The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your house. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even worse 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 thoughts is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would help air quality. But does it work in practice?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA studied the impact 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, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed toxins.
While research implies plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one problem when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research room. So, it’s tough to say what—if any impact—houseplants have on your home’s air quality. According to Time Magazine, the air in your home changes frequently and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality around your home.
In addition to that challenge, the things that plants can impact are slightly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting 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 likely won’t fix all the indoor air quality issues in your space, 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 best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it gets dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm your system is clean.
- Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Integrity AC & Heating LLC can help you select 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 large difference in your air quality, there’s no harm in keeping them around. If you’re ready to increase the quality of the air in your home, Integrity AC & Heating LLC can help. Give us a call at 602-971-0567 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.