24/7 Emergency Support

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 smells in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have revealed that indoor air pollution can be even worse 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 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 impact 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 look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed 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 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 surrounding your home.

Beyond 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. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving around your home—and this isn’t anything plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants might not be able to 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 making their way around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it gets dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest 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.
  • Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to capture 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 Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc can help you find 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 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, Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc can help. Give us a call at 224-412-8308 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.