The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your house. 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 search for ways to purify the air they breathe all the time. 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 studied 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, further 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 eliminated toxins.
While research suggests plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research space. So, it’s tough 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 near your home.
Beyond 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. Unfortunately, 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.
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, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it appears dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best 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.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Northern Comfort Inc can help you find a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also impacts 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 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Northern Comfort Inc can help. Give us a call at 507-387-6596 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.