Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

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 hard. 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 search for ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common ideas is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would positively impact 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 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 discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research implies plants can have a noteworthy 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 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality near your home.

Outside of that challenge, the things that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can eliminate harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Unfortunately, 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 there isn’t much plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

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 making their way around your home, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it looks dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have an expert 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 capture even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Mitchell Heating can help you find 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 huge 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, Mitchell Heating can help. Give us a call at 719-422-4236 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

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