The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but hard. 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 find ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common solution is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would improve 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 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, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed toxins.
While research indicates plants can have a noteworthy 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 difficult to say what—if any impact—houseplants have on your home’s air quality. According to Time Magazine, the air in your home changes frequently and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Beyond that challenge, the elements 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 harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving around your home—and there’s nothing plants can do about those.
While houseplants might not be able to 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 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 regularly and change it when it gets dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and best 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.
- Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your home, 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 team at Jent Mechanical LLC 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 maintaining 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 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, Jent Mechanical LLC can help. Give us a call at 937-845-1111 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.