Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have shown 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 every day. One of the most common solution 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 studied the influence 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 look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed 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 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 frequently and depends heavily 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 get rid of harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. However, 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 this isn’t anything plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants might not be able to 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 circulating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it looks dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
  • Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Von Deylen Plumbing & Heating Inc. 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 holding 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 huge 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, Von Deylen Plumbing & Heating Inc. can help. Give us a call at 419-465-8722 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

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