Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have shown 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 each day. One of the most common solution is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would positively impact 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 affect 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, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to see the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied eliminated toxins.

While research indicates plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research space. 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 factors that plants can impact are somewhat limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can remove harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. Sadly, 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 likely won’t 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 making their way around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Keeping a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it looks dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have an expert check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll ensure your system is clean.
  • Consider an Air Purifier. If you want to capture even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The experts at Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find a system that works for your home.
  • Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also impacts 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 pick 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 601-292-9763 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

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