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 challenging. 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 work in practice?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA assessed 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, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to see the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.
While research suggests plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your house. Your home is not a closed research space. 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 often and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality around your home.
In addition to that challenge, the elements that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can eliminate harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Sadly, 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 circulating around your home, begin 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 gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure your system is clean.
- Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at B & B Heating & Cooling can help you find a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also impacts 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 choose 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 enhance the quality of the air in your home, B & B Heating & Cooling can help. Give us a call at 314-325-7552 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.