Are Plants Good for Indoor Air Quality? (and Other Commonly Asked IAQ Questions)

If you’re like most people, you spend about 90% of your time indoors; therefore, the quality of the indoor air you breathe is pretty important. Pollutants can enter into your home’s air and cause headaches, dizziness, nausea as well as ear, nose and throat irritations. Below, we offer advice on some of the most commonly asked questions about IAQ and how you can improve the quality of air within your home or office space.

Commonly Asked IAQ Questions

Here are answers to some of the top questions about indoor air quality:

Q: I’ve heard that certain houseplants can be beneficial for indoor air? Is it true that plants are really that helpful for indoor air quality?

A: Yep, it’s true! Not only will adding a few houseplants to your home increase the aesthetic appeal of a room, but by doing so, you will also improve your home’s air quality.

The way it works is simple: Plants absorb particulates from the air through their leaves and roots while they are taking in carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, the carbon dioxide and other gases are converted into oxygen, which gets released back into your home’s indoor air. Basically, plants act as living air filters by taking in the air’s pollutants and releasing them as clean oxygen.

In addition, beneficial micro-organisms are present in your plant’s potting soil, and these little guys are also valuable to the air you breathe. The microbiomes that exist within your plant’s soil help to stabilize your home’s air by increasing biodiversity, which helps prohibit the outbreak of pathogens within the air.

Q: Which houseplants should I choose to improve the air quality in my home or office space?

A: For best air cleaning abilities, choose leafy green houseplants, such as:

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, or the “Snake Plant” is a perfect starter plant as they are super hardy, thrive in a variety of environments, and—according to NASA—remove several air pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. If you’re forgetful, this plant is a great choice, as it thrives on relatively infrequent watering.

Spider Plants are especially great for plant novices since they require little care, and can survive a missed watering or two. They are not only easy to grow, they also remove both formaldehyde and xylene from your home’s air.

Another helpful houseplant is the Peace Lily. These beautiful plants will flower for most of the year if kept in low light with moist, but not overwatered, soil. They are not only easy on the eyes, but also easy on the air as they remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Q: What other ways can I improve my home’s indoor air quality?

A: Here are just a few ways:

  • Change your HVAC system’s air filter regularly. Check your filter at least monthly and replace with a clean air filter when it becomes dirty. A clean air filter is essential in keeping pollutants from circulating around in your home’s air.
  • Vacuum registers, vents, and any other hidden dusty spots, such as behind large appliances. Keeping your home free of standing dust and debris is an easy way to keep your home’s air cleaner and healthier.
  • Consider a Whole House Air Filter—this type of filter provides more protection than a standard HVAC air filter. We are proud to offer the Carrier Infinity Air Purifier, which is designed to eliminate airborne irritants such as dust, mold, and allergens. If you’re curious as to how this state-of-the-art air filter can help you achieve excellent indoor air quality, then give us a call: (702) 550-1435
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