The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your house. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. 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 reviewed the affect 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 look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied eliminated toxins.
While research indicates plants can have a substantial 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 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 often and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.
In addition to that challenge, the elements that plants can impact are somewhat 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 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.
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 floating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it looks dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have an expert 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 get even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Olde Towne Heating & Air 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 maintaining 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, Olde Towne Heating & Air can help. Give us a call at 843-485-0967 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.