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 odors in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even harsher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to research ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common ideas is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would help 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 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 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 indicates 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 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 regularly and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality surrounding 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. Sadly, 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 this isn’t anything 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, begin 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 best defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a professional 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 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can help you choose 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 significant 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, Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can help. Give us a call at 803-265-4208 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

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