Houseplants bring beauty to our homes, while their living presence can even lower blood pressure and anxiety and boost a sense of well-being. But houseplants also have yet another benefit: they can improve your indoor air quality.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration conducted a study a few years ago that revealed this property of certain species sold as houseplants. The plants were shown to absorb some types of airborne particulates during photosynthesis. Microbes in the plant soil were also involved in the cleaning process.
It’s well known that in houses with poor ventilation, airborne particulates can build up over time. Some of these pollutants, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from upholstery, chemicals and carpet, can cause allergies and respiratory problems. The houseplants listed below, and several others, appear to be particularly effective in absorbing these VOCs.
- Garden mum — A real air-cleaning champ, the simple garden mum removes ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene, all VOCs. Once the plant is done blooming, you can plant it outdoors.
- Dracaena — This is a good choice if you don’t have a pet, as the leaves are toxic. These colorful foliage plants remove benzene, xylene, formaldehyde and trichlorethylene.
- Boston Fern — Ferns love cooler temperatures, lower light and high humidity. Keep them moist, checking soil daily. They’re good for removing xylene and formaldehyde.
- Aloe Vera — This succulent plant is known for its ability to soothe burns, and to fight infection and inflammation. Besides that, it removes formaldehyde from the air.
- English Ivy — A climbing vine that does well with little sunlight, English Ivy is also adept at absorbing formaldehyde, which is found in synthetic carpet dye and wood floorboard resins.
- Peace Lily — This flowering plant adapts well to low light, requires weekly watering and is poisonous to pets. Peace lilies absorb the benzene given off by furniture wax, polishes and paint, as well as acetone, which is given off by adhesives, some cleaners and electronics.
To learn more about houseplants, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We serve Grand Traverse County and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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