The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your home. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even higher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to find ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common ideas is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would improve air quality. But does it actually work?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA assessed the influence common houseplants had on air quality in a closed chamber. Within that closed chamber, they realized the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, additional research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.
While research suggests plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research space. So, it’s difficult to say what—if any impact—houseplants have on your home’s air quality. According to Time Magazine, the air in your home changes often and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Outside of that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can remove harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Sadly, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home hurting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving around your home—and there isn’t much plants can do about those.
While houseplants might not be able to fix all the indoor air quality issues in your house, there are HVAC-centered solutions that can help.
- Keep Your System Clean. If you want to keep pollutants from floating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it appears dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Air Quality Solutions can help you choose a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also contributes to your air quality. Make sure your home stays comfortable and as irritant-free as possible by maintaining a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. You can pick from portable or whole home humidifiers to help.
While houseplants can’t make a huge difference in your air quality, there’s no harm in keeping them around. If you’re ready to improve the quality of the air in your home, Air Quality Solutions can help. Give us a call at 614-871-4144 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.