The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your home. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have indicated that indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to find ways to purify the air they breathe every day. 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 actually work?
What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?
In the 1980s, scientists at NASA reviewed 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, additional research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at 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 suggests plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research area. So, it’s hard 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 greatly on the outdoor air quality around your home.
Beyond that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can remove harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting 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 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 circulating around your home, begin with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the smartest 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 easiest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
- Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating 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 maintaining 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 large 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, AZ Air Conditioning and Heating can help. Give us a call at 800-296-5088 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.