The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but hard. 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 search for ways to purify the air they breathe all the time. 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 reviewed the influence 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 see the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established 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 house. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 regularly and depends greatly on the outdoor air quality around your home.
Beyond that challenge, the things that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of 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 hovering around your home—and there’s nothing plants can do about those.
While houseplants might not be able to fix all the indoor air quality issues in your home, 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 regularly and change it when it gets dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and best 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.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Dearing's Service & Solutions 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 holding a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. You can choose 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, Dearing's Service & Solutions can help. Give us a call at 812-200-5844 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.