Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your home. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have revealed 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 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 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 studied the affect 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 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 residence. 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality around your home.

In addition to that challenge, the things that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of 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 this isn’t anything plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

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 floating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Keeping 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. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and easiest 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 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 is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can help you select 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 choose 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 improve the quality of the air in your home, Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 308-624-3485 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

Back To Blog