Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your house. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. In fact, studies have indicated 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 every day. One of the most common ideas is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would improve air quality. But does it work in practice?

What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?

In the 1980s, scientists at NASA studied 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, more research was completed by the University of Georgia to determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research implies plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can eliminate 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 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 space, there are HVAC-centered solutions that can help.

  • Keep Your System Clean. If you want to keep pollutants from floating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it gets dirty. Catching 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 confirm your system is clean.
  • Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Holiday Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find 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 holding 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Holiday Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 636-206-4250 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

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