Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your home. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have indicated 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 each day. One of the most common ideas 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 studied 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 determine 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 implies plants can have a noteworthy 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 area. 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 often and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality near your home.

In addition to that challenge, the things 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. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home hurting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating around your home—and there isn’t much plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants likely won’t 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, kick it off with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it looks dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
  • Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your house, 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 team at Woody's Sudden Service Inc can help you select 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 maintaining a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. You can pick 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Woody's Sudden Service Inc can help. Give us a call at 703-278-2036 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

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