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 indoor space. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be even harsher than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to research 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 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, additional 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 reduced toxins.

While research implies plants can have a significant impact on a closed space, there’s one problem when it comes to translating that to your residence. Your home is not a closed research area. 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 greatly on the outdoor air quality around your home.

Beyond that challenge, the things that plants can impact are somewhat limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of 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 hovering 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 space, 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, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the smartest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter regularly and change it when it looks dirty. Stopping particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Schedule 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 get 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 Stieferman Heating Company Inc can help you select 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 select 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, Stieferman Heating Company Inc can help. Give us a call at 573-203-3908 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

Back To Blog