The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have revealed that indoor air pollution can be even higher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to find ways to purify the air they breathe all the time. One of the most common solution is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would positively impact 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 affect common houseplants had on air quality in a closed chamber. Within that closed chamber, they realized 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 established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.
While research indicates plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your home. 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 regularly and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.
Outside of 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. Unfortunately, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating around your home—and this isn’t anything 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 floating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the best 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. Schedule annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure your system is clean.
- Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to get 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 Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating can help you find a system that works for your home.
- Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also impacts 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 large 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, Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating can help. Give us a call at 949-525-9119 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.