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 challenging. In fact, studies have indicated 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 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 found 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 eliminated toxins.
While research implies plants can have a substantial 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 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 regularly and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality around your home.
Beyond that challenge, the things 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. Sadly, 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 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 circulating around your home, begin 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 gets dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and easiest 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.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Lycoming Heating Company can help you select 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 select 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Lycoming Heating Company can help. Give us a call at 570-326-4450 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.