How Do Plants Help Clean the Air in Your House?

July 30, 2019 10:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Houseplants are a simple way to naturally decorate the inside of your home. They add color to rooms, can make your house smell nice and beautify hidden corners without much effort. A plant is like a breath of fresh air—literally, in fact, if you choose certain plants.

Did you read that correctly? Can houseplants purify indoor air in Aspen, CO? They can—let’s take a closer look. Here’s how indoor plants can help clean your home’s air, and which easy-to-maintain houseplants you should choose for the greatest benefits.

How plants purify the air

Back in school, your science teacher taught you about photosynthesis. It’s the process of plants converting carbon dioxide (what you exhale) into fresh oxygen, while also removing toxins from the air you breathe. This is also how plants create energy to fuel their own growth. NASA wanted to learn more, so they tested this theory to find out. It was discovered that many popular houseplants are able to diffuse toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.

The fact that plants can absorb these types of gases is what gives indoor plants their air-purifying capabilities. In addition to carbon dioxide, many indoor plants can take in all kinds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene and formaldehyde. Benzene is found in some plastics, pesticides, fabrics and cigarette smoke, and can cause irritation to eyes, dizziness, drowsiness, increased heart rate, confusion and headaches. Formaldehyde is found in some cosmetics, household cleaners, dish soap, fabric softener and carpet shampoo. It can cause irritation to the nose, throat and mouth.

Certain VOCs and other indoor air pollutants are linked to specific conditions, like asthma and nausea, as well as chronic diseases such as respiratory illnesses and even cancer. When a houseplant removes harmful compounds from the air, it’s performing something called phytoremediation, which is when an indoor or outdoor plant mitigates air, water or soil pollution. Plants absorb harmful VOC gases and toxins from the air into their leaves and roots, but houseplants get help from the microorganisms living in their potted soil. Microorganisms do a fantastic job of neutralizing VOCs and other air pollutants.

Recommended air-purifying houseplants

Aside from the fact that houseplants can purify your indoor air, the good news is there are a number of no-fuss houseplants that are easy to care for and that can filter out toxins. The most beneficial air-purifying, VOC-removing indoor plants are the ones with a lot of leaves. The experts recommend spider plants, Boston ferns, Japanese royal ferns, English ivy, aloe vera, snake plants, peace lilies and others. To reap the benefits of the purifying powers of houseplants, have at least two plants per 100 square feet, preferably plants with larger leaves.

You can count on the team at HealthSafe Inspections Inc. for all your indoor air testing needs. Call us today for more tips on how to clean the air in your home in Aspen, CO, or to schedule an appointment for air quality testing. We look forward to assisting you soon!

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