7 House Plants That Improve Indoor Air Quality
We are always trying to improve and maintain the health of our children, families, and ourselves by focusing on our food choices, exercise habits, and mental health. But there is another aspect that we should all consider when monitoring our health and wellness, indoor air quality. That’s why we put together this list of house plants that improve indoor air quality.
Our homes are filled with a number of contaminants that affect the overall quality of our air. Pollution, emissions from appliances, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can all affect the air quality in your home, and in turn the health of you and your family.
What are VOCs?
Volatile organic compounds are harmful chemicals that are present in homes both in vaporous and gas form. They have a large presence in our homes due to their use in many every-day products which include:
- Nail polish remover, furniture polish
- Air fresheners
- Glues, craft supplies
- Building materials and furnishings (vinyl, PVC, nylon, paints, wallpaper)
- Cleaning products (disinfectant sprays, detergents, cleaning fluids)
Some of the most common VOCs are benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, and xylene.
Each of these is colorless, flammable, and have distinct odors. When consistently exposed to VOCs in high amounts, your health begins to be affected. VOC exposure tends to have the following symptoms:
- Nose and throat discomfort
Due to their immense use in many products and materials, it can be difficult to completely remove VOCs and other harmful chemicals from your home. House plants are able to remove harmful chemicals from the air, but recent findings prove they are unable to do so at the high rate that is commonly believed. Still, there are some house plants that are able to remove higher amounts of VOCs than others.
7 house plants that improve air quality that you can put in your home today!
- English Ivy- One of the most popular indoor house plants for filtering air quality! This plant is effective at cleansing benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air. English Ivy is also said to reduce mold in homes. It is easy to care for, and only requires direct sunlight, a consistent temperature, and regular water.
- Peace Lily-As one of the more beautiful house plants, a peace lily will make a stunning addition to any room. Along with removing ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene from the air, peace lilies can also add moisture to the air in dry environments! These beauties are low-maintenance and thrive in shaded areas.
- Aloe Vera– While this plant won’t help to purify the air in your home, it can warn you of low air quality! When aloe vera plants begin to develop brown spots, there are excessive chemicals in the air. Of course, aloe vera has amazing antibacterial benefits and is useful in more ways than one.
- Spider Plant-Don’t worry-no spiders here, just clean air! In a study conducted by NASA, these plants were able to remove up to 90% of the formaldehyde in a room. Spider plants also flower, and if you cut the flowers off and plant them, you can grow more!
- Snake Plant- Keep this guy on your bedside table! Snake plants emit oxygen during the night and absorb carbon dioxide, allowing for you to breathe super-pure air while you sleep. They also remove some of the most common toxins, such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
- Bamboo-Clean your home and add some feng shui! As a member of the dracaena family, bamboo removes toxins such as chloroform, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. It also serves as a spider mite repellant, which will keep other house plants safe, as spider mites can cause damage to plants.
- Chrysanthemums-This flower ranks high for air purification! It is known for decreasing amounts of ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. *If you have pets beware of these plants as they are toxic to cats and dogs.
Bonus House Plant-The Eucalyptus
While this plant won’t improve the air quality in your home by removing toxins, it still is a great choice of a house plant that improves indoor air quality. Much like aloe vera, the Eucalyptus is known for its ability to treat many ailments. Its leaves are filled with tannins which can reduce inflammation and raise healthy fluids in your body’s air passages. Breathing in the scent of a Eucalyptus plan can lower congestion problems and prevent a cold.
Adding any of these indoor plants to your home will decrease the levels of harmful toxins and improve the overall quality of your air! You can also incorporate other methods to decrease toxins such as:
- Using an air purifier
- Opening windows throughout your home
- Trying non-toxic cleaning products
It should be noted, however, that the use of only indoor plants can not completely resolve health issues related to poor air quality. If you are experiencing health issues due to the air quality in your home, you should also seek other solutions.