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 smells in your indoor space. 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 search for ways to purify the air they breathe all the time. One of the most common ideas 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 assessed the influence 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, 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 reduced toxins.

While research implies plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one concern 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality around your home.

Beyond that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are slightly 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 hurting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating 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 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. 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 looks dirty. Capturing 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 confirm your system is clean.
  • Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to get even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That is pretty small at one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at KDM Service Corporation 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 huge 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, KDM Service Corporation can help. Give us a call at 205-208-8090 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.

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