The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your house. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. 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 thoughts 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 assessed the impact 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, more research was completed by the University of Georgia to see the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found 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 issue when it comes to translating that to your house. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 a lot on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Beyond that challenge, the things that plants can impact are fairly 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 hovering 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 house, 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 greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a professional 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 capture even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Davis Heating & Air Conditioning 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 enhance the quality of the air in your home, Davis Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 540-369-3790 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.