Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

May 28, 2019

The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have revealed that indoor air pollution can be even harsher 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 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 assessed 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, more research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed toxins.

While research indicates plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your house. Your home is not a closed research area. So, it’s tough 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 near your home.

Outside of that challenge, the things that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving around your home—and this isn’t anything 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, begin with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best 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.
  • Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your house, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Precision Mechanical can help you find 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 improve the quality of the air in your home, Precision Mechanical can help. Give us a call at 605-206-2564 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.