The air quality in your home effects 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 harsher 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 improve air quality. But does it make a difference?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA assessed the affect 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, additional 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 reduced 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 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 often and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Outside of that challenge, the things that plants can impact are slightly 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 hovering 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 floating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the greatest 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 simplest 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 capture even the smallest pollutants in your space, 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 Gilray Heating and Cooling can help you find 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 pick 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 improve the quality of the air in your home, Gilray Heating and Cooling can help. Give us a call at 715-301-0727 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.