The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your home. Taking care of it is important, but hard. 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 solution 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 assessed the affect 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, 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 suggests plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your home. 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.
Outside of that challenge, the things 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 hurting 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.
While houseplants might not be able to fix all the indoor air quality issues in your space, 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 greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it appears dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best 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.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can help you select 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 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 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 assess all your options.