Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your house. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have shown 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 help air quality. But does it work in practice?

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 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 found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research indicates 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 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 a lot on the outdoor air quality around your home.

Outside of that challenge, the things that plants can impact are somewhat 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 hurting 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.

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 floating around your home, begin with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it appears 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.
  • Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Breathe Healthier Air 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 keeping 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 large 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, Breathe Healthier Air can help. Give us a call at 772-600-7151 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

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