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 smells in your house. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even harsher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to research ways to purify the air they breathe every day. One of the most common solution is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would help air quality. But does it actually work?

What’s the Real Impact of Houseplants on Air Quality?

In the 1980s, scientists at NASA reviewed 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 look at 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 substantial 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 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 frequently and depends greatly on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.

Outside of that challenge, the elements that plants can impact are slightly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can eliminate harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Unfortunately, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also moving 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, kick it off with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it gets dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure your system is clean.
  • Think About 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. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Gee & Missler Heating & 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 maintaining 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, Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 734-363-8907 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.