The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your home. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even harsher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to find 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 actually work?
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 found the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed 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 residence. Your home is not a closed research area. 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 often and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality near 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 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.
While houseplants probably can’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 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 often and change it when it gets dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure your system is clean.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your house, 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 GV Heating & Air can help you choose a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also affects 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 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, GV Heating & Air can help. Give us a call at 763-535-2000 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.