Plants for Cleaner Air

We all know it’s important for our health (and any of our pets’ health) to have clean indoor air to breathe, but many don’t realize how easy it is to maintain healthy air quality inside.
peace lily on window sill next to window providing clean air featured image

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Fight Indoor Air Pollution with Common Houseplants

Many people don’t realize that their furniture, electrical equipment and appliances, cleaning products, and the building’s building material release trace amounts of toxins over time. The toxins include formaldehyde, benzene (a known cancer-causing agent), and carbon monoxide.

We all know it’s important for our health (and any of our pets’ health) to have clean indoor air to breathe, but many don’t realize how easy it is to maintain healthy air quality inside. While duct cleaning on a regular basis is a great way to reduce these harmful particulates, it’s only part of the solution.

peace lily on window sill next to window providing clean air featured image

It’s Not Rocket Science (or is it?)

A study by NASA on clean air concluded that just one houseplant per 100 square feet of floor space is the most effective way to control indoor air pollution. 

That means, in a 1500 square foot home, you only need about 15 plants in your home to reduce toxins in the air and to increase the levels of oxygen to breathe. 

Choosing the Right Houseplant

Some indoor houseplants are exceptional air purifiers. They can improve your indoor air quality by absorbing the nasty toxins and carbon dioxide from the air and breaking the chemicals down naturally releasing fresh clean oxygen for you to breathe.

A study titled, “Indoor Plants Can Reduce Formaldehyde Levels,” by the American Society for Horticultural Science has concluded that some species of houseplants were able to remove up to 80% of the pollutants. The research also showed that both the root system and not just the leaves play an important role in absorbing and naturally breaking down the chemicals.

Common Sources of Pollutants

Here are 5 chemicals commonly found inside homes and offices and their sources:

Formaldehyde

  • Carpeting
  • Paper towels
  • Foam insulation
  • Hair sprays
  • Fiberwood products (such as paneling)
  • Pressed wood
  • Wax paper
  • And various cleaning products

Benzene

  • Spot
  • Plastic products
  • Gasoline
  • Detergents
  • Removers
  • Oils
  • Paint
  • Paint stripper
  • Glues
  • Inks
  • Varnish
  • Plastic products
  • Detergents
  • Dyes
  • Rubber

Hydrocarbons

  • Vinyl products (such as flooring and furniture)
  • Fabric softeners and detergents

Trichloroethylene

  • Paint
  • Lacquer
  • Varnishers
  • Inks
  • Adhesives (such as epoxy, spray mount, or rubber cement, etc)

Methylene Chloride

  • Refinishers
  • Paint strippers
  • And many aerosol products

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What Plants are good for indoor air purifier?

  • Peace Lily
  • Spider Plant
  • Area Palm
  • Croton
  • Aloe Vera
  • China Doll
  • Mother Fern
  • Dumb Cane
  • Corn Plant, Dragon Tree, Janet Craig, Warneckii
  • Golden Pothos
  • Norfolk Island Pine
  • Weeping Fig
  • Kenta Palm
  • Never-Never Plant
  • Swiss Cheese Plant, Split-Leaf Philodendron
  • Weeping Fig
  • Boston Fern
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Heart-Leaf Philodendron
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Tree Philodendron
  • Christmas Cactus

Indoor Plant Growing Requirements

Please remember that houseplants are different and will each have their own different needs. Please follow the directions provided on the labeling. If there is no label, we recommend performing a simple search online. 

Some variables are more important than others when choosing an appropriate houseplant. These are daily humidity, light resources throughout the day (does it a sun-lover, partial, or shade-lover?), water, and plant size.

Want to know what your indoor air quality is? Our specialist can help. Contact us today for your free consultation with an indoor air quality (IAQ) expert.

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