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

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

In the 1980s, scientists at NASA studied the affect 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, further research was completed by the University of Georgia to see the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was found that—in a closed setting—the plants studied eliminated toxins.

While research suggests plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one concern when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research room. 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 near 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 harming your air quality. Particles like pet hair, dust, mold or pollen are also floating around your home—and this isn’t anything plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants likely won’t 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 floating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it appears dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Arrange annual maintenance to have a professional 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 house, consider an air purifier. Select models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Cronin-Verheul Heating & A/C Ltd can help you choose a system that works for your home.
  • Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also affects 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 pick 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 increase the quality of the air in your home, Cronin-Verheul Heating & A/C Ltd can help. Give us a call at 519-664-0600 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

Back To Blog