The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your home. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have indicated 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 all the time. One of the most common ideas 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 found 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 found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied eliminated toxins.
While research implies plants can have a substantial 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 hard 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 greatly on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.
Beyond that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are slightly 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 harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating around your home—and there’s nothing plants can do about those.
While houseplants probably can’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 circulating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it looks dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm your system is clean.
- Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Ilten's Incorporated can help you find a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also affects your air quality. Make sure your home stays comfortable and as irritant-free as possible by keeping a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. You can select from portable or whole home humidifiers to help.
While houseplants can’t make a significant 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, Ilten's Incorporated can help. Give us a call at 319-208-3295 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.