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 house. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to research ways to purify the air they breathe all the time. One of the most common thoughts 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 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 determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research suggests plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality around 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 remove 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 floating around your home—and there isn’t much plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants probably can’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 making their way 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 frequently and change it when it appears dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a technician 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 get even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Polar Air & Heating Inc 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 choose 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, Polar Air & Heating Inc can help. Give us a call at 702-623-0579 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

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