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 odors in your house. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have indicated 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 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 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 found 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 found 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 residence. Your home is not a closed research area. 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 often and depends heavily 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 remove harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Unfortunately, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also hovering around your home—and there’s nothing plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants might not be able to 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, kick it off with your HVAC system. Keeping 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. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure your system is clean.
  • Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Point Heating & Cooling can help you find 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 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 enhance the quality of the air in your home, Point Heating & Cooling can help. Give us a call at 715-504-0533 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.