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 house. Taking care of it is important, but hard. In fact, studies have revealed 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 all the time. One of the most common thoughts 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 assessed the influence 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 determine the impact houseplants had on toxins in the air. Again, it was established that—in a closed setting—the plants studied reduced toxins.

While research suggests plants can have a noteworthy impact on a closed space, there’s one issue 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 often and depends heavily 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 get rid of 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 moving around your home—and there isn’t much plants can do about those.

Other Solutions

While houseplants probably can’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 making their way around your home, start with your HVAC system. Sustaining a clean system is one of the greatest ways to keep your air clean. Check your air filter often and change it when it gets dirty. Catching particles with your air filter is your first and simplest defense against poor air quality. Book annual maintenance to have a professional check out your system. In addition to regular tune-ups, they’ll confirm your system is clean.
  • Contemplate an Air Purifier. If you want to grab even the smallest pollutants in your home, consider an air purifier. Some models can capture allergens and bacteria as small as .01 micron. That’s one-thousandth of a millimeter. The pros at Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help you choose a system that works for your home.
  • Try a Humidifier. The humidity in your home also contributes to your air quality. Make sure your home stays comfortable and as irritant-free as possible by holding 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 huge difference in your air quality, there’s no harm in keeping them around. If you’re ready to enhance the quality of the air in your home, Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help. Give us a call at 575-446-3948 or schedule an appointment online to get started. We’ll help you assess all your options.

Back To Blog