Houseplants And Indoor Air Quality

An energy-efficient home is designed with insulation and other barriers that keep heated and cooled air inside while preventing outdoor air from slipping through openings around the doors, windows and roof. The downside of having a well-insulated home, though, is that any airborne pollutants stay trapped inside and are continuously distributed throughout your home by the HVAC system.

Best Solutions For Poor Indoor Air Quality

The best solutions for poor indoor air quality are:

• Whole-home air purifier installed inside the ductwork to remove odors, allergens and other particulates
• Ultraviolet lights to control viruses and bacteria
• HEPA filters with MERV ratings of 17 to 19 to remove 99% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger
• Carbon filters to trap gases

We recommend that you complement these systems with what we like to call “residential botanical air purifiers.” That’s right. Common houseplants can help clean the air inside your home.

How Can Houseplants Help With Indoor Air Quality?

Houseplants add a bit of natural beauty to your home, and these little gems will also help keep the air clean and fresh. Some of the most common houseplants will remove gases, chemicals and other pollutants and even humidify the air. Colorado State University published an article that explains how indoor plants can help improve indoor air quality. Plants use a process of photosynthesis to extract certain gases from the air, such as carbon monoxide. The plants use these gases to grow and reproduce. One of the byproducts of photosynthesis is oxygen. You may be familiar with the importance of plant-based photosynthesis because of the recent focus on the planet’s rainforests.

NASA conducted research into the air purification benefits of houseplants to improve air quality in their space vehicles. Three primary airborne gases were the focus of the study — benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. If these gases sound too complex to be in your home, consider some of the most common sources:

• Benzene is produced by plastics, paints, tobacco smoke, synthetic fibers, dyes, detergents and rubber.
• Formaldehyde is produced by plywood, grocery bags, certain adhesives, waxed paper, natural gas, cigarette smoke, foam insulation and fire retardants.
• Trichloroethylene is produced by products for degreasing and cleaning metal as well as paints, lacquers, adhesives, varnishes and printing inks.

The Best Houseplants For Indoor Air Quality

Cleaning indoor air with houseplants does not mean transforming your home into a rainforest. NASA determined that having just one houseplant per 100 square feet of space will effectively clean the air. The best houseplants for improving indoor air quality are:

• Spider plants for removing gases, including formaldehyde and xylene. We recommend placing these plants near fireplaces and kitchens to control carbon monoxide.
• Golden pothos for removing gases, but these plants are poisonous to children and pets.
• Chinese evergreen for removing benzene and formaldehyde.
• Peace lilies for removing cancer-related pollutants and carbon monoxide.
• Snake plants for removing formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides and other airborne chemicals.
• English ivy for people with asthma and allergies to remove formaldehyde, benzene and other chemicals that are released by synthetics.
• Aloe vera for general air purification.

To humidify the air inside your home, try Boston ferns and areca palms.

Residential Air Purification Systems

Contact And Services to learn about our full range of air purification systems for your home. We will send a technician to evaluate your indoor air quality and recommend the air purification systems that are right for your home and budget.