Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

May 28, 2019

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 hard. In fact, studies have indicated 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 all the time. One of the most common solution 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 reviewed the impact 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 see 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 home. 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 often and depends greatly on the outdoor air quality near your home.

Outside of that challenge, the factors 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. Sadly, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home hurting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also hovering around your home—and this isn’t anything 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 making their way around your home, begin 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. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Book 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 capture even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Paso Robles Heating and Air can help you choose 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 keeping a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. You can select from portable or whole home humidifiers to help.

While houseplants can’t make a large 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, Paso Robles Heating and Air can help. Give us a call at 805-203-8667 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.