The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the smells in your home. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have shown 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 every day. One of the most common thoughts is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would help 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 impact 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, further 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 indicates plants can have a significant 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 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 greatly on the outdoor air quality near your home.
Beyond that challenge, the factors 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 moving around your home—and there’s nothing 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 circulating around your home, begin with your HVAC system. Maintaining 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. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and simplest 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 grab even the smallest pollutants in your space, 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 ACS Heating and Air Conditioning 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 holding 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, ACS Heating and Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 770-450-1539 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.