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 aromas in your home. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even higher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to find ways to purify the air they breathe every day. One of the most common thoughts is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would improve 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 realized the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, more research was completed by the University of Georgia to determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research implies plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one problem when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 greatly on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.

In addition to that challenge, the elements 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 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 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 making their way around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it appears dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm your system is clean.
  • Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to capture 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 pros at Gillman Heating and Air 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 maintaining 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 improve the quality of the air in your home, Gillman Heating and Air can help. Give us a call at 478-202-3076 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

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