The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells 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 research ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common thoughts is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would positively impact 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 found 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 eliminated toxins.
While research suggests plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your house. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 regularly and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality around 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 get rid of harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Sadly, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving around your home—and there isn’t much plants can do about those.
While houseplants probably can’t 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, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm your system is clean.
- Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating 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 enhance the quality of the air in your home, Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. can help. Give us a call at 862-345-6896 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.