The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your house. 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 search for ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common solution 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 affect 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, additional 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 suggests plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research area. 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 surrounding your home.
In addition to that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are slightly 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 hurting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also hovering 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 home, there are HVAC-centered solutions that can help.
- Keep Your System Clean. If you want to keep pollutants from floating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it appears dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
- Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your house, 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 experts at Phelps Heating & Cooling can help you find 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 maintaining 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 huge 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, Phelps Heating & Cooling can help. Give us a call at 270-358-3167 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.