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 odors in your house. 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 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 studied 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, additional research was completed by the University of Georgia to determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research suggests plants can have a noteworthy 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 space. 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 regularly and depends heavily on the outdoor air quality near your home.

In addition to that challenge, the elements that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can eliminate harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Unfortunately, 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 house, there are HVAC-centered solutions that can help.

  • Keep Your System Clean. If you want to keep pollutants from circulating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it appears dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a technician 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 get even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Paso Robles Heating and Air can help you select 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 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 large 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, 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.

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