Wouldn’t it be nice if your collection of potted plants could improve the quality of your home’s air? It’s long been believed that indoor plants can purify air by removing pollutants and toxins. For that reason, some people refer to them as natural air filters. However, whether plants really are good for indoor air quality (IAQ) is still up for debate.
Below, we look at the research on how indoor plants affect air quality and offer solutions to help you create clean, healthy air at home.
If you browse the web to find out more about indoor plants improving indoor air quality, you’ll come across various articles and studies, most of which are divided on the answer.
The concept that plants can help with IAQ mainly comes from a NASA report published in 1989, which detailed an experiment that involved placing plants in a small chamber circulating with various gases. NASA researchers concluded that the plants could use photosynthesis to turn the pollutants into oxygen for the room.
Since then, researchers have published numerous studies to discover more about whether plants can have a positive impact on IAQ, and in turn, human health. For example, one study published in 2021 explored the idea of using houseplants to create purer indoor air and combat the spread of airborne disease — the conclusion was that more research is needed. Other research has deduced that houseplants can, to some extent, remove toxins like nitrogen dioxide from indoor spaces.
Not everyone is on board with the idea that indoor plants have a significant impact on IAQ, as some research has indicated that plants don’t have a notable benefit for indoor air quality at all. In fact, it appears that many of today’s experts are on the “no” side of the fence. These individuals state that although plants technically can remove airborne toxins, they can’t do so at a level capable of cleaning the air of entire homes.
Ultimately, it’s clear that indoor plants can be good for air quality. However, using plants alone likely isn’t impactful enough for spaces spanning hundreds to thousands of square feet, especially when those spaces also have drafts, furniture, clutter and other elements that contribute to fluctuating IAQ. So, instead of filling your house with plants simply for the sake of cleaner air, you can take other more effective measures to create a healthy indoor environment.
IAQ has a direct effect on a building’s occupants. When IAQ is poor, it means pollutants and toxins are circulating in the air, where people and animals breathe them in over time. Common airborne pollutants and toxins include asbestos, lead, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and pesticides, all of which contribute to short- and long-term health issues. These health concerns can range from eye irritation to respiratory diseases.
Most people spend the majority of their time indoors, so high IAQ is a necessity. Whether you’re working from your home office, cooking dinner or sleeping, you want the peace of mind of knowing you’re breathing in air that’s free of pollutants and toxins. This is why it’s necessary to invest in proven solutions for creating adequate IAQ.
Though adding a few plants can liven up your space and offer mental health benefits, better options exist for regulating and improving indoor air quality. If you notice symptoms of poor IAQ or spot signs like mold growth, excess dust or musty odors in your home, you can take various steps to mitigate the issue.
Removing contaminants from your home is the first step. Many variables contribute to poor IAQ, and you have the power to control or remove most of them. Here’s what you can do to reduce pollution in your house:
One of the best approaches to creating better IAQ is ventilating your home as much as possible. For example, if you notice that a specific room smells musty, you should ventilate it by opening the windows or running a fan while you find the source of the odor. When you’re cooking, using the fan on the range hood or opening a window is ideal. The same goes for showering — run the ceiling vent or open the door slightly to ensure moisture doesn’t collect.
At the same time, you’ll want to check your home for gaps, cracks and crevices where outdoor air may enter your home. Seal these spaces accordingly to prevent poor outdoor air from sneaking in. As a bonus, this step can help you cut down on energy costs.
Did you know that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system may be the culprit behind poor IAQ in your house? Over time, HVAC system air filters and other components can become dirty and worn down, allowing airborne pollutants and toxins to flow inside your home when they otherwise wouldn’t. When homeowners don’t notice these issues or neglect to maintain their HVAC systems, their IAQ can be affected.
Through a combination of home filtration systems, air purifiers and humidifiers, you can help ensure the air in your house is properly filtered and circulated. Additionally, you can mitigate moisture issues, preventing mold and mildew growth. All of these solutions promote effective air purification that allows you and your loved ones to breathe easily.
For decades, Strada Air Conditioning & Heating has strived to provide homeowners like you with premium indoor air quality services. Whether you’ve noticed a change for the worse in your IAQ or simply want to improve your air purification techniques, we’re here to help. The Strada Air Conditioning & Heating team can install and service an array of systems, purifiers, and air filters that work to ensure your home’s indoor air is safe and clean.
With years of experience, 24/7 phone call support and a selection of quality products, we have what it takes to be your go-to indoor air quality service provider. Call us at (860) 200-2854 or schedule an appointment online today.