Use Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Even in sunny Arizona, the average person spends about 80 percent of their lives indoors. Increasingly airtight, today’s homes require less energy for cooling and heating, yet they also have higher rates of toxic gases that can be potentially troublesome, and even toxic, to those who breathe them. Carbon monoxide, ozone and volatile organic compounds can all emanate from paints, carpets, furniture and home office equipment. Particularly during the summer months, when doors and windows are often kept shut due to the extreme heat, it’s important to use strategies to improve air quality. One of the most overlooked ways to counteract toxins and pollutants is to add more plants in your home.

Plants: More Than Just Decorative

Interestingly, most homeowners only think about indoor plants in terms of their aesthetics. Yes, they add color and style to a home, but they actually do much more. Plants improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. They also increase humidity and passively absorb pollutants on the surface of their leaves and through their root system.

In the 1980s, NASA performed a research study to investigate ways to create healthy, breathable environments in outer space. They discovered that certain tropical plants, which are commonly used as house plants, were effective in removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethane from the air and replacing it with breathable oxygen.

While all plants provide some air quality benefits, tropical plants are especially effective. These include:

  • Bamboo palm
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Dracaena
  • Ficus
  • Gerbera daisy
  • Peace lily
  • Philodendron
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Spider plant

Don’t Forget Your HVAC System

Although plants are beneficial to improving your home’s indoor air quality, it’s also important to ensure your HVAC system is not adding air pollutants. Replacing or cleaning your system’s air filters is vital to keeping your indoor air clean. Regular maintenance is also necessary. Breathe easier by calling Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule a maintenance visit at 480-968-5652.