The air quality in your home effects 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 revealed 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 ideas 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 discovered the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, additional research was completed by the University of Georgia to see 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 indicates plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one problem when it comes to translating that to your house. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 frequently and depends greatly on the outdoor air quality around your home.
In addition to that challenge, the factors 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. Sadly, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving 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 greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm your system is clean.
- Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at James Heating & A/C, Inc 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 select 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 enhance the quality of the air in your home, James Heating & A/C, Inc can help. Give us a call at 336-853-6070 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.