Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

May 28, 2019

The air quality in your home influences 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 research 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 make a difference?

What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?

In the 1980s, scientists at NASA studied the influence 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, more 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 implies plants can have a substantial 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 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 regularly and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality around 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 remove harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Unfortunately, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating 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 home, there are HVAC-centered solutions that can help.

  • Keep Your System Clean. If you want to keep pollutants from making their way around your home, start with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it appears dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
  • Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Rescue Heating & Air can help you select a system that works for your home.
  • Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also contributes to 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 significant 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, Rescue Heating & Air can help. Give us a call at 361-265-4371 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.