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Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

May 28, 2019

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 challenging. 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 all the time. One of the most common ideas 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 reviewed 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, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at 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 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 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 greatly on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.

Beyond that challenge, the factors 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 harming 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.

Other Solutions

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 floating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it looks dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure 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 Winters Heating and Cooling can help you select 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 holding 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 large 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, Winters Heating and Cooling can help. Give us a call at 317-406-5783 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.