The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have revealed that indoor air pollution can be even worse 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 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 studied the impact 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, 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 eliminated toxins.
While research suggests plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one problem 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality around your home.
Outside of that challenge, the elements that plants can impact are somewhat 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 floating around your home—and there isn’t much plants can do about those.
While houseplants probably can’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, kick it off with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it appears dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
- Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at YES R&M Inc. can help you choose 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 keeping 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 significant 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, YES R&M Inc. can help. Give us a call at 562-286-6624 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.