Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home influences a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your home. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have indicated 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 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 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 reviewed the affect 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, further 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 eliminated toxins.

While research indicates plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one issue when it comes to translating that to your home. Your home is not a closed research space. 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 heavily on the outdoor air quality near your home.

Beyond that challenge, the things 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 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 probably can’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, start with your HVAC system. Maintaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it gets dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and easiest defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have a technician check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm 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. Which is one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Select Comfort System Heating & Air Conditioning 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 choose from portable or whole home humidifiers to help.

While houseplants can’t make a large 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, Select Comfort System Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call at 801-305-4777 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you review all your options.

Back To Blog