systems pick up pollutants in the air, spreading them through your ducts. You can move to a different room or adjust the thermostat, but this won’t help. The longer you spend with common allergens, the more you could suffer from headaches.

Some common pollutants that your HVAC system can pick up include:

  • Chemicals like those in cleaning supplies
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Wood and paper particles

Replacing your air filter or scheduling a duct cleaning can both help.


You know that you need to drink water and stay hydrated when you’re outside in the East Texas sun, but did you know that you can also experience dehydration at home? When you use the AC setting, it grabs air and moves it over a space filled with evaporator coils. Those coils both remove humidity and cool the air before it reaches you. The problem is that it can remove too much of that moisture, which leaves you dehydrated. Headaches are one of the more common signs of dehydration.

Aggravated Existing Conditions

For those with pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure or arthritis, central AC can trigger unwanted symptoms that include frequent headaches. Studies show that pain management can be more difficult, too. Those with diabetes may also experience AC headaches. Research indicates that cold weather causes blood sugar spikes that are hard for diabetics to regulate. Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar readings, which often present with headaches and other symptoms. Using your air conditioner to stay cool can cause your blood glucose levels to increase and stay high until your body warms back up.

Response to Noises

Have you ever gone to a concert and woke up the next morning with a pounding headache? This is your body’s natural response to the noise stimuli. The same thing can happen at home when your HVAC system is particularly noisy, especially if it makes frequent or constant loud noises. These noises can put more stress on your body and lead to constant headaches.

What Can You Do?

If you have headaches and believe your HVAC system causes them, look for things you can do to prevent or counteract them. Your first step should be cleaning the ducts. Air ducts can pick up many pollutants as well as dust and debris just from the air that moves through them daily. Periodically cleaning the ducts can keep your indoor air cleaner, reduce strain on your AC unit, and reduce your risk of allergen-induced headaches.

You can also limit how much time you spend indoors or around the AC. For each hour you’re inside, take a few minutes to go outside. Drinking more water and running a humidifier can also help. Experts recommend that women should drink 11.5 ounces of water per day while men need 15.5 ounces. Though you can get hydrated from some other liquids, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks, water is the best way to prevent dehydration and the headaches it causes. Using a humidifier improves the moisture content in your home and can also help with dehydration. You should run the unit a few times a week.

Avoid HVAC Headaches

To avoid headaches caused by your HVAC system, opt for regular repairs and maintenance. With our maintenance tune-up, we calibrate your thermostat, check the wires and other parts, and ensure the entire system runs as it should. We also offer AC installation and repairs for those in East Texas. Reach out to Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. for HVAC maintenance to avoid future headaches caused by the system.