The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. 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 research ways to purify the air they breathe every day. One of the most common thoughts is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would positively impact air quality. But does it make a difference?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA assessed the influence 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 see 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 concern when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research space. 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 frequently and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality around your home.
Outside of that challenge, the factors 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. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also hovering around your home—and this isn’t anything plants can do about those.
While houseplants likely won’t fix all the indoor air quality issues in your house, 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. Maintaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning 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 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 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, Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 402-509-5940 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.