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 revealed that indoor air pollution can be even harsher 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 solution is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would positively impact 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 influence 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 determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established 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 problem 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 frequently and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality around your home.
Beyond that challenge, the things that plants can impact are slightly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Unfortunately, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home harming 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 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. Sustaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it appears dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest 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 grab even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also affects 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 pick 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 308-624-3485 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.