Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your home. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. 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 every day. One of the most common thoughts 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 reviewed 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 look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied eliminated 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 residence. Your home is not a closed research space. 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.

In addition to that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are slightly 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 affecting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also hovering 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 space, 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. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a professional 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 get even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Scott Temperature can help you select 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, Scott Temperature can help. Give us a call at 785-269-0465 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

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