Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

May 28, 2019

The air quality in your home impacts a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the aromas in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. 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 research ways to purify the air they breathe each day. One of the most common ideas is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would improve 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 realized the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research implies plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research room. So, it’s difficult 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.

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 remove 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 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 house, 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. 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. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a professional 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. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Gordon Air Conditioning 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 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 significant 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, Gordon Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 850-250-0335 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.