Man enjoying plants and AC in summer

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality in Your Home?

The air quality in your home effects a lot—your comfort, allergies and even the odors in your home. Taking care of it is important, but difficult. In fact, studies have indicated that indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor air pollution. Knowing that, it only makes sense that homeowners continue to search for ways to purify the air they breathe all the time. 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 actually work?

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

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

While research suggests plants can have a substantial impact on a closed space, there’s one problem when it comes to translating that to your house. Your home is not a closed research room. So, it’s difficult 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 a lot on the outdoor air quality near your home.

Outside of that challenge, the factors that plants can impact are fairly limited. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that plants can get rid of 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 there’s nothing plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants might not be able to 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 circulating around your home, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the best ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter frequently and change it when it looks dirty. Capturing particles with your air filter is your first and best defense against poor air quality. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll make sure your system is clean.
  • Think About an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your space, consider an air purifier. A few models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The team at Jack's Refrigeration Heating and Cooling 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 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, Jack's Refrigeration Heating and Cooling can help. Give us a call at 308-646-3827 or book an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you figure out all your options.

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