Do Plants Help Indoor Air Quality?

A smiling woman spraying water on a hanging houseplant.

Many of us have heard about the benefits of houseplants in beautifying spaces and reducing stress. But an often-debated question is, do plants help indoor air quality? When it comes down to it, indoor plants are good for air quality in some instances, but they are not a comprehensive solution for reducing indoor air pollution.

This blog will dive deep into the role of indoor plants in maintaining air quality and provide an answer to the burning question: are indoor plants good for air quality?

The Role of Indoor Plants in Purifying Air

At the most basic level, all plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can be beneficial in indoor environments where carbon dioxide concentrations can get higher than the outdoor air, especially in well-insulated buildings. However, some studies suggest that certain plant species can do more than just photosynthesize: they can also purify the air.

So, do plants help indoor air quality? It’s been said that some plants can help remove pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful chemicals emitted by many household products. Some VOCs can lead to health issues when inhaled over a long period. The good news is that certain houseplants can help reduce the concentration of these VOCs.

The Effectiveness of Indoor Plants in Removing Pollutants

Not all plants are equally efficient at cleaning the air. Research has shown that while indoor plants are good for air quality, their ability to improve indoor air quality varies depending on the plant species and the type of pollutants in question.

So, if plants do help indoor air quality, which ones should you look out for? For starters, the peace lily is one of the popular air-purifying plants that has been found to be effective in removing pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. Another study has indicated that certain potted plants can reduce indoor levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and VOCs.

However, a point to note is that while plants do help indoor air quality, they do so only to a limited extent. A single plant might not be enough to improve the air quality significantly in a large room. Moreover, plants alone cannot replace other methods of maintaining indoor air quality, like proper ventilation and air filtration systems.

Comparing Plants and Air Purifiers

When considering how to improve indoor air quality, the natural question that arises is how the effectiveness of indoor plants compares to that of electronic air purifiers or HEPA filters.

While house plants can indeed help clean the air, their rate of purification is much slower than that of electronic air purifiers. For instance, while a HEPA filter can effectively remove fine particulate matter and pollen from indoor environments, plants may not offer the same level of filtration efficiency.

This doesn’t mean you should forgo plants altogether. Instead, think of them as a complement to your existing air quality solutions, offering aesthetic and some air-cleaning benefits.

Other Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

While we spend a significant amount of time indoors, especially in today’s digital age, it’s essential to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and healthy. Here are some ways to reduce indoor air pollution:

  • Ventilation: Regularly airing out your home can help replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.
  • Air purifiers: These can help remove fine particulates and certain pollutants from the air.
  • Regular cleaning: Dust and vacuum regularly to remove particulates that can affect air quality.
  • Air Duct Cleaning: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate in your air ducts, affecting your indoor air quality. Consider hiring an air duct specialist to ensure clean and efficient air circulation.

Contact Our Indoor Air Quality Experts Today

Generally speaking, indoor plants are good for air quality. However, their effectiveness is limited, and they should be seen as a part of a comprehensive indoor air quality strategy rather than a standalone solution.

If you are concerned about your home’s air quality in Simi Valley, consider reaching out to professionals like RR Electric, Heating & Air. We offer specialized services that not only address indoor air quality concerns but also ensure that you breathe clean, healthy air in your home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in Westlake Village, Calabassas, and surrounding neighborhoods!