The air quality in your home affects a lot—your comfort, allergies, and even the smells in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. 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 every day. One of the most common solutions is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would help air quality. But does it make a difference?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA reviewed the effect common houseplants had on air quality in a closed chamber. Within that closed chamber, they discovered the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, more research was completed by the University of Georgia to determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed toxins.
While research implies plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one issue 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 often and depends greatly on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Outside of that challenge, the things that plants can impact are somewhat limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can remove 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 this isn’t anything plants can do about those.
While houseplants probably can’t 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 circulating in your home, begin with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the best 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 best defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have a technician 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 capture even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 microns. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Air Houston Mechanical LLC 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 holding 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 enhance the quality of the air in your home, Air Houston Mechanical LLC can help. Give us a call at (832) 957-9332 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.