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 indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but challenging. 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 ideas is houseplants. In theory, it makes sense that a living thing producing oxygen in your home would improve 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 impact common houseplants had on air quality in a closed chamber. Within that closed chamber, they discovered the plants had a positive effect on air quality. In 2009, additional research was completed by the University of Georgia to look at the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was discovered that—in a closed setting—the plants studied removed toxins.

While research indicates plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one problem when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research space. So, it’s tough to say what—if any impact—houseplants have on your home’s air quality. According to Time Magazine, the air in your home changes regularly and depends a lot on the outdoor air quality surrounding your home.

Outside of that challenge, the elements that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can eliminate harmful gases found in homes, like formaldehyde. However, gases aren’t the only pollutants in your home affecting your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating around your home—and there isn’t much 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 floating around your home, kick it off with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it gets dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Book 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 get 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 team at Dave's Diversified Services can help you select 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 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, Dave's Diversified Services can help. Give us a call at 540-369-3971 or arrange an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.