As modern life becomes increasingly urbanized, the quest for clean and quality air within our homes is significantly important. Good air quality is not only an essential element for our comfort, but it also plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. With good air quality, we can stay healthy and avoid respiratory illnesses caused by pollutants, allergens, and other toxins.
Surprisingly, a partial solution to this growing need might be as simple as adding a touch of green to our living spaces. Over the past few years, an increasing number of people have been turning to houseplants, not just for their aesthetic appeal but also with the hope of improving the air quality in their homes. However, can houseplants actually help improve air quality? The answer is a resounding yes! Houseplants can have many positive impacts on the air quality of our homes, and you need to understand just how they work.
Houseplants vs. Carbon Dioxide and Other Air Pollutants
Houseplants are more than merely an affordable and attractive way to decorate your home; they can also remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air. This is due to the process of photosynthesis, in which plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In addition to carbon dioxide, some plants can also absorb other pollutants present in the air, such as formaldehyde and benzene, which are commonly found in homes and offices due to the off-gassing of synthetic materials.
The air-purifying capability of houseplants relies on a natural biological process known as phytoremediation. Through phytoremediation, plants and their associated microorganisms degrade, eliminate, or contain contaminants in soils, water, or air. Within the plant, harmful substances are absorbed through their leaves and roots. These contaminants are then either stored in the plant tissue or transformed into less toxic forms.
Houseplants vs. Allergens
Allergens are substances that are typically harmless but can trigger an immune response in certain individuals, causing allergic reactions. These substances can be found virtually anywhere in the air we breathe, our food, pets, and even our own homes. Common allergens include dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.
Houseplants, in their quest for survival, have developed sophisticated mechanisms to cope with allergens. They can absorb, degrade, and eliminate allergens from the air, making our indoor environment healthier.
Plants with high transpiration rates can increase humidity levels in a room. This can be particularly beneficial in reducing the concentration of dust allergens by causing these particles to settle out of the air. Moreover, some plants, have been found to absorb mold spores through their leaves, thereby reducing the concentration of mold allergens in the air.
In a more direct approach, certain houseplants produce compounds that suppress airborne molds and bacteria. These compounds, called phytochemicals, are emitted by plants as a defense mechanism against fungal and bacterial attacks. When we keep these types of plants indoors, we indirectly benefit from their protective mechanisms, as the phytochemicals they produce can significantly reduce the number of molds and bacteria in our living spaces.
Houseplants vs. Poor Humidity Levels
Humidity levels inside our homes can have a tremendous impact on our well-being. Low humidity can lead to dry skin, nosebleeds, and other respiratory issues, such as asthma. On the other hand, high humidity can cause mold growth and increase the presence of airborne pollutants.
In an attempt to maintain optimal humidity levels in their homes, many people have turned to the use of humidifiers. However, this can be expensive and may not always be effective.
Fortunately, houseplants can provide us with an inexpensive and natural way to regulate humidity levels in our homes. Plants absorb moisture through their leaves and then release it into the air by a process known as transpiration. As such, plants can help maintain optimal humidity levels in the environment and improve air quality.
Understanding the Top Houseplants for Air Purification
Now that we understand how houseplants can help improve air quality, it’s important to know which types of plants are best suited for this purpose. While many plants may be capable of purifying the air, some species are known to be particularly effective in removing pollutants and allergens from our homes.
One of the top air-purifying plants is the rubber plant. Rubber plants are known for their ability to absorb excess carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. In addition to filtering pollutants from the air, they also help increase humidity levels in a room.
Another excellent choice is the peace lily. Peace lilies can effectively absorb mold spores and other airborne allergens, making them ideal for anyone with allergies. They are also capable of regenerating the air quality of a room in as little as 24 hours.
Thirdly, you can have ferns in your home. Ferns are highly effective air purifiers, as they can absorb formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds found in the air. In addition to that, they also have an impressive transpiration rate which helps regulate humidity levels in a room.
Finally, don’t forget about the English ivy. This plant is known for its ability to filter toxins from the air, and it’s also an excellent choice if you want to add some greenery to your home. Plus, English ivy is a relatively low-maintenance plant that can thrive in various light conditions.
Factors to Consider
Before you rush out and buy a houseplant, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure to choose the right plant for your home. Each species of plant has different needs when it comes to light and water, so do your research before making a purchase.
Second, remember that even though plants can help improve air quality, they need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Dusty leaves can clog the pores on a plant’s leaves, preventing them from absorbing pollutants. As such, it’s important to make sure your plants are dust-free by wiping their leaves with a damp cloth every once in a while.
Finally, remember that houseplants alone cannot guarantee perfect air quality. To truly improve your indoor environment, you should also make sure to keep the air in your home clean by regularly changing air filters and avoiding smoking indoors.
Ultimately, houseplants can be a great addition to any home as they can help us reduce airborne pollutants and allergens, maintain optimal humidity levels, and even add some life and color to our living spaces. So, the next time you’re looking for a way to make your home healthier, consider adding some houseplants! By investing in the right plants, you can enjoy cleaner air without breaking the bank. However, for more severe problems, consider installing an air purifier.
At American Air & Heat, located in the heart of Oviedo and serving all of Central Florida, we pride ourselves on more than just our knowledge of air-purifying houseplants. Our full suite of services includes heating and cooling system installation, repair, and maintenance, indoor air quality upkeep, ductless system services, and thermostat solutions to ensure your home is as healthy and comfortable as possible. We’re committed to providing high-quality service from the moment of installation to routine check-ups ensuring everything is running smoothly. Improving air quality in your home is more than just about plants, it’s about a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle. If you ready to improve your home’s air quality or you need assistance with heating and cooling systems, contact us today, and let’s breathe easy together.