The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. In fact, studies have revealed 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 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 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 found the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, additional research was completed by the University of Georgia to determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced 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 house. 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 often and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Beyond that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are somewhat 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 harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating around your home—and there’s nothing plants can do about those.
While houseplants probably can’t fix all the indoor air quality issues in your home, there are HVAC-centered solutions that can help.
- Keep Your System Clean. If you want to keep pollutants from floating 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 appears dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to get 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 experts at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc 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 keeping 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 significant difference in your air quality, there’s no harm in keeping them around. If you’re ready to improve the quality of the air in your home, Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc can help. Give us a call at 256-270-1196 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.